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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

212

On Wearing Running Shoes (All the Time)

Last weekend, my younger sister schooled me. We were home visiting our parents, taking a walk to the bookstore, and I told her the girl I was (kind of) seeing broke up with me. She seemed disappointed, put an arm around my shoulder in consolation, and, looking down at my feet, stopped suddenly.

“Wait, Adam,” my sister hesitated, “were you wearing those shoes when she broke up with you?”

“Yes,” I said, looking down at my worn running shoes, dirt stains covering the sky blue Nike Free Run label, “yes of course I was wearing these.  They’re my shoes.”

“Adam — you can’t wear running shoes with girls — it’s not hot. Period.”

I remembered hearing this once in high school. I ran cross-country back then (read: I was a dork), and a female friend pulled me aside once after class and told me to stop wearing old running shoes to school if I wanted to make out with girls. “At least wear those cool New Balance shoes with the big “N” on them — those are okay.” She saved my adolescent life. After I started wearing “cooler” shoes — understanding the difference between kicks (you are cool) and running shoes (you are a loser) — Nike and Adidas and Saucony and New Balance and Asics all make both kicksand running shoes, don’t get them twisted — girls actually did talk to me more. 

I felt so enlightened by my discovery — it was like I had sipped from the fountain of life — I saw it as my duty to share the love with other unfortunate losers still in the dark. Anytime I saw a guy wearing running shoes not running or at the gym or on the way to the gym, I politely dropped some knowledge. “Yo man, here’s the deal. You can’t wear those beat-up running shoes out and about. You need to get yourself some kicks if you want girls to like you.”

And so it went through college and into the real world; I paid attention to the shoes I wore, and paid more attention when a girl came to class in fresh kicks or badass knee-high boots or suede Wallabees or cool Chucks or cuter-than-cute Toms (say what you will about the degree to which Toms is or isn’t making an impact in the developing world, if I see a girl in a room wearing Toms, I talk to her — shit, if I see a dude in a room wearing Toms, he looks so cool, I talk to him).

Ten years after my high school awakening, my sister made me realize that, at the age of 29, a good five or even ten years earlier than most men, I had officially crossed the line between young adult and adult, between dude and man, between kicks and running shoes.   This is the line where comfort outweighs looking cool or picking someone up. This the line that says, “my knees kind of hurt so I’m wearing whatever fucking kind of shoes I want to.” When’s the last time you tried on a pair of Nike Frees? You feel like a nimble gazelle, gliding through the universe. Every time I try on a pair of Toms or Chucks or Vans or Keds or any other “cool” kicks with barely any arch support or cushioning that are all the rage these days, my feet cringe and my knees start to buckle in pain — it’s not like it used to be.

As I join the ranks of so many good men who have come before me, men like my dad and dads everywhere, men who, without batting an eye, without giving a shit, wear old running shoes from 1991 everywhere they go, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with shorts and jeans and khakis and dress pants, to bars and restaurants and parties and the office — I can’t help but feel some sense of maturity, some sense of wisdom, like I’ve completed a sacred rite of passage, like I’ve become a real man, free of the adolescent pressure of caring about appearances.

Single or (single), it feels good to wear running shoes all the time, it really does.

Smiley Poswolsky is a writer, and lover of life and people.  You can follow him on Twitter

212 Comments / Post A Comment

OhShesArtsy

Women, on the other hand, start wearing more uncomfortable shoes when they become adults. It's heels for me all day every day or I look like a teenager.

I kind of miss the days when wearing Chucks with EVERYTHING seemed like an appropriate thing to do.

(I was a Chucks with skirts kind of girl).

zeytin

@OhShesArtsy Oh no. I am about to turn 30 and I am at the same point as the author. I have just realized that I can not reconcile comfort/health and fashion, and I am not willing to sacrifice the former. I try to pick the better-looking of the healthy shoes but they are not remotely what I would actually pick based on aesthetics alone.

It's ballet flats for me on a special occasion and even those feel much more uncomfortable than my every day wear. (danskos in cold weather, birkenstock gizehs in hot weather).

My feet are just spoiled. Then again I don't actually have to look "professional" (why does this have to mean heels for women, ugh) very often in my life, so I guess I am lucky.

Terrifying Wife-Avatar

@OhShesArtsy Yes! I am wearing 15-year-old Chucks* right now! But with skirts I usually wear these Pumas: http://bit.ly/PmHc4O

*Remind me to start shaking my fist at young teens & insisting "I have SHOES older than you!"

fondue with cheddar

@OhShesArtsy NOT ME. Arch support all the way. I love Chucks but I can't wear them anymore. In fact, I never could wear them very much, which is why they're all still in good shape even though they're 10 years old or more. I love running shoes because they tend to be wider in the toes than other sneakers.

DianaPrince

@Nicole Sauvage@twitter What'd you do, duct tape them? My chucks have never lasted more than three years, max. I wear them as long as I can but there always comes the day when I ask, why are my feet soaking wet? And the answer is, there is a giant hole in the sole of your Converse.

nyikint

@xx-xx-xx I may or may not have lined my Tom's with heavy paper when holes appeared...hey, it's more arch support than they came with!

OhShesArtsy

@ALL A lot of it is that my job requires that I be dressed on the formal side of Office Casual at all times. My Big Boss wants us all to wear business suits every day but they would have to pay me a lot more to afford to do that. My job also requires that I wander around industrial plants* in my dresses and heels so we may chalk this up to my job is awful.

*I was in one today that was 135 degrees inside. I was wearing a "summer sweater" over my tank dress. God forbid the customer sees that I have shoulders.

ArgosMama

@zeytin, You and I could be shoe/comfotible twins!

fondue with cheddar

@xx-xx-xx Haha. That's the point, I can't wear them too much because they kill my feet due to their lack of support. I can only wear them once in awhile, ideally for short periods of time or when I'm not going to be on my feet very much.

One pair that I will make sure never wears out is a pair of red leather ones from the 80's. They're a whole size too big for me but I don't care because they are the coolest. They even came with an extra pair of fat red and white houndstooth laces!

Terrifying Wife-Avatar

@xx-xx-xx I have both a professional-dress job and a lot of shoes, so the Chucks have never gotten tons of wear. But I keep 'em around for weekends and summers and any other time that I want to salute my 23-year-old self.

DianaPrince

@Nicole Sauvage@twitter @jen325 Ah, that makes sense. Mine (whichever pair I am on) are my go-to comfortable shoes, so I wear them a lot when I travel. Walking around all day on cobblestones is killer on Converse. I've twice had to throw them away at the end of long trips (more room for souvenirs!)

Kate Kane

@jen325 Inserts! Yes, it's now slightly embarrassing to take the Chucks off in front of other people, but inserts with arch support are the only way I can wear them and a lot of other flat shoes. The inserts I have are great though, I went from office wear-only Chucks (...it was a relaxed office) to being able to walk a couple miles in them without regret.

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@all This is an entertaining thread to me, about the Chucks, because I was a Classic Men's White Adidas With Black Stripes kid (girl). Chucks were, I guess, more for the hip and/or punk white kids? I was basically a white kid, but neither hip nor punk. The Run-DMC shoe of choice spoke to me more, even though they were far before my time.

Liz Derosier@facebook

@OhShesArtsy My job also requires dressier clothes in stupid situations. As a catering/events manager I want to blend in with the party guests but still have to be on my feet for hours, and help with tasks like setting up and moving around tables. My solution is to wear my Danskos if I'm wearing pants, or if anskirt, up until the moment I have to be in front of guests. And on office days I switch it up - some days flats, some heels, some Danskos.

Lenora Jane

@OhShesArtsy Oh man, those were separate phases for us! Adidas was middle school, Cons high school, Vans college.

fondue with cheddar

@Kate Kane Yeah, I put inserts in some of my shoes. Chucks aren't wide enough for me anyway though, so even with inserts I can't wear them very long.

@Veronica Mars is smarter than me I wore those in college, but they were blue canvas with white stripes. I can't bear to throw them away. Run-DMC wasn't before my time (I was 12 when "My Adidas" came out), but it was still several years before I bought any Adidas of my own.

fondue with cheddar

@xx-xx-xx I would think Chucks would be better on cobblestones because the soles are so flexible.

OhShesArtsy

@Lenora Jane At my middle school, everyone had Timberlands (like, the hiking boots? I didn't, I thought wearing hiking boots to school was stupid) or Burkenstocks (I had knock off Burks, my parents balked at the price tag!).

In high school there was a split - some girls went the heels/strappy sandals route, some (like me) went the Chucks/Vans route. Then we all got uniforms my senior year and weren't allowed to wear sneakers so I wore chunky black combat boots that just barely fit in to the dress code every day -they actually specifically wrote out combat boots the next year, I like to think it was because of me. In the Summer, we all had those super thick, platform flip flops?? Those were strange.

College was all Chucks, Vans, and flip flops. I can't even with the flip flops any more, I feel like I'm running around barefoot when I try to wear them anywhere but to swim.

Lenora Jane

@OhShesArtsy I remember the platform flip flops! Mine were pink and had hibiscus flowers. And they were even worse than regular ones because the unwieldiness of the sole meant the thong part would pop out a lot easier and break...and you couldn't hop around with one on because of the platform

WORST SHOES EVER

Lenora Jane

@OhShesArtsy Also I guess that earlier comment was actually aimed at @Veronica Mars is smarter than me? Whoops

OhShesArtsy

@Lenora Jane My comment? Not really, I was commenting on your comment about when certain shoes were A Thing :)

Those platform flip flops were seriously awful business!

fondue with cheddar

@OhShesArtsy I had a pair of dressy platform sandals. They were really pretty, with embroidery and shiny things on them, but they had a really thick 1"-2.5" bottom and they were strappy with a closed back. So basically your foot bends when you walk but the shoe doesn't, and the straps dig deeply into your feet with every step. Even if they had been wide enough for my feet (which they weren't) they would have hurt like a motherfucker. Most painful shoes EVER.

MsMisery

@Nicole Sauvage@twitter I am wearing brand new Chucks!! Still trying to break them in, so I guess I'm straddling the line between uncomfortable footwear and looking-like-I'm-15 footwear. But they are HOT PINK, so probably the only one that knows they are uncomfortable is me.

fondue with cheddar

@MsMisery You really have to break Chucks in?

LastMinuteLulu

@OhShesArtsy I'll give you my chucks when you pry them from my cold, dead hands! I don't care how old I get.

Amanda@twitter

What high school did you go to where cross country = dork? Certainly not mine.

Xanthophyllippa

@Amanda@twitter I know, right? That was the sport for all the popular skinny girls.

D.@twitter

@Amanda@twitter I get it; cross-country was a fall sport, so all the "cool" dudes would have been playing football. Our cross-country team was populated by the same people who made up the Scholar Team in the spring. I totally would have been cross-country material, if I didn't hate running.

vunder

If you're going to insist on it, consider having a pair of "good" ones and a pair of "other" ones. Wear the clean ones every once in a while.

And also, you're basically no longer ever allowed to like one girl because she dresses cuter than another. I mean, if you're not concerned about "appearances" you can't choose your girlfriend with a cute style in mind.

barefoot cuntessa

@vunder My husband will never understand the idea of "good" stuff and "other" stuff. Whether its towels, jeans, shoes, or whatever he just does not get it.

zeytin

@barefoot cuntessa Yes!! Why are you wearing your nice shirt around the house, sweating in it on a hot summer's day?

damselfish

@vunder omg, I'm not the only one who does that? My family thinks I'm nutbars for it.

Just did that to a nice silk dress when I met a friend. Sweated aaaall over it and trying to figure out how to get stink out of a dry clean only dress. I was all SEE THIS IS WHY.

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@vunder This is actually really important if you actually use your running shoes for running!

First, you cannot just own ONE pair of sneakers. This is not good for you, your feet, or the shoes themselves. You need at LEAST two pairs of shoes to rotate between. Shoes take about 24 hrs to fully dry out from being worn.

Secondly, if you use the same pair of shoes to run as you do to walk around every day, they will get worn down quickly and will not be cushioning your footfall properly during high impact.

Thirdly, seriously, get some sneakers that you keep relatively clean and presentable looking! Ick.

Hot Doom

When I saw my supervisor (head of department at a major art museum) wearing her converse to work, you bet your bottom dollar I wore my chucks the fuck to work too.

ylime

@LolaLaBalc Yes. I saw my boss wear birkenstocks to work and now I wear my birkenstocks every day.

ylime

@LolaLaBalc I saw Cady Heron wearing army pants and flip flops, so I bought army pants and flip flops.

Hot Doom

@ylime Word. I remember a former supervisor commenting that she was glad I was hearing heels, because I was young (23 at the time) and I should wear 'em until I couldn't (and as a result, can barely wear them now at 28). I took that advice for years, and while I love me a fancy pump, my worn out knees are thanking god for delivering me to a less insane, more sensibly-shod department.

Blushingflwr

@LolaLaBalc My boss complimented me on my bright blue Chucks (they matched my outfit!)

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@Blushingflwr I feel I need to comment here because I also have a cat in my picture. Also... after working pretty hard to dress in a way that I would be "taken seriously" as the youngest person in the office, I finally just looked at my boss, and saw that he mostly wore zip-ups and sneakers. So, yeah, I wear my Vans sometimes. And I may have bought some of those Converse ballet flats. Best of both worlds!

cecil hungry

@Rookie Converse ballet flats? Tell me more, tell me more!

Verity

@LolaLaBalc I was considering wearing my Birkenstocks to work on a hot day recently, but worried they'd be too casual. I got there to find my manager wearing exactly the same shoes, with shorts. (I love how informal my workplace is in terms of clothes. It's fine to wear trainers and fleeces and jeans with holes in!)

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@cecil hungry Converse ballet flats: http://www.globoshoes.com/ca-eng/women/shoes/casual/88427251-vitantonio/62 I have them in grey. The red is also very cute. The soles are thicker than your average cheap flats, but they could offer a little more arch support.

ylime

I am... younger than 29 and I wear my birkenstocks all day, everyday. I can't help it! They're so comfortable!

I bought a pair last year, and they have become my every day shoes. I know they're not the cutest things in the world, but I don't know. I want to be comfortable goddamnit!

dotcommie

running shoes from 1991 aren't offering you any support either, bro. at least wear new shoes.

thanks to a running injury and the discovery of the havoc my flat left foot is wreaking on my ankle and knee, at 24 i've had to invest in some "comfort" shoes with arch support and whatnot. there ARE attractive ones, i promise. pain is no excuse for lookin' like a slob!

beeline96

@dotcommie Same problem here! Tendinitis in my left knee (plus insanely high arches) means I'm all about comfy, fairly fashionable professional shoes. I like Clarks, Naturalizer, and some other cute ones with cushy soles at Lord & Taylor (can't remember brands).

all the bacon and eggs

Apparently 29 is not old enough to know that men never get to complain about shoe discomfort to women, ever.

EternalFootwoman

@all the bacon and eggs I know! Any time a man complains about any fashion/clothing-related discomfort, I just want to laugh at him. Women's "nick" clothing is specifically designed to make her completely unable to walk, sit comfortably, eat a ton, or use her hands (if she's had her nails done). If you find formalwear that is comfortable, you talk about it all the time because it's unusual. A man has to wear a shirt and a suitjacket and he's hot? Cry me a river. I'll be over here in my heels and pencil skirt.

Mira

@EternalFootwoman While laughing alone with my salad because anything else will bust my Spanx.

Marquise de Morville

@all the bacon and eggs I think even men should be able to complain, there are enough ill-fitted, uncomfortable flat shoes out there for both sexes? Also, my husband wore my cheapo, high, strappy heels for Halloween for hours on end, and is way better at walking in them than me. I mostly wear flats but have miracle fancy sandals from Aerosoles for dancing (no blisters!). Comfortable formal wear is out there, too, it's just hard to find.

A Peach

@all the bacon and eggs

There is one area, however, in which mens' formal attire manages to exceed the absurdity of womens', and that is in ties: useless bits of cloth that gently, lovingly choke you all day long.

fabel

@all the bacon and eggs Ties, collar stays, all the buttoning up, tucking in, suit jacket, dry cleaning everything...I don't envy men at all. I can just throw a dress on for a formal even (although heels do inarguably suck)

SarahDances

I would wear my running shoes everywhere all the time with everything, if I could. Damn you, hot summers, and the attendant need for sundresses and non-athletic shoes!

Can I get an amen from my fellow plantar fasciitis peeps? Put your orthotics in the air!

RosemaryF

@SarahDances Word. My feet kill me the morning after my cutest dressy flip flops.

billie_crusoe

@SarahDances God, yes. Oh, for the days when I could wear shitty $2 flip flops all over campus and not be in pain.

Amphora

@SarahDances A-to the-MEN. My poor flat feet have been having a plantar fasciitis flare-up for a couple months now and even my cushy new Dansko sandals hurt like hell after a couple blocks. Why don't they just make orthotic sandals??

meaux

@Amphora. Ahoy, plantar fasciitis sufferers. If you are not already doing this, please begin immediately (unless you've already tried this and it didn't fix anything, as is often the case with PF remedies, in which case I am sorry): 3x daily, grasp your toes and pull them, as a unit, toward you, stretching out the bottom of the foot. Hold for 10 seconds. Do this 10x in a row, 3x a day, for weeks if necessary. Worked wonders for me.

Pyxis

I want to start wearing more adult shoes. Most of my shoes are either flip flops or Chucks, which on top of my shortness and baby-face makes me look even more like a kid. But heels huuurrrrttt!

Chesty LaRue

@Pyxis Something like this

http://inkedfashion.com/img/p/3115-4474.jpg

looks a lot fancier than a flip flop, but is still breezy and comfortable

sarah girl

@Pyxis Flats!!!

Better to Eat You With

@Pyxis If you want to, you can get used to them. My arches are so high that I'm more comfortable in heels than in flats--in fact, flats make my feet ache for days, even if I wear them for only a couple of hours.

The secret, for me, was to start buying good shoes that are well-balanced. And to work out regularly. I wear heels pretty much every day during the school year (I teach college), and never have back or knee problems as long as I exercise regularly, even with a serious knee injury in college that will never be properly healed. I'm almost 40 and have been teaching full-time for eight years, and I'm comfortable in anything up to a 4" heel, even standing up lecturing all day.

harebell

@Pyxis Or just get pretty sandals and oxfords. Better for your feet than heels or flip flops, adult, and nearly always cooler than heels too.

Katie Walsh

Smiley! I love this and had a similar realization recently. You would think it would be horrifying, but the realization that I only ever want to wear flat shoes and one piece bathing suits because, dammit, they're comfortable, is one of the most freeing things in life. Getting older! Embrace that shit.

Kristen

I am thirty years old and I have never in my life paid the slightest attention to the state of a man's shoes.

buttercup empire

@Kristen Me too. I read this and went "huh. Looking at a guy's shoes is a thing?"

wharrgarbl

@Kristen "Wears shitty running shoes all the time" frequently equals "dresses sloppily in pretty crap clothes all the time," though. Given how much time women are pressured into putting into their presentation, it kind of grates when a dude doesn't put in any.

leonstj

@buttercup empire - I'm amazed to find out this is not a universal thing. But it is definitely true. Quality of life improves drastically when a boy stops going to payless and buying whatever is in his size and starts giving a holler about his footwear.

buttercup empire

@wharrgarbl Fair enough. I can appreciate when someone is well dressed, but I guess it mostly doesn't register with me. I am also the girl who has worn a shirt inside out for the ENTIRE day without noticing and often forgets to look in the mirror before leaving the house.

sceps yarx

@Kristen I am super shallow, so I stare at everyone's shoes all the time. And judge them by their shoes. Not judge as in hot/not, but judge as in, trying to figure out what kind of person they are. It's a code! A shoe code!

Faintly Macabre

@buttercup empire Oh, definitely. One of my hobbies in college was hanging out near the MIT campus and looking for bright-white running shoes that had clearly only been worn on campus sidewalks and carpeted floors.

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@sceps yarx Yes! Deduce away! (Same goes for clothing, hair, any body piercings/jewelry, etc.) Also this was a trick my friend taught me to remember dudes we met on camping trips and other overnight things. Because you can assume each dude has only brought one pair of shoes with him.

puppyemissary

@wharrgarbl Maybe women are putting this pressure on themselves? This whole comment thread kinda' baffles me. People really still judge others on their appearance, especially how much money they put into it? I have a feeling this will be an unpopular opinion, but it's important to me. People who matter don't care, people who care don't matter? Anyone?

puppyemissary

@puppyemissary Okay, I may have overreacted. I'm fine with people spending their money and time however they want (as long as it doesn't hurt others.) My husband grew up wearing clothes and shoes from Goodwill and garage sales, and he always felt insecure. I get sad when I think about kids being judged for things like that. We worry about passing poor body image issues to our kids, I really think this could be seen as an extension of that. I just want everyone to be nice to each other and pay attention to the things that really matter...

puppyemissary

@puppyemissary I apologize. I'm upset about the line wrapping around Chick-fil-a and some racist customers I had to deal with today, and I think I was taking my "can't-we'all-just-get-alongsies" out on you all. Sorry, I'll be quiet now.

wharrgarbl

@buttercup empire That's usually where I'm at. I generally don't give a shit beyond "No, that level of dressing-down is not appropriate for the venue we're hitting." But so help me, if you give me static for not satisfactorily performing femininity while you're rocking rag-bag t-shirts, ratty cargo shorts, nasty-looking running shoes, and a five o'clock shadow, I will burn you. And it happens. Even with dudes who should absolutely know better.

@puppyemissary "Maybe women are putting this pressure on themselves?" Yeah, I don't really think so. Pretty much every environment I've ever been in or heard about where the women went feral and embraced the "ain't doing it if I don't wanna" style of presentation, the guys complained at length and made a huge show of paying way more positive attention to the women who stuck with traditional beauty displays. Intra-gender sartorial policing might be more generally noticeable, but it's not the result of some mass lady-hallucination.

But I don't think anyone's sitting here hating on you for your opinion, and I'm sorry you had to deal with that bullshit irl yesterday.

buttercup empire

@wharrgarbl ahh...gotcha. Yeah I'm with you. I actually get that the most from my brother. He's in jeans and a t-shirt and he'll tell me I need to put on makeup. At this point, I generally start singing "You're so vain" to him and then ignore that nonsense.

sceps yarx

@puppyemissary Gosh, it sucks that your husband had to go through that. Kids (and adults) can be so mean. And clothing (like everything else) can be used for lame in-group out-group games.

That being said, I'd like to present my 'Defense of Fashion'.

1. Aesthetics. We all have to wear clothing anyways, so why shouldn't it be beautiful and fun and interesting? It's like hanging your favorite painting on the blank white wall of your apartment. Except, your apartment is your body and your clothes are the painting and you take it with you when you leave!

2. Self-expression. When I get dressed, I think of it like a way to use my outside to show what I'm like on the inside. I'm a fun-loving person with a serious artistic streak, and I like to think my purple hair and funky clothes project a good warning about that. I had a friend who was a baker and a poet, and he always wore a white button down shirt. I have a friend now who's a biologist and she wears simple, functional tanks and REI pants. I know fashion is not her priority, but her clothes still tell me about her practicality and confidence.

3. Social commentary. Remember in the 60s when everyone was into the 'atomic age' look? All polyester and googie prints and Star Trek dresses? And then the hippies responded with natural fabrics and feathers and not bathing? Fashion can be a way to engage in top-level cultural conversations. What we wear shows and shapes our priorities and our beliefs. What does it mean to womankind if you, as a woman, choose men's wear? Or a glitter miniskirt? Or a printed caftan? There's a dialogue between a woman and her culture, and clothing is part of the conversation. Or battle, if you prefer.

4. Body positivity. Clothing is a wonderful way to celebrate our bodies. The best way to feel positive about the shape of yourself is to wear clothing that fits and flatters. I will never forget the first time I bought a size AA bra designed for grown-up women instead of teenagers. Or when I realized that slightly higher waisted dresses flatter my round stomach without hiding it. I love my body and my clothing shows my love!

Here endeth the rant.

Myrtle

@leon.saintjean Right?! Esquire doesn't call it "shoe porn" for nothing. For mens wanting to know how to get a better look, Esquire's articles are like wardrobe school.
Every so often some young guy asks me for tips about women and I've told him the first thing we look at is your shoes. (OK, I get that not all women do!) It seems to some of us that men who don't have roommates or live with their moms, wear loafers and oxfords. Also, don't want me to split the check. So, liking those things, I go for those guys.

sceps yarx

@Myrtle I dunno, I live on the west coast, so I wouldn't touch a guy it loafers with a ten foot pole. Around here you have to look for a moderate pair professional-looking "graphic designer" sneakers. I know professional-looking sneakers sounds like an oxymoron, but we really do have them. They must be clean, new-looking, lowtop, and in on-trend colors. And not puffy in any way. The correct way to wear west coast professional sneakers is with slim, straight leg pants and a nice sweater or buttoned shirt. A slim fitting hoodie or T-shirt with a highbrow design screenprint is also acceptable. Pair with a techie-looking over-the-shoulder laptop satchel and you're ready to get on the bus to Google, Microsoft, Amazon, or Apple. Or whatever start-up you work for that will eventually be bought by one of those companies.

puppyemissary

@wharrgarbl Thank you for saying this. I get pretty worked up when customers talk about their opinions, but since I'm getting paid to be nice to them I can't point out how racist and horrible they sound. Because I'm white and I live in the South some of the rich white men assume I hate other races. It gets to me.

Sometimes I forget that my husband is a bit of an anomaly--he tells me I look prettier without makeup and doesn't like lingerie ("it looks really uncomfortable!") and I feel lucky for that, since I like to be lazy sometimes. I work with a lot of women who spend time and money on their appearance and I sometimes think THEY think I look unprofessional and sloppy, and I'm sensitive about it. But I actually can't read their minds, I forget that sometimes. Anyway, thank you for being kind about my ranting.

puppyemissary

@sceps yarx Ooh, don't get me wrong, I love playing with clothes and looks. I will spend hours in thrift stores to find things that are fun. I sometimes just feel pressure (there's a good chance I imagine it) to look a certain expensive, polished way and I resent it. I resent the imagined resent. I DO like fashion, just not the idea that you have to spend a lot of money to look good.

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@sceps yarx I love everything about your Defense of Fashion.

Euglena

Oh NO! I urge the Hairpin to redact the last two paragraphs! Do it for the greater good!

Scandyhoovian

@Euglena I'm just like "wear running shoes all you want but NOT IF THEY'RE FROM 1991! I mean... 1991 ohmigod"

sceps yarx

@Euglena Yeah, my reaction to the end of this article was to shout out "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!" in the middle of my empty house. Please, for the love of God, a man not giving a sh*t about his unflattering clothes does NOT correlate with maturity!

permanentbitchface

Get Rid Of Your Running Shoes, Seriously, They Are Revolting.

permanentbitchface

@permanentbitchface Also, Toms do not make you look cool. They make your feet smell really terrible.

Scandyhoovian

@permanentbitchface Speaking of Toms, has anyone here seen that Sketchers ad for "Bobs," which look exactly like Toms but are apparently not?

permanentbitchface

@Scandyhoovian Yeah they're not really a cheap knock-off though; at least in my experience they cost basically the same.

kickupdust

@permanentbitchface They really don't! Maybe for like, two seconds a few years ago? They've gone the same route as lululemon: used to look cool and now just look like suburban soccer mom material.

teacup
teacup

@permanentbitchface They do look like they could use some Ask A Clean Person advice.

City_Dater

@permanentbitchface

And also, way back when, these ugly little canvas shoes were just plain old "espadrilles" that one bought for $5 on a beach vacation (probably pulled out of a bin or basket on a boardwalk) and wore until the rope sole started to unravel, and yes, smell.

I wonder if Sketchers is also sending a pair of shoes to a child in a developing country for every pair purchased? Probably not...

Olivia2.0

@permanentbitchface They are also dangerous if it's wet out! I finally had to stop wearing mine b/c I am a klutz.

permanentbitchface

@City_Dater Right! They don't need to charge $50 for a pair of shoes that start to stink and get holes after a few weeks. I guess I liked to think that they were so pricey because they were sending that pair of shoes to a kid in need.

mlle.gateau

@permanentbitchface Not only do Toms not make you look cool, they remind me of like... institutional footwear. I feel like those are the shoes you wear in prison or some sort of mental institution.

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@City_Dater Ditto for Havaianas (flip flops)

Scandyhoovian

I'm a supervisor and I'm wearing bright green chucks with my khakis and business casual collared-shirt-with-sweater-over combination. NO REGRETS. But we're a "casualish" office in which you are fine in jeans and whatever top you want to wear, so long as there aren't lewd things written on it or holes in it.

I mean, one of my people is wearing jean cutoffs and a sleeveless tee (classy!), so... yeah.

oh! valencia

insoles, people!

alexandra

@oh! valencia yes! insoles in everything

cuminafterall

@oh! valencia Yes! I have hard plastic half-insoles (they support just my heel and arch) in my like-Chucks-but-not sneakers and they're the best ever.

Of course, those sneakers are now quite grubby and paint-splattered, turning them into gross-but-comfy shoes. Might as well be wearing my old running shoes, really.

TheUnchosenOne

@oh! valencia Buying nice insoles with arch support made such a huge difference for my feet and legs and my entire body, I can't even explain it. People! Buy nice insoles for your shoes, you will thank me later.

Gwdihw

@TheUnchosenOne
Where do you find good ones? I have bought many insoles that don't offer enough arch support.

sceps yarx

@l'esprit de l'escalier I buy the ones called "Superfeet" and you can get them at Macy's, or Google it for the best price online. They were recommended to me by my rad chiropractor as the ONLY ONES THAT WORK.

Gwdihw

@sceps yarx

Thank you! I've spent too much on ones that don't work well enough!!

Elle Marie@twitter

I am obsessed with Keens and got my fiance into them. Comfort of sneakers, but they have some sporty-ish styles that are great for casual wear (but give fantastic support and comfort). They also have black, waterproof sneakers that saved my everything when I had to wear orthopedic inserts and braces after surgery, but still had to be an administrative professional. Plus, wet winters/springs suck if you are wearing non-water-resistant footwear.

phillystout

@Elle Marie@twitter I've been wearing my Keens sandals about 75% of the time for the past three summers, and they're still outrageously comfortable and don't smell (although that might just be me, my husband's pair can get rank).

billie_crusoe

@Elle Marie@twitter Keens! The Best for flat-footed gals like me.

alexandra

I love dudes who wear running shoes casually but it's because I love runners. It's even better if they ran XC in high school.

I personally wear ballet flats every single day, but TOMS aggravate my stress fractures and hurt my hips. I am sad though, because I want to be cuter-than-cute cute girl and I do realize that TOMS are, like, the easiest way in.

permanentbitchface

@alexandra You are probably already a cuter-than-cute girl and you do not need stupidly overpriced canvas shoes.

alexandra

@permanentbitchface You're definitely my new favorite.

Anna Jayne@twitter

As long as the shorts and jeans and khakis and dress pants with which you are wearing them are flat-front and not pleated, WE COOL.

Reginal T. Squirge

Don't even get me started on pleated dude-pants!

meetapossum

@Anna Jayne@twitter No running shoes with dress pants ever! :(

meetapossum

@meetapossum I would also like to use this space to call out women who wear running shoes with skirts to work. I get it, ladies. Heels are uncomfortable. I don't wear them to work either. But pleeeeease find a nicer pair of shoes to wear for walking. You look ridiculous.

RK Fire

@Reginal T. Squirge: Can we have a conversation about how to gradually get a dude to stop wearing pleated pants? I can't bring myself to just get rid of them and buy Mr. RK new ones like a girlfriend suggests because of the creepy/controlling factor, but I'd like to change his mind on it.

The trouble is that he can pull off pleated pants because he has the inverted V body shape... but I am still trying to guide him towards the light.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@RK Fire
How sure are you that he would even notice the replacement?

I can't say I necessarily would...

wee_ramekin

@RK Fire Well, wait. If he is one of the few dudes who can pull them off, then why do you want to get rid of them?

RK Fire

@josiahg: Ha, fair question! Two things: 1) it's sort of the principle of the thing and 2) he has an unusual pants size and so it's tricky to find pants in his size at all, much less a pleatless clone of an existing pair of pants.

@wee_ramekin: Because pleatless pants would be so much better. When I say he pulls them off, I only mean in relation to many other dudes who try wearing them. Also, he is convinced that pleated pants are white-collar professional males wear, and I've been trying to convince him that that's only true if they're above the age of 50.

barefoot cuntessa

@RK Fire My husband tried to buy pleated and cuffed dockers right in front of me. I had to go to the "You are not allowed to wear these ever" place, which makes me feel icky.

liznieve

@RK Fire SERIOUSLY. My dude is kinda... barrel chested? No. He's strong, but has a (firm!) belly? Sure let's run with that. So I can't imagine how flat front would work, but at the same time... oh, the pleats... NOOOOO...

liznieve

@liznieve (and he is a white collar professional over the age of 50. AM I RESIGNED TO PLEATS?!?! PLEASE NO PLEATS. INVERSE ISSEY MIYAKE. PLEATS NO THANK YOUUUU)

Reginal T. Squirge

@RK Fire

Take pictures of him in the pleated pants and hold them up next to pictures of any run-of-the-mill Republican. Then ask him, is this how you want to look!?

That said, Miles Davis could pull of pleats and sometimes single pleats are ok.

Reginal T. Squirge

But never double-reverse pleats. Ever.

Snicker-snack!

@meetapossum Yeah, these days there are infinity options for comfortable shoes that aren't tennis shoes and actually look cute with skirts and dresses. You don't have to look like an '80's throwback.

iceberg

@RK Fire Scene: The men's section of any department store.
You show him a pair of pleated pants: "Haha, look at these dad-pants, aren't these (holding up flat-fronts) much cooler?"
Him: Uhhh, I have pleated pants...
You (breezily): Oh well you can make them look good I guess, so I just didn't notice the pleats, but still, wouldn't you rather wear the cool ones?

sceps yarx

@liznieve My could-be-described-as-barrel-shaped man has had good luck finding flat front fancy pants at the Gap. They seem to be barrel-friendly. Also, if you let him lose in Gap there's a limit to how wrong he could go. It's a safe store. Safe from fashion disasters. Also if he needs to go a bit higher-class he can trot next door to Banana Republic.

Xanthophyllippa

@meetapossum They look like Tootsie.

beerd

@RK Fire

Okay, this is embarrassing. I just googled "pleated pants wikipedia."

Can this count as my hairpin oversharing?

Lenora Jane

@meetapossum The Younger Business Ladies seem to be doing flip-flops, at least in the summer, because apparently my peer group also doesn't believe in stockings? (Which, like, whatever, I just missed that memo somehow and was genuinely surprised when summer came around and the Financial District was Bare Legs and Havianas from South Station to State.)

Lenora Jane

@Lenora Jane And by Younger Business Ladies I just mean those of us in offices? I have no idea what actual jobs the actual ladies in question have.

Legs Battaglia

just wear non-white sneakers/running shoes/"kicks" and you're good to go in the style department.

nyikint

So is your name Smiley or Adam?

gobblegirl

Nike Frees do not have arch support, what are you trying to pull?

Diana

@gobblegirl

Isn't that literally the entire point of Nike Frees? This paragraph makes no sense.

meaux

@gobblegirl. I was confused by that as well, but I do find my Nike Frees outrageously comfortable.

thatgirl

I sincerely do not understand this. I cannot fathom how a human being of any gender can only have one pair of shoes. I forsee a need for at least:
-running shoes/chucks/whatever
-dress shoes
-sandals
-some heavier boots (if you live in a climate where there is ever snow on the ground)

But then again, this is why my primary terror at moving in with my main squeeze is where the HELL I am going to store my two giant-rubbermaid-tubs full of shoes.

Emby

@thatgirl

Let's see, I have:
-running shoes
-black dress shoes
-brown dress shoes
-flip-flops
-a pair of slip-on canvas shoes
-one pair of cool-guy Nikes that could accurately be described as "kicks"

I could probably do without the last two, but I think you need to at least have a brown and black pair of dress shoes as well as running shoes and sandals of some kind.

meetapossum

@thatgirl Yes! I'm sorry, RUNNING shoes all the time? I don't even have that many shoes, but I recognize the need for different sorts. There are shoes made for everyone. Comfortable and good-looking are not mutually exclusive!

whizz_dumb

@thatgirl
-everyday work boots (pricey but worth it)
-boat shoes (sockless option)
-black vans
-black dress shoes
-nike dunks
-baseball cleats
-slippers

options are good.

sceps yarx

@thatgirl I have:

-black knee high lace up black boots with a low heel
-black lace up calf-length pointy witch/cowgirl shoes (packers)
-low zip-up harley boots
-black canvas boot/shoe/sneaker things with vinyl velcro buckles
-black teddy boy boots
-black calf-length lace up boots with a round toe and victorian heel
-red vinyl zip-front wedge heel booties
-brown platform oxfords with a block high heel
-superstacked demonia platform loafer flats
-taupe ankle-strap flatforms
-taupe suede wedge heels
-white oxfords with a black sole
-black sparkly fitflops
-black granny flatforms.
-black velvet block heels with silver buckles on the sides
-platform heels with comic book print
-neon orange and cobalt Land's End snowboots
-burgundy velvet beaded clogs
-vintage black suede booties from 1910.

And these are the just the shoes I wear REGULARLY, not the ones I'm saving in the back of my closet. I have a bit of a shoe thing.

thatgirl

@sceps yarx See, that's starting to look like my list. I need one of those closets with rotating shoe shelves, because I can't keep stock of what I have!

So of course I'm moving to a place in Astoria with zero closet space.

Daisy Razor

@thatgirl My husband only owned one pair of shoes (black Vans) when we met, but now has expanded into:

New black Vans (everyday)
Old black Vans (yard work)
Black dress shoes (weddings/funerals)
Boots (snow shoveling)
Sandals (because I refuse to live with someone who wears socks and black Vans in August)

Going by this progression, I actually think guys owning/wearing more shoes is the sign of maturity.

Reginal T. Squirge

I woulda thought having a name like Smiley would be more of a lady repellant than your footwear.

Get yourself some Fluevogs, son.

wee_ramekin

@Reginal T. Squirge Oh snap!

OhShesArtsy

@Reginal T. Squirge Every time with the Fluevogs.

WHY MUST YOU TEMPT ME WITH PRETTY SHOES???

Snicker-snack!

@Reginal T. Squirge Fluevogs are pretty much all my bf wears. He does hospital work and even wears them with his scrubs. Seriously awesome.

Reginal T. Squirge

Full disclosure: My footwear has been on point since day one and I have never had any significant female attention because of it.

sceps yarx

@Reginal T. Squirge I've never, ever, ever been attracted to a man in standard-issue Fluevogs. They seem a little bit drama-club to me. I like my boys a bit more punk/hipster.

wee_ramekin

Hahaha, I like that there is a line between "dude" and "man".

This was funny. Smiley, I like you.

Don
Don

Never underestimate the value of proper footwear.

wee_ramekin

@Don Or proper finger-banging.

sceps yarx

@wee_ramekin Right, Jane? High five for the f-b!

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

My old bosses used to wear the WORST shoes. It was really encouraging, actually. If Mike can get as far in life as he has with THOSE SHOES, I should be fine!

punkahontas

Wearing running shoes for not-running is like wearing sweatpants in public. It means you've given up.

joeks

@punkahontas *dap*

E
E

@punkahontas I would not let a man who only wore ancient running shoes with all his clothing touch any part of me intimately. Sorry man, but that's a total boner killer. It's like you have permanent spinach in your teeth. Get some adult shoes and match them with the rest of your clothing. Oxfords, driving moccasins, loafers, casual kicks, whatever. You need to care about how you present yourself to the world a bit. Also if you wear running shoes with your dress clothes, I suspect you are probably also wearing the wrong pants with the wrong shirt with the wrong hat. There are many things that are comfortable and stylish, and if you want to get laid that would be worth exploring a bit more.

Reginal T. Squirge

It worked for Larry David.

punkahontas

@Reginal T. Squirge Yes, that's why he's always on every "Sexiest Men Alive" list, right between David Beckham and Brad Pitt.

Blushingflwr

I am currently wearing a pair of Vibram five fingers with a flow-y, lace-y, twirl-y skirt. Works for me.

(I have a pair of cute sandals to change into, but a) I am lazy and b) I worry that the vibrams will smell if they are off my feet, and thus offend my lovely and tolerant officemate)

TheUnchosenOne

@Blushingflwr Your Vibrams will almost certainly smell if they are off your feet.

Blushingflwr

@TheUnchosenOne They will indeed. This is why I do not remove them in the presence of other human beings. Except sometimes my boyfriend, but he has sworn to love me unconditionally.

joeks

Well shit, if comfort is all you care about, throw on a Snuggie and just give the hell up. Or wear all sweats, all the time.

Oh, what, you don't want to do that? Because, what would everyone think of you, right? And plus, you're not one of those people.

Let's stop fooling ourselves.

permanentbitchface

@joeks Your comment reminded me of this little gem.

Amphora

@permanentbitchface And that video made me sweat. Head to toe fleece? No thank you.

leonstj

I like 'em all white high top strap with gum bottom
There's somethin' bout them that's dirty, that's why I got 'em.
I leave 'em strapped and laced and come up out 'em
The last person that touched 'em I been shot 'em.

JK. As much as I love Nelly, no Airs for me. I'm an acolyte of Adi Das when it comes to kicks - I've owned, shit, at least 6 pair of white shelltoe superstars. I used to have a pair of baby blues campus w/ white for like, three years - I would check the three day forecast and make sure it was 0% chance of rain each day or I wouldn't wear 'em, they were my college data kicks. I've got a pair of black suede w/ white (always w/ black or w/ white for me) gazelles on in the office right now.

I mean, I'm a grown up, I have real shoes (oh man, my black suede varvatos usa cids are sharp as a motherfucker, i love them) but really, nothing in the (shoe) world I love like Adidas.

beanie

@leon.saintjean I got a pair of Air Force Ones to match my nephew (I couldn't resist buying him a pair..they were so little!) but the high tops are just the most uncomfortable things ever. As in, they gave me a bruise. I have never had such an issue with sneakers, it's completely bizarre. Damn you Nelly!!

Lenora Jane

@leon.saintjean SHELLTOES SHELLTOES SHELLTOES

In my chunk of suburbia they became super uncool in about 9th grade and I jumped on the canvas sneaker bandwagon with the rest of the crew, but I love 'em.

Megasus

It's not so much that they're running shoes so much as those look stanky as hell.

Princess Gigglyfart

I'd rather see them wear the stupid sportyspice running shoes than have a billion pairs of fashion shoes.

Yesterday my roommates were having a "he's cute, but he wears athletic shorts" conversation. They decided that athletic shorts are as bad as khaki cargos.

beanie

@Princess Gigglyfart they wear athletic shorts like...out? To a bar? Or running errands/going to the gym? I'm guilty of the latter (and a female) so I'm just curious when it is frowned upon.

Lenora Jane

@beanie In situations in between those examples, maybe? That's always when I see/kinda judge. Like, "I pulled shorts on to run to the dep and grab milk* quickly," that is athletic short time (mine are from high school basketball and thus BRIGHT ORANGE, it's the best/worst) and it's fine, obviously the gym is fine; why must one come out for a meal in your athletic shorts, especially at a place where you sit down onsite? It's that kind of thing, for me at least, where these evaluations come into play. No, it's not against the rules, and no, I can't really give you a good reason for what's wrong with it--but I do have an issue with it as a practice.

I try not to be as judgemental about it as I tend to be, because I'm sure there are Reasons sometimes (if you have body stuff I'm sure athletic shorts would be a low-impact dress choice, for example; LEGGINGS CONTROVERSY blah blah), but it's...not something I love.

*beer

Lenora Jane

@Lenora Jane Also re: judgement: really not my job to go policing it, I know. So, not like I'm going to set you on fire or be unprovokedly mean to you or whatever? But like, I can decide if I want to date you, and I don't.

Lenora Jane

@Lenora Jane This is what @Diana was getting at below with "If you want to be the kind of dude..." only she did it way better. And now I have responded to two of my own comments in a row.

coconuts

I care about comfort and footwear is a huge issue for me. I can't wear heels at all. Even wedges cause me pain. I'm thankful for the ballerina style trend but on the other hand, those shoes tend to be super flat and have absolutely no arch support. I really don't know where to go to find comfortable, fashionable flat shoes.

sceps yarx

@coconuts Try Dansko shoes! Five million nurses and hairdressers can't be wrong. They make a lot of different styles now, too, not just clogs.

anachronistique

@coconuts Throwing a pair of insoles in those helps me a lot, though I don't have a job that keeps me on my feet. My problem more often is the soles wearing out super fast.

Amphora

@coconuts barkingdogshoes.com has a lot of good recommendations, and very specific ones. Especially helpful if you have a weird size (why do they always stop at size 10??) and usually buy online.

Xanthophyllippa

@sceps yarx I can't wear Danskos AT ALL - they kill my feet like nothing else. Keens for flats and Naots for dress sandals for me!

Amphora

@Xanthophyllippa Danskos do have arches that can REALLY hurt if they're just a millimeter off from your foot arches.

staircases

This so reminds me of every person that's ever been on What Not To Wear. When they're actually asked about why they wear what they do, it's always a quiet plea of "but it's cooooomfortable". Like decently dressed people are trudging around in suits of armor by choice. Remarkably, no one says how UNcomfortable they are at the end of the show.

If you're wearing vastly inappropriate footwear I will worry about taking you places.

beanie

@staircases I take it you don't immediately put on sweatpants when you get home? Cause I sure as hell do because...looking nice is kinda uncomfortable (to me at least).

staircases

@beanie Oh, absolutely I do! We are all free to wear whatever we like in the comfort of our own homes. But it's myopic to think that we can escape judgment made regarding our sartorial choices outside the home, which is what I took the tone of the article to be.

Ladies Who Punch

FYI: In Germany, all the Neo-Nazi kids wear New Balance shoes as a sign of affiliation with one another. Hubbie & I snicker to one another about how people are Nazis in the States [SF no less] when we see those on their feet.

Amphora

@Rebekah OH GOD I'M NEVER BUYING NB SHOES AGAIN! As if Europeans weren't shoe-judgey enough (I spent a lot of time looking for non-bright-white gym shoes last time I went there).

Amphora

@Amphora (Because I was told they would make fun of me in Greece as being a hopeless rube)

Xanthophyllippa

@Rebekah HA! Yeah, I can't imagine any high school kid calling New Balance shoes cool - when I was in high school, they were what the 60 year-old gym teacher wore.

Lenora Jane

@Xanthophyllippa Same here.

Minx

I'm not quite at this point. I love my fancy shoes. But I am halfway to it. I HATE buying flat shoes with no arch support. I own a couple pairs, but I can't wear them more than two days in a row because my feet start to hurt. Seriously! What's up with cute shoes having no arches and arched shoes having no cute? There are very few shoes with both, it seems.

Diana

If you want to be the kind of dude who walks around in khaki dad shorts and high white socks and Asics from 1991, far be it from me to stop you. Dressing like a dork doesn't make you a bad person or diminish your value as a human being. But you better be willing to date a woman wearing mom jeans and embroidered vests with apples on them.

Xanthophyllippa

@Diana Or a sweater with an intarsia image of a puppy chewing on a boot and a pair of Easy Spirits.

redheaded&crazy

@Diana this comment is incredible and perfect. i wish i could like it so many more times. HAH!

and now I want an embroidered apple vest.

Xanthophyllippa

I don't wear my running shoes for anything but running, because I don't want them to wear out that quickly or to mold to my walking foot strike, which is completely different than my running foot strike. I do wear old running shoes for knocking around in, though.

beerd

I skipped all the stages of this cycle. Just wore running shoes straight on through. Currently, both my pairs of shoes are hand-me-downs.

Also, I'm single, so I'm not sure what moral to sift out.

Kitekatze

There's a difference between running shoes and street shoes like Nike airs or Adidas Superstars. I would not say not to man wearing good street shoes and I'm 32.
however, I never thought wearing running shoes casually was cool.

shiv

Clarks, man. Stick with the Clarks. So comfy, so cool.

Lyesmith

So I should totally get these, right? http://www.drmartenscanada.ca/womens/footwear/shoes/marie-black-buttero.html

fondue with cheddar

@Lyesmith THAT IS CORRECT

KeLynn

@Lyesmith Yes!

HeckYes

Sort of related question: My lovely manfriend insists on wearing a pair of ugly Adidas rubber slide sandals nearly every day in the summer. I hate them and want to buy him new sandals that are less ugly/that might look better with the polo shirts and khakis that he wears to work. Do non-ugly man sandals exist?

fondue with cheddar

@HeckYes They do, but most of them make them look like hippies, old men, or gay. Not that these are bad things to be, but they may or may not be suitable for your manfriend.

Mine wears Birkenstocks.

baked bean

I actually like flat archless shoes, and I have very high arches. I think it's the way I walk. I like to walk very lightly, and hate wearing heavy shoes that make me stomp.
My favorite shoes right now are some sanuk t-strap sandals made of hemp material that have a sole that's like half a centimeter thick. T-straps are the shit because they stay on your foot better than regular thongs, and I feel like I'm walking more normally in them.
I'm barefoot as soon as I get home, and go barefoot around the yard and stuff, but not in public as dirty things and shards of who-knows-what scares me. I'd be all over the vibrams but I don't think I want my toes to be separated.
But, in winter my feet get cold as fuck, so I wear super heavy boots made for ppl in Wisconsin I'm sure, and hunting socks.

fondue with cheddar

@baked bean What makes a pair of socks "hunting socks"? This is a totally legitimate, non-snarky question as I'm the type of person who firmly believes in specific socks for specific occasions.

I really want a pair of Vibram Five Fingers but I'm not sure how I'd feel about the toes. It could go either way for me, because I hate having things between my toes but I love not having them crunched together.

KeLynn

@jen325 I'm not baked bean, but I wearing hunting socks too. I don't know exactly what makes them "hunting socks" except that I buy them in sport/outdoors stores. But I buy them because they are the warmest socks I have ever found. I guess they figure hunters legitimately need warm socks, but the rest of us don't?

fondue with cheddar

@KeLynn Warm...like with a layer of insulation or just wool? Or either/both? I should just google it. Sorry, I'm kind of a footwear nerd. Thorlo hiking socks are my favorite socks ever. My ex boyfriend tried to steal mine, and you'd better believe I pulled them right off his feet in front of his new girlfriend.

baked bean

@jen325 I actually don't know if they're marketed as "hunting socks" or "work socks" or what, but I have a few of the Red Wing brand, which I bought at a local farm and home store, which I cannot find online. Red Wing makes work boots are for The Working Man/Woman.
I own several brands, but I like the kind that are wool blend and have cotton terry fuzzy stuff on the inside so that they're not itchy. They are awesome. I find that selection is more limited in women's, but I have stolen many pairs from my mother, who has hot feet, and some may be upwards of 25 years old.
The only thing I really love about winter is thick, cozy socks. I say this as it is 105 degrees out now.

Also what turns me off about vibram shoes is not wearing socks. My feet sweat without socks, and in the winter my feet get hella cold.

fondue with cheddar

@baked bean Merino wool! It's wool but it's not itchy. I don't like the way cotton feels when it's damp, and my feet sweat AND get cold, so I prefer wool in the winter. Thick, cozy socks are the best!

I would totally wear toe socks with those Five Fingers shoes.

KeLynn

@jen325 None of the ones I have feature any sort of insulation, they're just really good, thick, warm socks. Better than any I can find for regular, non-hunting people. My favorite ones are Wigwam 40' Below. (http://www.wigwam.com/Products/40-Below_ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=711d74de-fa96-dd11-9fb3-001d091bb843). Now that I look at the product page they don't say "hunting" anywhere, but that's always the department I find them in!

But I am grateful for the link to your Thorlos! I recently was relishing in the wonderfulness of my hiking socks, and I thought "man I wish my everyday socks were this wonderful" and then it occurred to me "KeLynn, you could literally just wear hiking socks every day and your whole LIFE could feel this wonderful on your feet." SO I grabbed a few pair from TheClymb, and I am loving my new hiking-socks lifestyle, so I need to stock up on all the best!

baked bean

@jen325 Mmmm yeah I had a pair someone gave me once that were so soft and warm, yet not so thick, that felt so good but they were too big :( I need to get some!

@KeLynn Those look awesome.

fondue with cheddar

@KeLynn I love Wigwams! My old ones have sadly gotten all stretched out because they were mostly wool. The ones you linked to are 48% nylon...don't they get hot on your feet? I know they're wool too so that sounds like a silly question, but wool just feels cooler than synthetics. I need to buy more hiking socks because I love wearing them all the time. They're heavenly in sneakers!

KeLynn

@jen325 Ah yes I think maybe my comment was a little confusing - the Wigwams I listed are my "hunting" socks and they do get hot on my feet, which is why I like/own them.

But my hiking socks are different, I don't have any particular brand/style loyalty there. I just started talking about hiking socks because I was thinking about good socks in general, and was glad for your links to your favorites.

fondue with cheddar

@KeLynn OHH that makes sense now. :)

Those look super comfy, but I don't know how they would be on my feet. Mine tend to get sweaty in synthetic materials, and of course wetness is bad when it's cold. They would be perfect around-the-house socks, though!

Myrtle

My work shoes are two pairs of Docs oxfords, in which I slide my custom-made orthotics. I'm the one not leaving work groaning...

Myrtle

@Myrtle Also, my insurance covered my orthotics.

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