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P448 John Sneaker Review: Affordable, Handmade Luxury

If you want a great fashion sneaker, look no further.

Credit: Nordstrom

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Living in New York City means I walk everywhere, so I'm always on the lookout for comfortable and stylish shoes that I can walk for miles in without hurting my feet. Luckily, fashion sneakers are having a moment right now. High-end designers and fast fashion brands have been selling them at every price point, and I wanted a stylish, on-trend set of sneakers without the price tag of a pair of Golden Goose sneakers. Enter: the P448 sneakers.

P448 has grown substantially since this article was written in 2020, and it’s easy to see why. After walking around in my P448 sneakers for a little over three months, here are my thoughts on the shoes and if they might be worth buying for you.

What are P448 sneakers?

P448 sneakers
Credit: P448

These are like Golden Goose but without the price.

P448 is a luxury sneaker brand that hails from Italy. The design ethos as described on their website is “rooted in the belief that eclecticism, design innovation, and continuous experimentation lie at the heart of self-expression. We synthesize elements of subculture, street culture, global culture, and pop culture to create footwear with soul that is always pointing towards the future.”

More simply put, they make really cool and unique street style shoes like the John Sneaker that I ordered.

Who owns P448?

P448 was founded by Marco Samorè and Andrea Curti in 2014. Despite an already-stuffed sneaker market, their craftsmanship helped them persevere, and in 2019, the company was purchased by StreetTrend, LLC. StreetTrend recently received a heavy investment from Mark Wahlberg, described as a “strategic minority owner”. While all the business moving and shaking happened, P448s have only become more popular.

How do P448 sneakers compare to Golden Goose?

P448 sneakers
Credit: p448

These P448 sneakers are a great alternative to Golden Goose.

While I have never tried the Golden Goose sneakers myself, I do have a few friends who own and love them. I talked to them about their experience with the pricey shoes, researched P448 reviews online, and of course bought my first pair of P448 sneakers, and I found a lot of similarities between the shoes.

Both the P448 and Golden Goose sneakers are comfortable to wear, Italian made, and are contenders in the luxury sneaker market. They both have a slightly distressed look and unique pops of colors and patterns. Of course, P448 doesn’t have the popular Golden Goose star on the side. However, that look isn’t for everyone, and pales in comparison to the biggest difference of all—the P448 sneakers’ price tag is lower than the Golden Goose.

P448 sneakers typically cost around $298, and some styles may be slightly more or less expensive. This is definitely a better deal than the Golden Goose sneakers, which retail at $495 or more—a nearly $200 difference.

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Are P448 sneakers comfortable?

P448 sneakers
Credit: Jamie Ueda and Nordstrom

These offer straight out of the box comfort.

After taking them out of the box, I slipped the low-top John Sneaker on without socks and could immediately feel the comfort. One thing that really stood out was the attention to detail in the construction of the shoe.

The heel has a cushion around the back ankle which protects your foot from those awful break-in blisters, and the inside of the shoe and the tongue are lined with terry cloth to help prevent rubbing and blisters, too. The sneaker tongue has slight cushioning to make it feel pillowy-soft, and the leather on the outside is buttery-soft.

The one drawback of these shoes is that the sole is pretty stiff, meaning they don’t bend much when you walk. Personally, I need a little bend in my shoe when I walk, or the shoes feel too flat and stiff. While these shoes are quite comfortable, the stiff sole might lead to sore feet after walking in them for a few hours.

Right now, I recommend these as a great fashion sneaker, but I wouldn't suggest them for an all-day walking event. However, I am hoping that with more time, they will break in.

Are P448 sneakers worth buying?

P448 sneakers
Credit: P448

These sneakers come in fun colors and patterns.

P448's trendy sneakers are a great luxury Italian sneaker at a more reasonable price point than the obvious main competitor, depending on your budget. They’re comfortable and have a unique style that’s hard to find elsewhere, making them worth it for those who want a fashionable sneaker they can wear with every outfit.

While these shoes are more expensive than an average pair of sneakers, they are also higher-quality, with extra attention to detail. I also didn't get any blisters breaking them in, which rarely ever happens.

I own and love P448's John Low Top Sneaker, which I purchased in the white/floral pattern, which is sadly no longer available. They come in a variety of other fun colors and styles—including John sneakers similar to mine that aren't low-top.

How are P448 sneakers sized?

Some sneakers are “true to size,” meaning they line up perfectly with those metal foot contraptions at the shoe store. (It’s called a “Brannock device,” in case you ever need that information for some reason.) P448 shoes don’t do that, but instead have custom sizing for their products.

The good news is, their website includes a helpful sizing chart to help you make sure you get the right fit the first time. They show you how to measure your own foot, and then include charts for each shoe they offer to help you find the right fit. Whether you need a regular sneaker size, narrow fit, or wide option, they claim to have a variety of sizing accommodations.

Where to buy P448 John sneakers

You can buy P448s directly from the company, but you can also grab them at retailers like Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, and more. Here are a few links to help you get started.

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Prices are accurate at the time of publication but may change over time.