The Koio Capri Triple White and the Common Projects Original Achilles are two minimalist leather sneakers that I’m comparing in this article.
These two brands, which fall into the upper price range, are what I’m concentrating on.
Without a doubt, everyone is constantly searching for a less expensive, similarly-quality alternative for the Common Projects Achilles.
Many different sneaker brands produce a shoe like this. I’ve only given a few a shot.
I’ve been sporting Common Projects for the past seven years. In those seven years, I’ve owned three pairs.
With very heavy frequent wear, I would guess I get three to three and a half years out of a pair.
I’ll be open and admit that I’ve never actually looked for a less expensive option. The first pair of Common Projects I owned, I adore.
They were amazing quality, incredibly long-lasting, and comfy. I really adore the silhouette and style.
I’m completely willing to pay the price for a certain item once I find one that I like and that is of great quality.
However, that doesn’t preclude you from being able to find something of similar or equivalent quality at a lower price, and that’s what I’m going to discuss right now.
Why Do Common Projects Cost So Much?
So why do Common Projects cost over $400?
First of all, Common Projects is a premium brand. Therefore, you must pay the luxury premium—or luxury tax, if you prefer—for the name.
Second, there is a markup as a result of it and a markup as a result of the fact that they don’t sell them directly. They sell them through other luxury stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Mr. Porter, Ssense, FarFetch, and Neiman Marcus.
The price is pushed up since the brand and the retailers both need to make money.
Third, they are of great quality. Excellent workmanship and top-notch materials come at a quality to you.
Now let’s talk about direct-to-consumer brands, of which Koio is just one. Brands like Koio are able to provide a similar quality product at a much lower price point by removing the middleman, or the retailer, and selling directly to you.
How do these compare then?
I’ll go over all the details of the Koio Capri Triple White before going over all the details of the Common Projects Original Achilles.
I’ll discuss the similarities and differences between the two, make a thorough side-by-side comparison, and then give you my opinion on which I believe is better.
Koio Capri Triple White
The company Koio was established in 2015 by two German sneaker enthusiasts. Italy’s Marche area is where the shoe is manually made.
It is made of Vitello calf leather, which is renowned for both its durability and smooth feel. The interior lining is made of leather; the majority of it is a soft Italian calf leather, with the heel cup having a suede texture.
It boasts a Margom sole that is both incredibly durable and light, and waxed cotton laces. Koio branding may be found on the heel, the tongue, and the sole in addition to hand-painted edges.
Priced at $295 and available in US sizes seven through 13, without half sizes.
Common Projects Original Achilles
In 2004, Flavio Girolami and Prathan Poopat together founded the brand. Its headquarters are in New York.
The actual shoe is hand-stitched and made of Italian Nappa leather in the Marche area of Italy.
With a suede finish in the heel cup, the lining is also leather. Margom sole, cotton laces, and no branding outside of the footbed.
On the side of the shoe, behind the heel, you do have the numbers in gold. The style number, the European size, and the color number are represented by those three sets of numbers.
Price: $410, available in European sizes 37 to 46.
Similarities Between Common Projects and Koio
Let’s examine a few of the similarities.
First, the style.
These shoes all have essentially the same silhouette, profile, and shape. They appear similar from the side, from the top, and even up close. They resemble one another almost exactly.
They both then have the Margom sole. It has established itself as the industry standard for sneakers in this class since it is lightweight and durable.
The fact that both of these shoes are incredibly comfortable is the third similarity. They do, in bit, take some time to break in, in my experience. Even though they are made of leather, they feel wonderful on the feet once they have broken in because the leather is incredibly supple.
Differences Between Koio and Common Projects
Naturally, the price difference is the first and biggest difference.
$295 for Koios and $410 for Common Projects. It’s the price you pay for luxury and not selling directly to customers.
Although the details of these shoes vary slightly, they are remarkably similar to one another.
The angle of the leather coming down on the toe box varies slightly. The Common Projects have a slight curve, whereas the Koios are more straight.
The Koio includes an additional piece of leather on both sides, whereas the Common Projects only has stitching, and you might argue that the stitching makes it look more minimal.
Koio lacks padding at the top of the tongue, although Common Projects does. But compared to Common Projects, the Koio has greater padding around the ankle.
In comparison to the Common Projects, the Koio has a larger piece of leather on the heel. Additionally, there is a little extra strip that runs downward where the Common Projects is simply stitched.
Similar lace widths, but the Koio laces are wider than those of the Common Projects.
Compared to Common Projects, the Koio has a lot more branding. The Koio logo may be found on the sole, heel, and base of the tongue. Additionally, their tiny graphic logo is located on top of the tongue.
The gold numbers on the side are followed by a logo for Common Projects on the footbed of the shoe.
There is a small size difference between the two, in my opinion. The Koio’s are just a little bit shorter than the Common Projects. The same is true for width, but in this case the Koio is a little wider. And by slightly, I mean by the order of a millimeter.
Finally the weight.
A weight disparity exists. Koios weigh a little bit more than Common Projects. The Common Projects weigh 491 grams, or 17.3 ounces, or 1.08 pounds, while the Koios weigh 514 grams, or 18.1 ounces, or 1.13 pounds.
One shoe is heavier than the other, but I won’t claim you can feel the difference.
Now a complete comparison, side by side, head to head.
I’ll start with the place where they are produced.
These two pairs of shoes are produced in Italy’s Marche area. Both are made with Italian leather. While Common Projects use Nappa leather, the Koio use Vitello calf leather.
However, I must admit that the two leathers have a very similar feel. If there is any change at all, it is perhaps a tiny bit smoother on the Common Projects.
They are both Margom soled. The same profile applies to both style and aesthetics. Although there are a few very slight aesthetic differences, I’m going to suggest that both of them win this round and we’ll declare a tie.
The Koio has more branding, although some could say it’s more understated than the gold numerals on the Common Projects.
Both pairs of shoes are incredibly cozy. Tied there as well.
There is no comparison in price. Koio clearly takes the lead.
Which is Better?
The key issue at hand is which is better. The Common Projects Original Achilles or the Koio Capri Triple White?
I’m not here to advise you on how to spend your money.
In this case, where the shoes are so similar, the idea of “what is better” truly does become rather subjective, price aside.
Consequently, if you’re looking for a white leather minimalist sneaker of this style and are torn between the Koio and the Common Projects but price is a factor, I would buy the Koio Capri Triple Whites without a second thought.
You are receiving a premium item that is very similar to the more expensive Common Projects.
The choice is ultimately up to you if price is not a factor.
They are both excellent sneakers, as this article has shown, and they are both similar. There are a few extremely little stylistic differences.
With the Common Projects, you are gaining a little bit more of that status and luxury brand experience. Just decide for yourself if that is worth the extra money.
The bottom line is that you can’t go wrong with either of these shoes.
How much you are willing to spend is something you must decide for yourself.