A sadist must have come up with the phrase ‘the higher the heel, the closer to god’ because we are all familiar with the threat to survival when wearing four inch stilettos. Thankfully for us mere mortals (not everyone can look as effortless as the glamazon Gisele in the Baz Luhrmann directed Chanel No.5 commercial), dressing for comfort is making a comeback in a big, bad way. The growth of the ‘athleisure’ market (and the fact that it is now socially acceptable to wear exercise gear out and about) has meant that fashion conscious women are now being seen wearing sneakers in their OOTD (‘outfit of the day’ in cyber speak) posts and not just as footwear for the trek to and from the gym. Evidence of this can be seen on street style blogs like Street Peeper and the Sartorialist, where the sneaker guilty range from models post-show and running between castings, to magazine editors mixing knitted Alaia dresses with high-top Comme des Garcons Converses.
Sneakers on offer for fashion types range from the traditionally more sporty suspects like Nike and Adidas to brands like Chanel, Balenciaga and Celine, who have jumped on the bandwagon, churning out slip-on and lace-up sneakers to cater to the more comfort-aware consumer. The rise of the female ‘sneakerhead’ (defined as a person ‘who collects limited, rare, OG, or flat out exclusive kicks’ by the ever-so-popular Urban Dictionary), has meant that although the streetwear culture has predominantly been viewed as an all boy’s club, movers and shakers in the sneaker scene are beginning to realize the untapped potential designing for women in mind. Kith founder and sneaker aficionado Ronnie Fieg even opened a brick and mortar shop on Bleeker Street in New York dedicated to women after realizing that the smallest sizes of his men’s street wear line and shoe orders were addressed to the other sex.
For those who need convincing that sneakers are not just meant for ‘sweatpants, hair tied, chilling with no make-up on’, look below for proof. May comfort reign Supreme (PUN)!