Here’s the tea: I never wear sneakers. I have a few really cute pairs that run the gamut from Converse, to athletic Reeboks, to slide-on TOMS, to throwback ’80s high-tops (Call Me By Your Name-style), but I never, ever put them on my feet for any reason. Well, there are a couple of reasons. One is that I work in a business-casual office, so sneakers aren’t really appropriate for daily dress. Second, I hate socks. They are an ugly item of clothing and don’t try to convince me otherwise! The third reason is that I’m a damn coward who refuses to incorporate sneakers into her more polished looks.
I feel like dresses with sneakers has been canon for a while, but I always feel terribly frumpy when I try it. Also, I have monster feet (size 10, baby), so where a normal human woman would look adorable with her lil’ Barbie feet in a pair of Stan Smiths, I look like either a clown or a pro basketball player.
So why, since I do not even wear the sneakers I already have, do I want to buy an expensive-ass pair of sneakers right now?
I’m a goddamn sucker for marketing, that’s why. Allbirds has been trying to weasel its way into my life for years—the occasional postcard in the mail, sponsored posts on favorite blogs. My favorite journalist/Twitter person Amanda Mull just put out a piece about them for The Atlantic. But now Everlane has introduced a sneaker. Everlane, the brand I love so dearly, whose judgment I trust in all things.
I mean, at least the Allbirds shoes are cute. The Everlane kicks look like nurse shoes, like orthopedics. And yet, I look at them convincing myself—These could be cute on. They come in pink, Chelsea. Ugly things are cute in fashion—don’t you remember the entire ’90s? (For reference, see the Wild Fable section of Target or Urban Outfitters in general)
At $95 and $98, respectively, the price point is, in my opinion, reasonable. Having worked in off-price retail, I know that sneakers are expensive af, and you pay for quality. Both of these shoes are sustainably made, which is something every one of us should consider as we purchase clothing. The fashion industry is one of the most environmentally destructive forces on earth, and we should celebrate transparent companies whose mission is to reduce waste.
So I’m not deterred by the price or the product—I’m deterred by me, the person who, for so long, has wanted to get into sneakers but keeps failing. The person who wears sandals in 55 degree weather because it’s so much easier than sitting down and lacing up shoes. But in the back of my mind, I hear the warnings: Wear sensible shoes, girl. You’re young now, but if you don’t take care of your feet while you’re young, you’ll have a whole host of back problems later on. You may need to see a chiropractor or—gasp!—a podiatrist. Can I become the type of person who prioritizes function over fashion, sensibility over style?
I’ll inevitably end up with both of these shoes. I know myself. I’ve been so good about not spending money this year that I can justify the price points. I guess I’ll let you know how my sneaker odyssey goes. Maybe 28 will be the year I finally start taking care of my barking dogs.