Sneaking Around

I’m not much for tennis shoes, as one might guess.

It makes sense, being that my adoration for vertical enhancement knows no bounds, but at the same time, I love iconic things. When one garment or object can represent an entire era of culture, I swoon. It’s not only about the look of the object, it’s about paying respect to a bygone time. For instance, the most recognizable example for my generation:

Converse - Chuck Taylor All Star Vintage Materials Hi (Black/Parchment) - Footwear

Converse – Chuck Taylor All Star Vintage
$30

The Chuck Taylor. “Chucks.” “Hi-tops.” Growing up, I had these in at least 3-4 different colors (mixing and matching, holler!). These, as of today, are the only athletic-resembling shoes that I wear. My last pair lasted me six full, long, healthy years before they disintegrated into this:

Finally, I got a new pair. This time, they’re black – I expect at least six more years of wear. Even that was a bit of a heartbreak, honestly. Losing a pair of well-worn sneakers is like losing a limb. You get a new pair – even the exact same kind – but they’re so new and unfamiliar. They’re like a new cousin, or something. You know that they’re probably going to be great once they age, but you’re not 100% sure because they’re not broken in yet. They haven’t been harassed and abused and hazed into the family – they could totally suck. They could be the black sheep of your footwear family, you just don’t know.

It makes me extremely self-conscious to get new Chucks. Anyone who has owned them on multiple occasions knows what I mean… The stark white rubber of a new pair of Converse is like wearing new clothes to school in the beginning of the year. People know that they’re new. Maybe I’m just fixated on the psychological effects of fashion in general, but it bugs me. It makes me feel naked. The first thing my dude said after I got them – “Wow, your shoes are really white.” Cue embarrassment.

I’ve considered other sneaker options, I admit it. I’ve never pulled the trigger on any, though, because when compared to my Chucks, they all pale. I’m not impressed by Velcro straps, ergonomic arch support, breathable, hi-tech robot fabrics… I’m not evolving with the world of athletic shoes, and I’m totally okay with that. To be quite honest, the only other pair of shoes I’ve been considering purchasing in this category are, no shock here, another iconic shoe from a previous era gone by:

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PUMA G. Vilas 2 Sneaker $70

I can only find them in men’s sizes, which is fine. That’s how I purchased them the first time I owned this exact pair in my mid-teens. They are quite possibly the most comfortable shoes ever, and the style is completely timeless. I’ve been searching for these shoes for months and months, not being able to remember their model name… As Puma is constantly updating and changing their shoe models, I almost gave up on finding this now-retro style. The shape of the toe is so perfect, the soles are perfect, and the color options available make them literally perfect for anyone. I always favored the red and white combination, I was kind of a loud kid, fashion-wise. Even with such a bright color, it was never garish, though – it worked with everything.

I wouldn’t be surprised if these were the only two pairs of athletic-ish shoes I ever owned for the rest of my life. Being a creature of shoe-variety-love, this is out of character. Sometimes, though, you just have to stick with what works.

Do you have a headstrong, go-to when it comes to clothing? Something that you’d never veer away from?

  • Patty

    i hear you on the Pumas… i wore Puma Californias all through college, in pink, red, gray, and navy and yellow, which were my school’s colors. ;)

    reading this post makes me miss my Docs. i haven’t worn any since my ex husband STOLE them (yes, he wears the same size shoe as me… and who steals a womans Docs? that is so much ain’t right). they were perfectly broken in and worn-looking, and committing to breaking in new Docs is a big deal.

  • I am a huge fan of the Chuck Taylor High Tops and own 7 pairs myself, they are totaly tres’ cool!

  • Funny you should mention chucks, I just bought a brand new pair the other day. My current one has seen better days and it’s time to say goodbye. I’ve still been wearing my old pair because new Chucks are kind of painful (literally) to break in. But, when you do… It’s the most comfortable thing in the world.

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