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Wedge Sneakers: Paris Fashion Do or Don’t?

Loove

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!

Popofstyle

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.

SheFinds

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.

Sofi Fahrman & Helga Weber

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.

Glamazonsblog

“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

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ask “Why not?

What about you lovely readers—would you wear wedge sneakers?

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Written by Tory Hoen for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

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Written by Tory Hoen

Tory HoenAfter 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

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Posted in Fashion | 21 Comments »

21 Responses to “Wedge Sneakers: Paris Fashion Do or Don’t?”

  • Mariam says:

    I’ve been having this same debate for a few months since I went to London and saw these everywhere. I’m a commuter with a busy lifestyle here in Chicago, so I never wear heels on the train or buses because it just isn’t conducive or comfortable. So the possibility of having the *best* of a comfortable sneaker but being a little more fashionable intrigues me. My boyfriend thinks these things are hideous, but then I saw a photo of Charlize Theron sporting a pair and I just got even more intrigued. I haven’t bought a pair yet (I certainly don’t want to pay more than $100 for them). Generally I am not a huge trend follower; sticking to classic silouettes that flatter my petite, curvy body type is what works best for me. And since I can’t afford to buy every piece of clothing or accessory I want, it makes more sense to make sure I get the most out of what I buy.

    That said, I just bought my first two pairs of colored denim: one in mint (love), one in neon coral (love the color, but I still feel kind of obnoxious wearing them). Here’s the thing, though. There’s a photo of me as a 5 year old wearing a purple sweater and bright, orange/coral pants. And I’ve looked at that photo in the past and thought, “God, what did my mother dress me in?” Yet, here I am, having bought orange neon pants and I’ve worn them to work (yeah so there was a black blazer that might have classed it up a little, but they’re still orange pants).

    So if the 90s are making a comeback, it seems only right that the Spice Girls’ platform shoes would’ve come back right with them.

  • Ais says:

    Honestly I think it’s all about what you find attractive, never mind what everyone else is saying and go with what works for you. If it’s jeans and a t-shirt or a pencil skirt and pumps, it’s all about expressing yourself.

    My feelings on the sneaker wedge are that they’re ugly, so I won’t be jumping on this “hot trend”, much like I won’t wear head-to-toe animal print.

  • Jittra says:

    Definitely a huge, big time DO! :) Thanks for your post and lovely photos :)

  • Beijo says:

    I fell in love with these wedge sneakers and got them in 2 different colors. I can see myself wearing them through fall and winter and I don’t really care if in 1, 2 or 5 months they’ll be “out of style”… if I like wearing something and it makes me happy, I will wear it regardless of what people are saying or how “outdated or so- yesterday” it is. Besides, in NYC you can be yourself and wear whatever u want, you see so many crazy/weird/awesome styles all over the city that it kinda gives you room to be bold and experiment and decide what u wanna wear withoutbwottying whether you are “in accordance to the latest trend” These crazy wedge sneakers combo might become a joke in a few years but I will definitely wear them for a long time to come. I love NYC!

  • I am not a fan of those sneakers, I must say. These sneakers look clumpy and will not do your legs any favours. Give me those T-bar shoes any day.

  • Evelyn says:

    I was in Paris two weeks ago but didnt get a chance to buy them. Do you know,if I can get them in the USA???

  • Thank you thank you for the info!
    I spotted them in the Metro and was like,
    ‘Wha’?’
    But their growing on me by the minute everytime I see them in a window.
    Trends will be trends and Paris has em by the minute/second even much more than New York IMHO

  • Sweet Freak says:

    They’re pretty awful, objectively. But on a French woman, they’re pretty awesome.

  • Jess says:

    I live in the residency connected to Café A in the 10eme and spend a lot of time discovering what the Bobos are claiming as the latest style. At the moment EVERYONE is wearing the wedge sneaker. Clearly the latest in Bobo wear – how many people have to be wearing them before a fashion statement becomes boring trend?

  • Abby says:

    Oh dear – you read my mind! I saw them last week in Paris and I was like “WHYYyY?”! I love sneakers and I know how comfy they are..but these..I’m torn to try them because everyone is doing it but my subconscious is screaming “Are you crazy?”. I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks it. I can see a perk to it though – in sneakers you tend to be very relax but with these babies you can wear them and look cool and your ass still sways like you are on a runway. Thanks for the post. I enjoyed it.

  • Mubin says:

    Hi.. wondering if you have picked a winner for the Paris in Color book giveaway yet.

  • Mimi Taylor says:

    as a short woman, those at my size ten would make me feel like a DWARF. give me libido and repetto

  • illysia says:

    The sneaker/shoe trend was started by Norma Kamali in the 80s, not a wedge though. The Isabel mar ant ones are very clunky, but DKNY makes some stylish, less expensive ones in grey and black, more suited to a city chic wardrobe!
    Illysia Neumann-Loreck
    fashion stylist, writer, blogger for http://www.madlychic.com and new Marais apt owner

  • Marchelle says:

    My theory: These high-heeled moonshoes are moreso for the lady who wants her calves to look good in skinny jeans or for the vertically-challenged to hide the fact that they are so. These sneakers crack me up! I’m more the Repetto type, though.

  • These shoes just may be a sign of the coming apocalypse. They are hideous, full stop. Now someone get me some smelling salts, I’m feeling faint.

  • Heather says:

    The only woman who got this look right in these pictures is the one in the leopard print scarf. The other sneakers just look clownish and sloppy. Hers looks tailored and sleek.

  • Lize says:

    OMG I have a huge love hate with these sneakers….. I try them on every time I see them and can’t bring myself to buy them! My friend has them in 3 different colours but she cal pull them off much better than I.. Somethings are best left in the shop I think… But the navy/red pair just look so good!

  • Katarina says:

    This is definately the best of two worlds!
    I just wish my feet were a little bit more “parisian” (read “smaller”). I absolutely love them.

  • Nikki Fein says:

    I actually have 2 pairs, cheaper versions, and I have worn them surprisingly often. Each time I wear them, I have no less than 10 people ask me where I got them and even had a girl offer to buy them off me. I was on the fence about them before buying them but they are pretty comfortable. Needless to say, they grew on me and now I’m bummed I didnt get a few more pairs in different colors… Mine were 30€ so if I wear them through fall and that is it, it’s no biggie. However, I’m sure I will look back in 10 years and say WTF was I thinking;)
    Nikki

  • jennyg says:

    Hell to the NO…are you kidding me these will be so out of style in 5 minutes you will get whip lash watching them go by. Besides the fact that my kids are wearing these. Good to know they will not look like raucous americans wandering the streets of Paris in a few weeks while their mother teeters on her wedges!!!

  • Heidi says:

    You’ve convinced me. I too wondered why? But now, it may just be the best of both worlds? I wouldn’t worry about ten years time. Ten years ago we wouldn’t have conceived wearing these, let alone blogging about it! Who knows what we’ll be wearing in ten years time! ;)

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