Haute Macabre : Please Explain | Haute Macabre

Please Explain

Over the last 15+ years, I’ve only owned one pair of tennis shoes.  My mom got me a pair of Converse for Christmas about five or six years ago, and my feet rejoiced at a break from four inch heels.  It was a short lived phase, mostly because I’ve never found sneakers that I liked.  They always look so… lazy.  The sneaker craze is enormous in the U.S., and I never quite understood why.  Despite my thinking that it is perfectly acceptable to spend a month’s rent on a pair of heels, I never understood how someone could throw down $100+ on a pair of Nikes.  An old friend of mine in New York collects Nikes.  He has literally hundreds of pairs, and I remember staring in confusion at his floor to ceiling wall of orange boxes.

Aren’t sneakers meant to get filthy?  To run around in mud or paint your house in?  Aren’t they the dress down shoe?  I am convinced they are, or upscale venues would allow them in their dress codes.  The Converse that I mentioned earlier are now covered in paint and have been buried in a dark recess of my closet due to inactivity.  Can they actually be considered a fashion statement, other than going to the gym?  Or should I just file them away in all those other fashion trends that I’ll never understand?

Don’t get me wrong – I get that there are many, many folks out there that don’t get the wear all black, all day, every day thing I’ve got going on (I do throw in gray from time to time, but you get the idea).  I understand that there are people out there that prefer comfort over aesthetics, and that there are even people out there that think sneakers DO look good.  I no longer wear 4 inchers every day, in fact, I can barely even walk in them anymore.  More often than not, I wear my Frye Veronica boots, since they look great with almost anything, and I never had any unfortunate break-them-in time.  I also have a collection of flats that have served my comfort zone well, so I’m left with an overwhelming feeling of WHY WOULD YOU WEAR THAT?!

Yes, yes… Different strokes for different folks, and all that.  Maybe some of you could explain it to me, or, better yet, what fashion trends, genres, and items boggle your minds?


Anatomical Keds via Street Anatomy

24 Comment

  1. I agree, for me, sneakers are for the gym and sandals are for the beach and are not appropriate any where else. I live in the mid-west and there are girls who whip out the flip flops at the first sign of spring, even if it’s still cold (of coarse girls in Wisconsin are also still wearing messy buns and pajama pants, ick!) I always though flip flops looked like they were meant to be worn a few times and then thrown away. Uggs are ugly (lol) and crocs are the foot wear sin of sins to me.
    I have a pair of heeled leather boots for the fall and winter, a pair or low heeled mary-janes for the spring and summer and running shoes for when I work out, ONLY when I work out. I’ve always been more comfortable in heels though since I’m mildly autistic and one of the symptoms of that is that I tend to but my weight on the front part of my foot, sure if the heels are super high they get a little uncomfortable, but I need at least a little bit of a heel or I just feel awkward.

    p.s. the whole hip-hop trend with the flat soled sneakers that aren’t even laced up is just stupid but, I guess, what can you expect from the cultural group that convinced guys it was cool to have your ass hanging out over the back of your pants?

  2. I myself tend toward boots. Flat combat-style boots, silly 6″ platform boots with buckles, and, ideally for daily wear, boots with a slight toe platform and chunky heels. When I used to walk 5 miles or more a day because I didn’t have a car, I actually found that if the heel was one of the wide ones and not a stiletto, some elevation at the back of my foot was *more* comfortable.

    I don’t especially hate sneakers. I don’t *wear* sneakers, though. I have combat boots. Why bother?

    The trend I hate with a spitting passion is those awful mid-calf-length pants. GUYS! You are only making your legs look short and stubby! Is that really what you want? Really?

  3. I would not have an issue donning sneakers with any clothing ensemble if only there was an easthetically pleasing pair that actually fits……and has support.My feet are too wide for converse and my arches are too low for vans.I dont protest this style of shoe as much as I do jeans.Modern fashion does perplex me if people use clothing to cover their bare flesh then why not liberate the creative senses…….with some creativity!…..but Alas!I live in suberbia .

  4. I wear skate shoes 95% of the time. Mostly because I have been on a constant quest for the perfect pair of boots for the last 10 years and have yet to find them (let alone save up the $$$$ that I’ll need to fork over for them). Most of my wardrobe is far too casual for heels. This isn’t because I prefer casual clothes, it’s more of a necessity since I cannot currently afford nicer clothing.

  5. I’ll chime in on the “awkward feet walking in heels hurts” chorus, but I have several pairs of combat or motorcycle boots that I switch off, as well as some Via Spiga low-heeled boots (I can’t wear anything knee-high because my calves are huge compared to my feet). For the summer I have two pairs of Skechers sneakers– one black mary jane-style with ornate cross embroidery, another “bike” style sneak with a japanese-inspired brocade print. Those are the closest things to real sneakers that I can bring myself to wear when not jogging– and even then I feel a little weird in them.

    I like jeans, preferably either bondage-style or trouser jeans. I need seriously stretchy pants to deal with my curves, and regular slacks just don’t cut it.

    Squid– you make me laugh! I lived in Lincoln Park for the last 5 years and it is disgustingly true.

  6. I couldn’t agree more with the Uggs or Crocs sentiments above.

    I lived in Santa Barbara for a few years, and it was infested with girls in super short pleated skirts paired with Ugg boots in various colors. It made me effing gag every time I’d see one. I mean, it’s Southern California for eff’s sake, not the tundra. Are heavy duty winter boots REALLY necessary?

    And Crocs are just disgusting.

  7. Oh yeah. Uggs really bother me. Or worse, the Chicago classic outfit for rich girls with no taste. Uggs, “Juicy” sweatpants with the words on the butt and a North Face jacket. I lived in the midwest for 24 years and never NEVER wore a North Face jacket. *puke*

    When I see anyone who’s not ill wearing sweatpants or god forbid, pajama pants, outside the house, i want to choke them. Is it really, REALLY that difficult to put on a pair of trousers or even jeans? I don’t get those girls who have perfect hair, apply all their makeup, and then leave the house in a college sweatshirt and pajama pants but wearing a full face of makeup and perfect hair. It baffles me.

  8. I have back problems so wearing heels is a big no no for me, and they’re just plain unconfortamble because I tend to walk a lot and it would kill my feet. That said…I’m totally a sneaker person, I even wear them with dresses, I have different models in lots of colors, and I actually like the versatility of sneakers pattern and color wise, because I get a sort of diversity most shoes do not have. Yes, there are truckloads of models that are plain ugly, but I do take pride in having girly but not corny models that are not your run of the mill sneakers.

    Now, Uggs and crocs I do not get…they are just…plain butt ugly

  9. Most of the time, sneakers definitely look too casual. But Skechers makes some almost dressy shoes that have sneaker-like soles. I wish I could wear high heels everyday, but for medical reasons I need totally flat, supportive shoes — so black Skechers it is. I like to think I still pull off an elegant, all black look despite the sneakers.

    I second the vote against Ugg boots. Why in the world would anyone wear something purposefully ugly? They’re not even a grotesque sort of ugly. They’re just boring and ugly.

  10. I think with the widened introduction of casual fridays and lower workplace dress requirements, people are just carrying university dress codes into their adult lives.

    As for sneakers as objects, I don’t understand the nike’s trend, but I lust after other brands: Replay, swear etc make just nice shoes, they aren’t one type of shoe, they aren’t another, but they are designed with the comfort level of a sneaker in mind.

  11. I work retail and have a deformed bone in my leg. I consider myself a fashionable girl (I do have a BFA in fashion design after all!) but I just can NOT wear heels every day. I wear them out clubbing and such, but i would seriously physically dammage myself if i wore them to work or for more than 2 or 3 hours a day.

    Flats are nice, but since they don’t lace up and my gait is awkward, i often find myself stepping out of them accidentally, which is impractical.

    So, i find myself defaulting to a pair of all black (with the black rubber soles) hi top chucks. I like them because they’re simple, black, sturdy, support my ankle a little bit and look streamlined.

    So for me, sneakers are just a nessicary practicality. But then again, i was sorely, sorely tempted by some all black nikes that had glow in the dark bats on them. But I like bats.

  12. I hate jeans and most sneakers to my eye are sloopy. I wear orthepidic mary janes to my work, but i love heels. and i have to say i dont understand uggs, as they seem to be unflattering on everyone.

  13. Maybe if there were a version of that heart-sneaker that featured anatomically-correct images of what the foot muscles looked like…maybe then sneakers would be OK.

    I do look forward to donning my cute Rocket Dog sneakers for trips to the gym. They may not actually be perfectly gym-appropriate footwear, but again, cute.

  14. Sneakers and I began our relationship back when I started playing basketball, way back when I was someone else. Because of my profession, it’s a little difficult to wear them on a dialy basis, as there aren’t many suits that match Puma’s speed cat or those Iron Maiden Vans I love so much, let alone air jordans, aaaanyway… They represent that part of me that didn’t succumb to law school, I guess.

    Or maybe they’re just comfortable and it feels good to kick off the dress shoes and slip into them.

    As for the things I don’t get… I suppose I’ve trouble with those boots that have the fur looking thing at the top, especially in sunny Mexico. Just… Why??

  15. I respect all tastes, but yeah, not a sneaker gal myself. Even though I’ve seen some fairly creative takes on them (like the ones pictured here!), I’ve still never seen a pair that would ever go with any of my clothes!
    I also can’t bring myself to do denim jeans. They suit some people, but I don’t feel comfortable in them at all.
    The style trend that has always confused me most however, is UGG boots.I understand that they are warm. For this reason I could happilly wear them around the house, or to nick to the shops to grab some milk or whatever….but as a fashion accessory? Worn with an outfit…on purpose? Just… WHY???????

  16. I despise jeans. They never fit correctly.

    I prefer to wear my frye boots as well, but sometimes wear converse, if I’m going to be working 14 hours. Sketchers had a cute mary jane w/ red embroidery, which I wore until it dies.

  17. I don’t wear sporty sneakers, but I am a flats girl. I’ve been a hairstylist for 10 years now and I couldn’t imagine standing on the ball of my foot all day! (I’ve tried, ouch!) And I like my back the way it is- straight. I’m a die hard boot girl, I collect them and plan my outfit around them.
    The only pair of “sneakers” I own are the lovely converse boots that are black suede with patent leather trim I got in Montreal. I get compliments and make friends every time I wear them!

  18. Honestly, I feel the same way about heels. They look good most of the time but I just couldn’t wear them all of the time!

    It may be because I live in a very hilly NZ city where everyone walks and wearing heels is just impractical.

    I prefer the comfort despite the fact that most sneakers are ugly. I just hope and wish that someday someone will make a range of gorgeous girly sneakers that can be worn for “good”. For now I’ll continue to wear my kind of cute but not at all gorgeous sneakers and be ready to head out the door and walk 10 blocks to a bar whenever I need to.
    And I still manage to do the all black all day every day (with an occasional hint of pink or gray) thing.

  19. I don’t get it either. And gold sneakers? C’mon people, how awful is that?

    Ah well, this means more pretty shoes for the rest of us!

  20. I’m so happy to find someone who feels the same way. I feel like sneakers look really lazy, too. Especially bright white ones. They’re just so aesthetically BORING to me, especially since so many pairs are so bulky and shapeless. Since I now live in a city where you have to walk a lot, I finally caved and bought a pair of tennis shoes. They’re black and purple. And yes, they’re really comfy. But I still hate them.

  21. I’m with you, I wear my duo boots all winter it seems and crazy sandals all summer, the tennis shoes, they are strictly for moving and yard work, I’d rather be barefoot than wear nikes.

  22. For me personally it is because of comfort and I don’t wear the running shoes with everyday outfits. Maybe a pair of Keds with a design on them (my favorite pair ever was one for 80%20 that had a sakura tree on it)with my outfits. That way when I am chasing my dog or just walking around I don’t have to worry about tripping on heels (which I can’t wear because of a pinky toe problem, which safe to say has bothered me all my life left me asking my mom why she never got it amputated only to leave her telling me no doctor in their right mind would do that). I could see how a lot of people would be perplexed by this style choice, but for me it bemuses me how people can wear jeans all the time. I don’t own a single pair… skirts and dresses and a nice pair of dress slacks yes, but jeans, no. I don’t understand why people think wearing jeans all the time looks good. I guess that everyone has their preferences and yours and mine are probably more likely to clash with the majority of society.