Best Foot Forward: One Up by World Balance
Looking for a stylish shoe without going over your budget? Try checking out One Up by World Balance. Yup, you heard me, World Balance, a local brand here in the Philippines known for their stylish silhouettes like the Invictus and featured collabs with Secret Fresh, Mickey Go, Star Wars (to name a few) have their sub-brand called One Up which caters to people who are looking for affordable kicks. These sneakers have modern designs that are on par with other brands that offer kicks on the Php 3,000 range. If you want to look at their product catalogue, click <HERE>. I have 2 pairs here that I will be reviewing, the Cassius and Darko. Both shoe retails for P999.
The Cassius is what I would describe a cousin of World Balance's famous silhouette, the Invictus. It has a bulky or what others call "dad shoe" look. This beige colorway is perfect for those people who want to rock that monochromatic vibe on their fit. They made sure to add layers of leather to give the shoe some character since it has a one shade upper. The synthetic leather and mesh upper looks and feel durable enough in case you want to add it in your regular rotation.
The midsole is made up of EVA foam which is on the firm side. It doesn't feel clunky or blocky, thanks to the segmented rubber outsole underneath which acts as flex grooves. Since it is segmented and not having full coverage underneath, I think it helped them reduce some weight on the shoe.
The Darko is a shoe that I would wear on quick runs to the store where I would just spend just a couple of hours. Made from predominantly textile upper, it feels light and the pull tabs on the tongue and heel area makes it very easy to wear. It has that sporty look and the EVA foam used here is light and has some give to it. There are some thin fuse overlays on the toe area particularly on the high-wear areas to add durability. Some synthetic material on the side near the collar to add structure and a thin TPU clip on the heel area as well just to give support as well.
Lightweight is the main theme for the Darko silhouette so they removed the usual rubber outsole. In this case, they added some texture underneath the midsole to provide some grip. This is not new and in fact other brands also use this setup in some of their lifestyle kicks that have a sporty look.
For One Up kicks sizing, I suggest getting your EUR size since I personally think this would is the best way to get the right fit in case you don't have a chance to try them in store.