June 29, 2012
I’m so confused. When I first saw French designer Isabel Marant’s “sneakers”—which have a concealed 3-inch wedge heel built into them—I was mystified. It seemed like the worst of both worlds: you get the sloppy look of a sneaker and the discomfort of a high heel. Sweet combo!
Don’t get me wrong—I’m a fan of both sneakers and dangerously high heels, but doesn’t combining them cancel out the inherent value of each? It seems to me that there’s a distinct time for sneakers and for heels, but under what circumstances do you say, “Oh, my secret-heel sneakers will be just the thing!”?
On top of that, Marant’s originals cost a whopping $680, and though a variety of cheaper and cuter versions are now available, I still can’t quite understand why someone would invest in shoes that inspire you to slam-dunk but threaten to break your ankle if you actually try.
However, I’m clearly missing something, because when I was in Paris this spring, they were everywhere. Shop windows boasted pairs in fun colors, and I saw them on the feet of many a stylish girl traipsing through the Marais.
When I returned to New York, I met up with some friends for brunch and—lo and behold—one of my friends was sporting them, which gave me the perfect opportunity to pelt her with all my burning questions.
First of all, on what occasion do you wear them? The answer was self-evident: brunch. And how do they feel? “They’re actually really comfortable,” she assured me.
I insisted on trying them on right there on the sidewalk, and in fact, they were pretty comfortable. Perhaps not as comfortable as real sneakers, but certainly more cushy than the majority of heels in my closet.
“I’ll only be able to wear them through the fall,” she admitted. “And in ten years, I’ll probably look back and say, ‘What was I thinking?’”
For me, this would be a reason NOT to buy something; but for my dear friend, it was all the more reason to go for it. I guess that’s what ultimately divides trend-lovers and trend-avoiders. Some of us ask “Why?” while others ask “Why not?”
What about you lovely readers—would you wear wedge sneakers?
- TalkShoes tells us about their thoughts on this new shoe phenomenon…
- InStyle and ELLE magazine have also snatched up this new peculiar trend
- If you’re not a fan of the built in heel, perhaps Repetto is more your taste?
Written by Tory Hoen
After attending Brown University and spending two years in New York, Tory bought a one-way ticket to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a writer (and of drinking wine at lunch). During her time in the City of Light, she chronicled the euphoric highs and the laughable lows of ex-pat life on her blog, A Moveable Beast. Though she's now based in New York, she travels frequently to Montreal and Brazil, and she'll use just about any excuse to jet to Paris ("I ran out of fleur de sel"). A regular contributor to Hip Paris, Tory also writes for New York Magazine, Time Out New York, and she is a co-author of Gradspot.com's Guide To Life After College.
Website: Tory Hoen