Sneaker Comparison: P448 Mid Tops vs. Steve Madden Serena High Tops

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Hello TME crew. Welcome to another fun comparison of a higher-end brand to a less expensive brand. We all always want to know “are they worth the price tag?” You know I love doing these posts with jeans, so I thought I’d foray into sneakers. (Also, #puppypaws above are killing me.)

Cam and Shana casually mentioned this brand, P448, when discussing their love of the Golden Goose sneaks, and I had to investigate further…mostly because they mentioned they’re half the price. I can thank my mom for instilling me with the love of a better deal. But at over $200 I was still skeptical…who needs sneakers that are that expensive? Will they chip in and do some chores for me at that price? #iwish So I ordered a few pairs to see what the deal with higher-end sneakers was.

P448 Love Mixed Media High Tops

Tee – XS | Overalls (similar)

P448 Love Mixed Media Mid Tops — First off. These are SO rad. I mean. Look at them. You can see why I wanted to try them. I love that they already have that broken-in look, they have a cool combo of mixed textures and colors, and they are truly comfy inside (padded heel!) I also adore where they hit on my ankle. SO FLATTERING. And the copper snakeskin? Stahhp it.

BUT, honestly the only problem I had with them (sadly, it’s a big one), is that I don’t freaking fit European sizing. I’m right between a 38 and 39. Meh. Most brands don’t offer a half-size in between. They got everything else right with these though. I would imagine they will break in a little bit and possibly could be stretched out, but hmm. It is an investment to start with, and I kinda wasn’t up for spending that coin and then hoping they’d break in. Bleh.

Steve Madden Serena

 Blazer – S | Jeans – 6P (run small) | Sneakers – TTS

Tank – S | Bra – S | Leggings – S

Steve Madden Serena High Tops – First off, I will say this jacket is making these sneaks look pretty rad, but these shoes stand on their own even without a fab plaid jacket. They’re comfy, fit well, and have that cool mix of textures/fabrics that the P448 have. PLUS, they’re part of the #nsale and are under $60. I know. They fit TTS and come up higher on the leg than the P448 high tops, which, besides not having the cool broken-in factor, is my only draw back with them. They are definitely stiffer and not buttery soft inside like the P448 are, but, they fit my foot. A win for shoes, in my book. I think they’ll eventually gain some of that broken-in vibe, but it’ll just take wearing them. And I want to! Because they’re cool. They even look rad with workout clothes.

BTW: Cams Tried Them in Black

Heya! Cams here. I am a tried and true Golden Goose fan, as Laura mentioned, but that said…I can always appreciate a more affordable option (not everyone is willing to spend upwards of $500 on a pair of sneaks). So.

I tried on the Steve Maddens and, overall, I think that for the price (under $100) they are a great option. They’re comfortable (once the laces are loosened up a bit) and with my years of experience with Maddens, I’d say they will last a good amount of time. My only thing to note — they can be hard to zip up. The glitter makes them a bit stiff on the sides. That said, I did find that loosening up the laces made it easier to zip them up.

plaid blazer charcoal grey jeans high tops

black sequin high top sneaker

Blazer – size S, (similar style here) | Top – size 6 | Jeans – size 4 | Sneakers – TTS, size 9.5

And Just For Funzies, I Tried the Low P448’s, Too

P448 Mixed Leather Low Top – Love these. I was more on the hunt for the high top, but wanted to compare. These are my favorite of the two lower versions. Again, they’re super-comfy inside, but the sizing was off for me. Buttery soft interior though! (It sounds like I’m talking about a pastry…)

Tank – S | Jeans – 27

P448 Miami Sneakers – Super cute. Didn’t love the darker suede color, but again with the fit issues. Just a little too in-between sizes. This style with the darker color makes my foot look really short, too. Or maybe that’s just me?

Shop More Sneakers with That High-End Vibe


This was such a fun experiment. The overall take-away for me is that IF the sizing had worked better for me, I think the price point of the P448 shoes would be worth it. If you’re a sneaker girl like me, you know you get great wear out of your rad comfy shoes like this. BUT, this is why we try these things out. And I’m so glad I did. I can definitely feel the difference between the brands here, but it still comes down to fit and budget. I hope this try-out session was helpful. Let me know if there are any other brands in this style you love!



Be sure to follow me on Instagram @elletrain to see daily outfits, what I’m currently whipping up in the kitchen, and of course, Sienna’s dance moves. And don’t forget about LikeToKnow.It for easy peasy shopping of the looks I’m wearing!






About Author

Meet Laura! She's a reader turned contributor and we couldn't be happier to have her as part of the team. Her fun, creative style is, as she says, "somewhere between Madewell and Joan Jett" (YES.) and she delivers some mean dressing room selfies so keep an eye out for those. Fun fact? She loves getting her hair cut and we love to see what she has up her sleeve.  

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  1. Love the comparison! Such a bummer about sizing! But happy to see a discussion about that..some shoes people rave about just don’t work for my feet (those gorgeous Eileen Fishers that Shana posted about for example just killed the balls of my feet!)

  2. Elizabeth Rafter on

    You girls know I love pretty much everything you do, but I can not, for the life of me, wrap my head around the already dirty sneaker trend. It truly boggles my mind. I just can’t even. I like the idea of the Golden Goose and the P448 shoes, but when I see them, I want to take a magic eraser to them. 🤷🏼‍♀️ I think I’ll stick with my most expensive sneakers being my Adidas Ultraboost X’s which I wear EVERYWHERE. And are bright and shiny when new! 😂 PS…the silver Steve Maddens are super cute!

  3. Personally I prefer the Maddens too. The P448’s hightops are just not good looking and they almost look like they already smell bad! lol. Other than that…..You are totally my style hero!

    • Omg haha. You guys are cracking me up. They didn’t smell bad but I totally get they aren’t for everyone. The reason I love them is because they aren’t bright white which has always been tricky for me to wear. It’s like destroyed denim though and I know it isn’t everyone’s taste. Thank you so much, lady. I’m glad you read despite our occasional differences. haha.

  4. Initially I was in total lust with the P448’s in your pictures. But after a couple people commented that they look dirty/stinky I clicked through on the link for a closer look and I do see what they are saying. The view of the top of the toe with the grayish laces does look dirty. Which THANKGOD because that totally saved me almost $300… (which I wouldn’t have spend on a sneaker anyways). I do like the glittery high tops a lot. I recently purchased a pair of the Rifle Paper/Keds high tops AND a pair of the low tops and love them both. Have you checked them out yet?

    • Haha. I think that’s why I like them so much is because they are already broken in! But I totally get that isn’t for everyone. I’ll have to check out the Rifle Paper/Keds! Love Rifle Paper. Thanks mama!

  5. I love the blazers with sneaks on both of you! Though I find the idea of sneakers that cheat (zippered closures and laces just for show) to be disappointing, especially at the #almostamortgagepayment prices.

  6. Samantha Zutler on

    Ok, so how do the P448s compare to Golden Goose’s, because they look similar and are like half the price!

    • That is a great question! I think Cam and I need to compare notes and see! That’s why I was so interested in trying them. Guess I need to go try on some GG somewhere.

  7. Samantha Zutler on

    I just ordered a pair of the P448s. I’ll try them on and report back! (I was between sizes on the GGs and found them kind of clunky). I AM ON THE CASE!!

  8. Hi there! I purchased the Steve Madden ones during the Anniversary sale (the ones Laura wore) Any additional styling ideas?

    • Hi! I kept the Steve Maddens so you’ll be seeing them with various styling! Sadly, mostly with a raincoat probably here in Portland, haha, but I’ll see what else I can come up with!

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