Germany Army Trainers
If you’ve ever wanted German Army Trainers, now might be one of the better times to get a pair. Readers might remember when Jesse wrote about them last year. German Army Trainers (or GATs for short) are simple white sneakers accented with a bit of grey suede at the toe. They were designed by two brothers who would later go on to launch Adidas and Puma, which is perhaps why the design feels so familiar.
For many people, the easiest and most recommendable source for GATs is Zeemon – a StyleForum member in Germany who has been supplying people with these shoes for years. Unfortunately for us - though fortunately for him - he’s moving to Japan in April for a study abroad program. Which means if you want a pair, you should contact him soon. He’ll send you a pair for $85 flat, and you can either message him on StyleForum or email him here for details.
Another option is to go through ajdesa – a StyleForum member who’s organizing a bulk-buy for slightly used trainers. Used pairs can be found through military surplus dealers on eBay Germany, but you’ll have to deal with Google Translate and not all sellers are willing to ship to the United States. Plus, ajdesa is selling them for slightly less than what you’ll find on eBay. Since he’s a new user, however, I’d recommend paying him through Paypal, but via your credit card, so that you get a bit of protection in case anything goes wrong. You can private message him on StyleForum if you’re interested.
For the most affordable (and easiest to order), there’s JC Penny, who surprisingly came out with a GATs inspired design this past season. Cost? $25.50 with the code LASTDASH. I haven’t handled them, but some people have reported them as being surprisingly good for the price.
Lastly, if you have a bit of money to spend, the current round of seasonal sales makes this the best time to snag a pair of Margielas (the most popular replica). End has a 60% off sale going on right now with a couple of Margiela GATs priced between $215 and $250.

Germany Army Trainers

If you’ve ever wanted German Army Trainers, now might be one of the better times to get a pair. Readers might remember when Jesse wrote about them last year. German Army Trainers (or GATs for short) are simple white sneakers accented with a bit of grey suede at the toe. They were designed by two brothers who would later go on to launch Adidas and Puma, which is perhaps why the design feels so familiar.

For many people, the easiest and most recommendable source for GATs is Zeemon – a StyleForum member in Germany who has been supplying people with these shoes for years. Unfortunately for us - though fortunately for him - he’s moving to Japan in April for a study abroad program. Which means if you want a pair, you should contact him soon. He’ll send you a pair for $85 flat, and you can either message him on StyleForum or email him here for details.

Another option is to go through ajdesa – a StyleForum member who’s organizing a bulk-buy for slightly used trainers. Used pairs can be found through military surplus dealers on eBay Germany, but you’ll have to deal with Google Translate and not all sellers are willing to ship to the United States. Plus, ajdesa is selling them for slightly less than what you’ll find on eBay. Since he’s a new user, however, I’d recommend paying him through Paypal, but via your credit card, so that you get a bit of protection in case anything goes wrong. You can private message him on StyleForum if you’re interested.

For the most affordable (and easiest to order), there’s JC Penny, who surprisingly came out with a GATs inspired design this past season. Cost? $25.50 with the code LASTDASH. I haven’t handled them, but some people have reported them as being surprisingly good for the price.

Lastly, if you have a bit of money to spend, the current round of seasonal sales makes this the best time to snag a pair of Margielas (the most popular replica). End has a 60% off sale going on right now with a couple of Margiela GATs priced between $215 and $250.

The German Army Trainer - GATs - A Sneaker Icon
It can be maddeningly difficult to find a simple pair of sneakers.
If you’re comfortable with something that’s heavily branded, there are some decent options. There are Adidas Stan Smiths and Sambas, Nike Air Force Ones and Tennis Classics, Converse Jack Purcells and Chuck Taylors. But when you’re looking for something without a logo on the side, your choices narrow dramatically.
I recently went on a quest for all-white summer sneakers, and ended up with a pair of Common Projects Achilles, the laughably expensive (but tastefully simple) designer sneakers favored by streetwear enthusiasts. I paid for them with some store credit to a website that had been gathering virtual dust for months - I was days away from using it to buy artisinal sausage links. If you haven’t returned something expensive for credit lately, though, CPs might not be an option for you; the retail on the Achilles was $380. The shoes are made in Italy and the materials and build are excellent, but there are few among us who’d feel comfortable dropping that kind of coin on sneakers.
The good news is that there’s an alternative.
There is one simple leather classic that bears no brand: the GAT, or German Army Trainer. As the name suggests, it was designed for use in the German military, who’ve been using them for decades when exercising indoors. The simple, utilitarian style has inspired famous designers to knock them off - the Maison Martin Margiela version costs about $500. Adidas has knocked them off as well, but adding branding to a shoe whose raison d’etre is its unbranded aesthetic seems a bit silly.
The real deal is still being manufactured, though, and like most military surplus, they’re reasonably inexpensive. The only tricky bit is that they’re tough to find outside of Germany. You can search on eBay, where, for example, this seller is selling them for about $50, shipped, and says he has a variety of sizes. You can also use the search terms “bundeswehr turnschuhe,” “bundeswehr hallenschuhe,” and “bundeswehr sportschuhe" on ebay.de to see if you can turn any more up. They tend to sell for about $30-50, with an additional $25 or $30 for shipping. (You’ll need an assist from Google Translate here.)
There are also German style enthusiasts willing to proxy. One who’s gotten good reviews on StyleForum is this guy, who sells the shoes new for $85, including shipping to anywhere in the world. That’s a lot to pay for surplus gym shoes that go for $30 or so in Germany, but what you get is a genuinely iconic shoe, and I don’t use that term lightly. Simple, unbranded and imminently wearable: qualities that are shockingly difficult to find.

The German Army Trainer - GATs - A Sneaker Icon

It can be maddeningly difficult to find a simple pair of sneakers.

If you’re comfortable with something that’s heavily branded, there are some decent options. There are Adidas Stan Smiths and Sambas, Nike Air Force Ones and Tennis Classics, Converse Jack Purcells and Chuck Taylors. But when you’re looking for something without a logo on the side, your choices narrow dramatically.

I recently went on a quest for all-white summer sneakers, and ended up with a pair of Common Projects Achilles, the laughably expensive (but tastefully simple) designer sneakers favored by streetwear enthusiasts. I paid for them with some store credit to a website that had been gathering virtual dust for months - I was days away from using it to buy artisinal sausage links. If you haven’t returned something expensive for credit lately, though, CPs might not be an option for you; the retail on the Achilles was $380. The shoes are made in Italy and the materials and build are excellent, but there are few among us who’d feel comfortable dropping that kind of coin on sneakers.

The good news is that there’s an alternative.

There is one simple leather classic that bears no brand: the GAT, or German Army Trainer. As the name suggests, it was designed for use in the German military, who’ve been using them for decades when exercising indoors. The simple, utilitarian style has inspired famous designers to knock them off - the Maison Martin Margiela version costs about $500. Adidas has knocked them off as well, but adding branding to a shoe whose raison d’etre is its unbranded aesthetic seems a bit silly.

The real deal is still being manufactured, though, and like most military surplus, they’re reasonably inexpensive. The only tricky bit is that they’re tough to find outside of Germany. You can search on eBay, where, for example, this seller is selling them for about $50, shipped, and says he has a variety of sizes. You can also use the search terms “bundeswehr turnschuhe,” “bundeswehr hallenschuhe,” and “bundeswehr sportschuhe" on ebay.de to see if you can turn any more up. They tend to sell for about $30-50, with an additional $25 or $30 for shipping. (You’ll need an assist from Google Translate here.)

There are also German style enthusiasts willing to proxy. One who’s gotten good reviews on StyleForum is this guy, who sells the shoes new for $85, including shipping to anywhere in the world. That’s a lot to pay for surplus gym shoes that go for $30 or so in Germany, but what you get is a genuinely iconic shoe, and I don’t use that term lightly. Simple, unbranded and imminently wearable: qualities that are shockingly difficult to find.

To go with my mandatory Andre Benjamin reblog policy, I’ve added a mandatory Junghans Max Bill reblog policy. In this case, the chronograph with date. Doesn’t get much more beautiful than this watch.

To go with my mandatory Andre Benjamin reblog policy, I’ve added a mandatory Junghans Max Bill reblog policy. In this case, the chronograph with date. Doesn’t get much more beautiful than this watch.

(Source: airows, via youdontmeet)

Artist Simon Menner found these remarkably spy-looking photos in the archives of the Stasi, the East German secret police force. They illustrate how to blend in with your surroundings. (As long as you are surrounded by bad guys from Rocky & Bullwinkle.)

via Joshuah Bearman

It’s On eBay
Stowa Automatic Watch, Circa 1970s
I’m a big fan of a distinctive watch for more casual wear.  I often wear an Omega Dynamic, which has a similarly space-age aesthetic.
Bidding starts at $199, or Buy It Now for $225

It’s On eBay

Stowa Automatic Watch, Circa 1970s

I’m a big fan of a distinctive watch for more casual wear.  I often wear an Omega Dynamic, which has a similarly space-age aesthetic.

Bidding starts at $199, or Buy It Now for $225

Another in our series of photos of real men dressed well - this time a triptych from Florian, of Germany.  I love the way the relatively neutral tones of the coat and scarf give way, upon close inspection, to a riot of color.  Florian is dressed for the cold, but he isn’t letting winter win.