Living in urban cities my entire life, my preferred mode of transportation has always been my two feet. So my barking dogs — and having lower back issues — always needs shoes with tremendous support. And, fortunately for me, I have found the most comfortable shoes out there, and as far as there goes.
Atoms, launched in summer 2019 by Pakistani husband-and-wife team Waqas Ali and Sidra Qasim, makes an every day unisex shoe. So what’s so special about that? Well, these shoes, get this, come in, wait for it…quarter sizes! That’s not all. They also allow you buy shoes based on the size of each foot. Finally, a company (and the only shoe company out there…) that addresses the reality of humans having two different sized feet.
Atoms have a try-at-home model, like Warby Parker. They will send you three pairs and you keep whichever left and right shoe fits you best. So, if your left foot is size 10.25 and your right foot is size 10.75, then those are the shoes you keep. Cepish?
These sneakers are not fancy, come in one style and only a handful of colors. But they are very practical, and simple so they can be paired with everything in your wardrobe. My first time wearing them, I walked about three miles, and continued to do so for 30 days. (I could have walked 500 miles and I would walk 500 more.) Many days in the rain, too. Spoiler alert: they’re not water resistant.
The moment I took my first step, it felt like I reached footwear nirvana. You can take your Clarks and Vans and Crocs and Kurus and even Allbirds. Other than Rockport, these are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. They will even make Iggy Azalea want to give up her Louboutins to walk a mile in them.
In addition to how comfortable these sneakers are, the copper yarn-lined insoles help ward off odors. So Atoms has that going for them too, which is nice.
One of Atoms’ major selling points are their elastic laces. They’re meant to be tied once and stay tied, presumably forever, giving you a more slip-on shoe. Which is very helpful for going through airport security. The slipping off part is relatively uncomplicated — you either pull it off with your hand or utilize ye olde method of applying-force-from-front-of-one-shoe-to-rear-of-other shoe-then-using-big-toe-to-get-other-shoe-off. However — and here’s a major caveat — when slipping on, be sure to hold onto the tongue like grim death. Otherwise it gets all foozled and hard to grab and adjust — mainly because the laces are tied so well. Oh, the irony.
$129 – $169, atoms.com
Most recently, Atoms, based in Brooklyn, New York, near the epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak in the United States, has started making masks. Their non-medical face mask ($10), like their shoes, are copper lined and are hand washable up to 30 times. Face masks are the accessory of the present and foreseeable future. Look good in one…from six feet away.