I bought my first pair of Superga sneakers six years ago in Firenze. We were walking by the Palazzo Pitti when I noticed a Superga sale sign in front of a shop by the name of Sportando. I’d tried on a pair in the past but had decided then that I was in between a size 39 and a size 40. Since the canvas sneaker didn’t come in a 39.5, I’d resolved that it wasn’t meant for me. Superga was born in Italy, and the opportunity to acquire a pair whilst in Firenze was too appealing to pass up. I left Sportando with a pair of the 2750 Cotu Classics in navy, and I’ve been wearing that style constantly for the last six years. Although I’ve owned them in black and white, I always have a navy (or blue graphite) pair on hand.
I’m not sure what happened the first time I tried them on, but I discovered that a size 39 fit me perfectly at my second fitting. According to the size chart, a 39 in European sizes is equivalent to a U.S. women’s size 8. I wear a U.S. 8.5 or 9 in shoes depending on the brand/type. To ensure the best fit, I highly recommend trying on two sizes. This may sound like a hassle if you are ordering online rather than trying on in store, but these shoes are worth the effort. I order most of my shoes from Zappos because shipping and returns are fast and free. When you are trying on your Supergas, you’ll want to lace them up properly and tie them too. The vulcanized rubber sole is heavy, and the shoes will not stay on your feet if you skip this step.
If you have any doubts as to whether this sneaker is for you after trying them on, I’d like to encourage you to sleep on it. Try them on again the next day. Walk around in your house a bit. The thick, vulcanized sole is the best part of the shoe. Vulcanization is the process by which the rubber is hardened. Thanks to this process, the 1-inch sole acts as a cushion and absorbs the impact from the pavement. I don’t think this information appears in any official writing; I know from experience. The 2750 Cotu Classic withstands a beating on old Italian streets like no other sneaker. I never leave the country without a pair. In fact, the one time I swapped this style for the 2790 Acotw, I regretted my decision not to bring both styles. The 2750 Cotu Classic is essential.
If I buy a pair right before a trip, I spend about a week breaking them in prior to taking off. You will need to break them in, but the process isn’t terrible. However, I don’t recommend trying to meet your 15,000-step Fitbit goal in these shoes during the break-in period. I know it is time to replace my sneakers when the heel has been run over with wear. I replace my navy pair approximately every 2-3 months. After they’ve expired, they become very uncomfortable to wear.
If you are wondering if these sneakers provide arch support, they don’t, but I find that the shock-absorbing sole is fair compensation. I don’t require a high level of arch support in general, so I wouldn’t be able to predict how comfortable these would be for someone who does. Also, I suspect that there wouldn’t be enough room to place an insole inside. They are cut a bit low on the ankle, and I couldn’t imagine wearing an insole on top of the already-cushioned sole anyway.
Now to cover the topic of cleaning. I don’t usually clean my Supergas. I might rub the sides of the cream-colored sole with a disinfecting wipe if I’ve worn them in the rain. However, the white pair is a different story. I don’t recommend submerging your sneakers in water and neither does Superga. The following are the official cleaning instructions to follow if you choose to use a washing machine: While we do not recommend washing your Superga shoes, you may be able to wash our Cotu styles. The best way to wash our Cotu shoes is in a pillow case, cool wash and powder detergent (not liquid), leave laces on so you don’t lose the shape of the shoe and hang to dry naturally, not on a radiator.
You won’t find me putting my sneakers in the washer; I clean mine with a firm toothbrush and a small cup of Tide (in liquid form) over the bathroom sink. I wet the toothbrush, dip it in Tide, and scrub the outer surface of the shoe. I rinse the brush clean and swipe it in a downward motion on the canvas to remove the detergent. Being careful not to get the inside of the sneaker soaking wet, I also hold the shoe upside down under the faucet to aid in the rinsing process. Placing washcloths inside the sneaker may be helpful, as is holding it with your hand inside for stabilization purposes. If you choose to wash your sneakers in my preferred manner, remove the laces before you begin. Wash them by hand in the bathroom sink and hang to dry.
It goes without saying that Superga sneakers are extremely versatile if you purchase a versatile color. I’ve even worn the navy pair with dresses to holiday parties. More often than not, I wear them with Bombas no-show socks (no other socks will do). Sometimes I wear them without socks, but I try not to make it a habit. I often wear them with tights in cooler weather. Supergas are truly a year-round staple.
Update (25 March 2023): I no longer recommend Bombas no-show socks due to a change that was made in the composition of the fabric towards a higher percentage of polyester/spandex/nylon. When I started buying these socks in 2018, all colors except for white were made mainly (if not 100%) of cotton and lasted for years. With the current style, a hole appears after the first wear.