Rothy’s finally made a lace-up sneaker, and it’s amazing

By Lauren Steele

Everyone needs a pair of bright, simple sneakers that are casual enough to go with anything, but snazzy enough to look put together. Rothy’s has just launched the perfect pair for women.

Rothy’s is known for its modern, palatable styling for women’s footwear and bags. We’ve recommended its mainstay design, The Flat, as one of our go-to office favorites, and The Handbag is as sensible and cute as they come. But even more impressive is the brand’s dedication to sustainability. Every design that Rothy’s rolls out is made with a knit fabric that is made from recycled plastic—a benchmark that leaves almost every other brand in the dust. Oh, and the fabric is 3D knit to ensure far less waste than typical textile manufacturing creates.

The brand’s new sneaker—The Lace Up—fits perfectly in the Rothy’s casual, cool, eco-friendly lineup. It’s the first laced shoe that the brand has launched, and it’s a wonder that it took so long. “We’ve wanted to add a laced silhouette to our collection for some time now, but it was important for us to make sure we got it right,” Lavion Gibson, senior design manager at Rothy’s, says. “We set out to capture the timelessness of a laced sneaker with three key differentiators: simple and sustainable construction, undeniable comfort, and fresh colors.”

Rothy’s finally made a lace-up sneaker, and it’s amazing |

[Photo: courtesy Rothy’s]

We have to say—laces made from plastic water bottles and all—Rothy’s knocked it out of the park. And this is one of the least wasteful sneakers you can wear. According to Gibson, the final product reflects the “less and more” idea—less of the unnecessary components you’d find in a traditional sneaker, but more comfort and material thoughtfulness.

The Lace Up features a completely 3D knitted upper, molded into a classic round-toe design. The knit fabric on The Lace Up is made from 100% recycled materials and hand-crafted with minimal waste (as usual). The extra special aspect of the design is how Rothy’s tackled the additional components needed to make a comfortable, durable sneaker—because flats and sandals don’t need tongues, laces, or beefed-up soles, but a sneaker does.

To accommodate, the design team at Rothy’s created a special two-part footbed—made out of plant-based materials—to provide extra support and cloud-like, moldable comfort underfoot. The footbed, along with a cushy fabric collar that hugs your ankle and a lined tongue, all amp up the sock-like comfort of The Lace Up. One of the most unique design elements of The Lace Up is the terry cloth-lined tongue. It’s so soft, and—as Gibson puts it—”it’s the element that gives the shoe a cloud or slipper-like feeling.”

Rothy’s finally made a lace-up sneaker, and it’s amazing |

[Photo: courtesy Rothy’s]

Out of the box, this sneaker is made to feel amazing on your feet. The flat sole of The Lace Up is just thick enough to feel substantial, but not beefy enough to feel clunky—giving the sneakers a silhouette that balances perfectly between classic Keds and the Old Skool Platform from Vans.

One of the coolest parts of The Lace Up that you can’t see or feel is the BTS of the design story—even though the sneaker was designed completely during the pandemic. “Our design team is based in San Francisco, and all of us were sheltering in place during the development of this shoe,” Gibson says. “Fortunately, we own our own workshop in China and could lean on our team there when we weren’t able to travel. We relied heavily on video, Slack, and Zoom to rapidly iterate and communicate in real time about the design. We navigated colors, textures, and materials, fit testing, quality control, and beyond, all while we were spread around the globe.” In total, The Lace Up went through seven rounds of remote fittings between March and June. Then, it went through three rounds of long-term wear-testing—with the product team wearing the shoe all day, every day around their apartments, homes, and backyards.

Pretty cool, huh?

The Lace Up is available in five different colorways: bright white, vanilla, navy, spearmint, and lilac—each with a complementary honey brown or pure white outsole and fun little design elements such as lightly striped laces. Women’s whole sizes 5-13 are available (no half sizes), and each pair costs $165. The Lace Up is available now on Rothy’s website.

The Lace Up – $165

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