Sneaker Mania. Yay or Nay?

Thursday, 28 February 2013
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Photo credit: Vanessa Jackman

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Photo credit: Garance Dore


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Photo credit: Elle UK


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Photo credit: Vanessa Jackman


Remember Air Jordan rage in the 80s? Some of you might have been a wee baby then but the rest of us were caught up in the mania. Michael Jordan signed a contract with Nike and THE Air Jordan hi-top sneaker was born. They were cool. Every teenager or man wanted one. Some collected them. Sneakers or trainers or whatever you call these became the best thing next to sliced bread.

When I was 16 or 17, I begged my mother to buy me a pair of Reebok runners. I  was utterly convinced that I was going to be able to run like the wind in them. "I'm representing the school for the track events. I have a better chance of winning", I argued. At RM90 in those days, the Reebok sneakers didn't come cheap. Never mind I came in second, if you counted from the bottom up. All the cool girls in school wore them. I wore mine till they fell apart and promptly swore I'll never get into these strange sneakers/jeans combo again lest I looked like a tourist.

Most of us stoically swallow every blister and pain while we wear heels in the name of vanity just because they make our legs look longer, our feet more photogenic (an important fact if you're hoping to get papped at Fashion Week) and somehow our hips seem to sway from side to side on their own accord albeit with an added sexual appeal. Who knew the genius that is Isabel Marant would add a wedge to sneakers and combine comfort with coolitude? The similar optical illusion still exists because we now not only have legs that seem to stretch right up to our armpits, we can finally walk for hours without having to carry an extra pair of flats.

sneakers copy
1. Nike Air Vortex  2. Isabel Marant Baya  3. Nike Air Max 90  4. Nike Wedge Sky Hi   5. Nike Air Base  6. Isabel Marant Wila  7. Isabel Marant Baltimore  8. Nike Blazer leopard print



The long waiting lists and sold out banners were enough to convince every shoe company to get in on the act. The craze is also perpetuated via the internet which of course, traveled like lightning speed across the world. I rejoiced the day I saw a few fashion editors and trendy fashion show attendees wore sneakers instead of their usual heels. I'm easily influenced especially when a trend works to my favor.

Sportswear companies like Nike and Puma refused to be outdone by fashion houses decided to re-vamp their running shoes with bright neon colors and marketing through the right channels (aka Asos, Liberty etc). For years, we run to our workplace in our sneakers and then swapping shoes at our desks. Now, it's cool to stick on these super trendy sneakers on all day (company rules permitting).

I'm in the "yes" camp which comes to no surprise after remonstrating enough about my lack of aptitude for wearing heels. I confess I love the attention my wedge trainers get (when it was brand spanking new aka clean) and that extra 2.5 inches is precious to a dwarf like me. It meant that I could at least talk to someone's face rather than their Adam's apple or armpit. In fact, I've worn mine so much that I've been thinking of getting a pair in black. I realize that wedge trainers do not necessarily appeal to the masses. Which camp do you belong?



28 comments:

  1. I'm in the "yes" camp and have been trying to look for a pair of leather sneakers for a while to no avail. I know, I'm picky and am not quite a big fan of high-cut sneakers. I hope with the current trend, I'll be able to find something I want! (something akin to the Adidas Superstar II but simpler) ;)

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  2. I love my Lanvin black satin leather-lined sneakers and wear them often. I think the IM wedge sneakers are a little too trendy for me. I prefer a classic slim sneaker. Or my Nikes for work-related travel or exercise.

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  3. I've been resisting but these women make them look positively chic. I don't know if I can pull off those really bulky dancing looking ones. I'm sure they are perfection for travel so I really have to get into this! (they certainly can't look worse than the UGGs Im currently wearing!)

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  4. I really love the sneaker trend but am not so enamored with the hidden wedge version. They look pretty from the front but seem really strange looking to me from the side. I have a really simple pair of black leather Margiela sneakers that I wear all the time ... not as pretty as the IM sneakers but way more comfortable. Love your blog, btw.

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  5. With three pairs of IM sneakers, I can only be in the "Yes" camp!
    But I guess I'm far from those who really have a collection.
    I've been eyeing for running shoes and the pink pair on the last pic is quite tempting !
    But i guess it's always useful to have a nice pair of heels for formal or chic occasions.

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  6. I'm still totally lovin' my IM Bazils and wear them a lot. I really like how sneakers have become more versatile over the years.

    xxTheresa

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  7. I'm definitely in the "YES" camp! :D I wish I could wear sneakers to work. Apart from my IM sneakers, I love to wear Converse sneakers, such a classic.

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  8. Seeing you in your Marants inspired me to get into wedge sneakers, and now I have 2 pairs. Finally, I can be trendy and comfortable (and a bit taller!).

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  9. yes!! :D

    i walked all around SF in my marantish sneaker wedges and it was really the perfect all-day shoe for travel :)

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  10. Sneakers forever. I love to wear Jordans, especially black patent Spizikes. I dress as the occasion sees fit so I need to be casual I reach for ballerinas or my shiny Jordans.

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  11. You know I've been on the hunt for a nice pair of wedge sneaker since forever. Taking the kids to the playground in boots just looks down right odd and I hate the way my shoes disappear into the bark whenever I'm wearing flats. To me, most versions have the opposite effect of the leg lengthening properties heels are known for. I find the high tops cuts the leg at a weird section so unless you have supermodel legs, most people I've seen end up looking shorter when they wear them. I love IM's Baltimore and Baya, to me they are the perfect wedge sneaks. Low rise with a comfy 3 inch heel but alas I just cannot justify buying them. I actually found a pair sold on Amazon by Sketchers that look EXACTLY like the Baya. I'm pretty certain those are bordering on copyright infringement, which is probably why I couldn't find those shoes anywhere else. Anyway I'll stop boring you with my nonsense. That's a yes from me.

    xx Jenee C.
    {camo meets couture}

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    1. I think they can't be too high or else they just make our legs look shorter. I'm eyeing the Baya at the moment. I've seen big companies that are copying designs off the runway. Guess they've got plenty of lawyers to help their case if they get sued.

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  12. I am too stubby for flat sneakers, otherwise I'd definitely would be going for them! Love the idea though and look so comfortable.

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  13. I think it's so cool that the sneakers are back in fashion favour. And I believe that there is a way to wear them without looking like a tourist in search of directions. I say yes to the wedge sneakers because I also need lifting;)
    Catherine xo
    www.pearlsandcaramel.com

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  14. I'm a yay - but so confused as to which way to go. I'm jumping from one extreme to another. I'm not sure I suit hi-tops though there are so many lovely designs out there and that consequently knocks out half the choice for me. We won't know till we find them but the search is fun.

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  15. A big yay from me! I've two pairs of wedge trainers and am determined that this year I will add a pair of Ash Genials in clay to my collection. I love them!

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  16. Love them!!! I have 8 pairs of Ash wedges (that may constitute an addiction!)and I have noticed that Clarks have some interesting ones on their website(at a bargain £54.99) but they are unavailable at the mo.

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    1. I didn't know Clarks is coming up with their own version. There's a store just down the road from me. I should check them out.

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  17. I love them although I wouldn't wear them. Strange that two of my three daughters love fashion and are really trendy but I can't make either of them wear a pair!

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  18. Definitely yay, you know me! The first pic makes me want to wear my Bazils tomorrow...Bises

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  19. Yay for me! But I'm loving my black Superga low top sneakers and wearing them with everything. Not the same look as the cute wedges but I love the French-Converse type style with more comfort that Converse.

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  20. I'm def in the yes camp too. I remember asking for a pair of Reeboks also ;)

    Still on the fence about sneaker wedges. I have a few pairs of normal ones that I rotate on a regular basis (with the bonus of not having to bring a change of shoes to work when I decide to hit the gym during lunch) and I definitely won't mind a bright pair which I don't have yet..

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

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  21. Trainers? Oh, yes. While I love my heels, there really is nothing more practical than trainers to run around the city in.

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  22. Nay for me. I can't pull off that Sporty Chic vibe and I don't think I want to :) I mean, I gave it a go. Seeing how they're all the rage, I figured I'd get me some wedge sneaker action since, I so naively thought, it's a style everyone can wear with panache, right? Wrong. In all fairness, it's not them, it's me.

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    Replies
    1. Sheel, I say stick to your gorgeous bada$$ heels. You rock in them in ways that I never ever can.

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    2. Sheela- I'm with you! It's a huge NO for me. I just can't do sporty chic or even casual chic. It's just so wrong on me. Plus I'm still a bit scared from being that really skinny kid with huge feet during gym class;)

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