by Stephen Garner

Two long-time friends, Dave Cory, former director of product at Converse, and Arnaud Delecolle, founder of NYC streetwear brand Alife, have teamed up to launch a new footwear brand.

Drawing from 20 years of experience, Delecolle and Cory have set out to make sneakers that make a difference. The result is a multi-faceted collection of fashionable and functional men’s footwear dubbed Obra.

What sets these sneakers apart from the rest is a lightweight “Working Footbed” built of dual-density thermos-formed EVA and premium microfiber lining that provide lasting comfort and stability. Proprietary extra tall vulcanized foxing tape and rubber outsole supply durability and traction. And slip-on friendly side zippers on high tops and exaggerated finger loops across all styles promote an easy fit.

Obra is also on a mission to give back. The founders have made a promise to donate a share of revenue to non-profit organizations that advocate for the arts, education, and/or civil liberties within local inner-city youth communities. Its inaugural partner in such charitable collaboration is Red Hook Labs, to which $10 of every pair sold will be contributed.

Retail prices run from $120 to $150; current retail partners include United Arrows in Japan and Barney’s New York.