If you’ve been hanging out here for more than five minutes, you know my love for my P448 sneakers runs deep.
These shoes are definitely a splurge, so if you’ve been debating a pair or are just wondering if they’re worth it, I’m breaking down all the important things to know about quality, comfort, sizing, styling, pricing, and durability. I’ve also got tips on where to find them on sale, as well as some lower priced alternatives.
I bought my first pair of P448s three years ago when I looking for a lower cost alternative to the cult-favorite Golden Goose. That shoe search spawned my first Fashion Sneakers Review post, where I tried 9 pairs of fashion sneakers and listed their pros and cons.
Ironically, the P448 wasn’t the sneaker I ended up keeping at the time. That’s when I discovered the Veja Esplar, which I still have and love. But I kept feeling drawn to the style of the P448s, so I tried them again the following year (see my 2020 Fashion Sneaker Reviews) and that’s when I became a convert.
P448 John in White/leb Brown (older style) // AGOLDE denim
Since then, I’ve purchased several pairs of P448 sneakers and tried many more.
I love the attention to detail and all the fun colors and patterns and textures. It’s such a fun way to express your personality in subtle ways. Plus, I live a very casual life, and these sneakers provide the perfect marriage of comfort and style for so many of my everyday outfits.
About the Brand
P448 is an Italian luxury sneaker brand that incorporates a mix of street trends and original designs. Each shoe is 100% made in Italy with meticulous attention to detail, and because each pair is made by hand, no two are exactly alike.
They’re constantly coming out with new styles that combine colors and patterns and textures in different ways, and no detail is overlooked. I love how they even change up the colors on the bottom of the shoe.
Are P448 Sneakers Comfortable?
All P448 sneakers have a remarkable amount of padding around the collar and a cushioned footbed. They’re also lined with a moisture-wicking terry cloth material for added comfort and breathability, making them a year round shoe.
P448 John in Guantino on sale at Nordstrom Rack
The Thea has a platform and a slightly narrower toe bed, and I wasn’t able to wear these comfortably. The Jack is more similar to the John, and the newest addition to my P448 collection. I like them, but they’re stiffer and heavier than the John, and they also have a chunkier profile.
I’ve also noticed that the ones with the suede on the topline are more comfortable than the leather, but I have a pair of each and I love them equally. I choose the style I want to wear based on which complements my outfit best.
As to the overall comfort level of these sneakers, I have literally walked miles in these shoes. I brought a pair with me on my last trip, and I walked all over the city wearing them, without a bit of discomfort.
They’re also incredibly durable. The only reason I have purchased so many in the past two years is because I’m always trying to make sure I have current styles to link for the blog. I was sad to pass along my first two pairs, but I was able to sell them for a decent amount because even though I had worn them a lot, they still looked great.
Some are designed to look lived-in and already have some smudges around the base, but some are more pristine, so you have a lot of options based on personal preference. The nice thing about the lived-in look is that you don’t have to worry about scuffing them up or keeping them clean.
P448 Sneaker Sizing
I generally find the P448 sneakers to run slightly small, and their sizing has become more consistent over the past few years.
I used to have to try both the size 38 and 39, and I needed the 38 in my first pair, but the last few pairs I tried all fit best in the 39. I also wear a 39 in the Veja and an 8.5 in the On Cloud brand, for size reference.
If in doubt, it’s always best to order from stores with a generous return policy so you can order two sizes and decide between them in the comfort of home. For this reason, I recommend buying P448 sneakers at Zappos, Bloomingdales, or Nordstrom.
Why Are P448 Sneakers So Expensive?
Each pair of P448 sneakers is made by hand by Italian craftsmen, and the quality of materials and attention to detail is exquisite. They’re also remarkably comfortable.
Of course, price is partially determined by supply and demand, and there’s a point at which you’re paying for the brand, but I feel like that’s more true with Golden Goose than with the P448. Golden Goose run upwards of $500 a pair, and I don’t think they are any better quality or any more innovative or unique than the P448s.
The full retail price of women’s P448 sneakers is usually right under the $300 mark. Like everything else, they’ve gone up in price a bit in the past few years. My first pair was $265, and I got them on sale at Neiman’s. Now they typically run $298, and some styles are a bit more. The good news is, you can frequently find them on sale.
Where to Buy P448 Sneakers on Sale
Because new styles are always being introduced and older styles discontinued, it’s not hard to find P448 sneakers on sale at any of the major retailers that sell them. Right now there are a lot of P448s on sale at Nordstrom, and there’s an incredible selection at Nordstrom Rack.
In fact, I just realized they have my P448 John in the Guantino, which I thought were sold out!
How to Style P448 Sneakers
Depending on your personal style, you can pretty much wear P448s with anything from cutoffs to dresses, but I wear mine mostly with jeans or denim shorts in the summertime.
P448 John (old style) // Free People camo tee // GAP denim (old style)
They also pair well with joggers and utility pants, and you can wear them with leggings as well.
How to Tie P448 Sneakers
I get this question ALL the time. Of course, you can tie them like any regular sneaker, but I personally like to tie them on the sides, as shown in all of the pictures above. For one thing, it looks more intentionally styled. It also allows the detail of the tongue to shoe, which is part of what makes the P448 sneaker styles so much fun.
The other reason I like tying my shoes this way is so I can slip them on and off without tying and untying every time. Once you tie them this way, they stay put and you don’t have to futz with them ever again.
Because I get this question so often, I had Alison shoot a quick video of the process. Basically, all you do is put on the shoes and make sure the laces are tight enough. Then tie a little knot at the end of each shoelace. Very simple, but the video should make it clear if you haven’t figured it out yet.
Are P448 Sneakers Worth It?
Of course, this depends entirely on your budget and how often you expect to wear them. It also depends on how much you value luxury goods. While P448 sneakers are trendy and you may not have them in your closet for 10 years, if you wear fashion sneakers on a regular basis, the cost per wear should average out over time.
For me, they’re definitely worth it. It’s not about the name or the status; if it were, I’d go for the Golden Goose. I actually prefer the styling of the P448 to the Golden Goose, and they fit my feet much better. I also love the details and the uniqueness of each shoe, but it’s the combination of quality materials and supreme comfort that keep me coming back to this brand again and again.
P448 John in White/leb Brown (older style) // AGOLDE denim // Marrakech jacket (older style)
If I wasn’t trying to keep mine current for the blog, I would still have my original 3 pairs and probably wouldn’t have added any new ones to those, but I really love the new spring styles that are out right now. I’m planning to keep the P448 John in Molly, and I hope they stay in stock for a while!
Can You Recommend a P448 Dupe?
Gola for J.Crew (older style)
If you don’t have the budget or just can’t bring yourself to drop over $100 on sneakers, there are definitely some good alternatives out there. I’m not a fan of dupes that are an exact copy of a designer brand, but here are some good options that give you a similar look for less.
The Sam Edelman Aubrie sneaker is a great option. It’s been around for a few years, and I tried it once in the black, so I can attest to the quality and comfort of this shoe. Best of all, it’s currently on sale at Nordstrom Rack for $54, and there are a few other colors at HSN.
Vintage Havana does a similar style to the P448 and Golden Goose brands. You can find tons of them at DSW and some at Macy’s. And Gola is another sneaker brand that does some fun styles. You can find Gola at DSW and Zappos, and also at J.Crew.
I hope this post was helpful, if you’ve been wondering about P448 sneakers. If you have a pair, I’d love to hear from you. Do you think they’re worth it?
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photos: Alison Cornell