Friday, June 25, 2010

Do's and Don'ts... of Sneakers

Sneakers were once just for the gym, basketball players and anyone under the age of 12 -- but not anymore. The comfort of a shoe that protects your feet from the daily wear and tear of the streets is now considered suitable for every occasion, from a workout to the workplace. However, despite the growing fashion intelligence of men, we can still be creatures of habit with unsightly ankle socks, and we may even be easily distracted by shiny objects like footwear from Ed Hardy. Just heed this advice and you’ll be ready to take on life outside the gym in the right pair of kicks with these sneaker dos and don'ts.

Don’t leave the court
Basketball shoes, a la Air Jordan, are questionable even for a pickup game at the local YMCA. However, high-tops have slowly made there way onto the streets in every offensive way possible from pairings with shrunken hipster skinny jeans to hip-hop jean shorts big enough to fit a family of four. If you’re going to get active, you can pick a pair of b-ball shoes that don’t sacrifice fashion for function. When you’re done playing games, leave the shoes in the locker room.

Do stick with the classics
Classic sneakers are the kind of shoes that can be worn with anything. We’re talking about a basic, low-cut lace-up without any glitz that delivers a wholesome serving of understated style. Think about the timelessness of a basic Converse lace-up. One simple color goes with everything from jeans to a tailored trouser. You can dress it up with a blazer or keep it totally easy with a pair of shorts to beat the summer heat.

Don’t go for hybrids
Hybrid cars: yes. Hybrid sneakers: no. The combination of a sneaker and a dress shoe ends up looking like a clunky block of wood that's been hermetically sealed to your ankle. With hefty leathers and lug soles thick enough for a North Pole expedition, these shoes attempt to masquerade as something more sophisticated. They’re the kind of shoes you see clueless frat boys wearing to their first job interview. This is one fashion mistake you can’t afford to make.

Do skip the visible socks
Socks and sneakers seem like a match made in heaven. Feet can be gnarly as it is, and if you lead an active lifestyle, shoving your foot into a sneaker without socks can turn things into a sweaty mess that Odor-Eaters wouldn’t stand a chance against. Visible ankle socks -- or even worse, tube socks -- can turn an otherwise mature, cohesive look into something befitting a kindergartner. In a day and age where we can clone sheep or broadcast our lives to the world with the click of a button, there is indeed a solution: lower-cut socks that are unseen to the naked eye. The invisible sock concept is pretty simple, but it makes a huge difference.

Do crop and roll
Once you have mastered the art of unnoticeable socks (it’s actually harder than it sounds), feel free to go for a pair of cropped trousers or gently roll up a pair of slim denim jeans. Rest assured that this is not an attempt to create a man-panty, clam-digger type pant to keep you dry at high tide. Instead, this is a hem that ends slightly above the edge of the shoe to purposefully reveal a tiny bit of ankle. It creates a tailored silhouette that focuses attention on your shoes, but it typically only works with clean, sophisticated sneakers in a single color.

Do dress down to dress up
Until just a few years ago, wearing sneakers with anything but the most casual of clothes was considered a fashion crime of the most heinous kind. However, as sneakers shed their athletic coat and become refined and urbane in design, they gain versatility. The right sneaker can transform a buttoned-up look into something more accessible, comfortable and practical. Try a pair as an alternative to a stuffy dress shoe on a casual Friday at the office. It’s the perfect way to start the weekend a little earlier.

All that glitters isn’t gold - don't do it
Perhaps the worst culprit of all is the over-designed sneaker. With color combinations bright and awkward enough to compete with the deadliest of poison dart frogs, the majority of men get the hint and stay away. Still, some who think they’re taking a walk on the wild side dare to sport these eye-assaulting atrocities. This should serve as a lesson that being bold with your style doesn’t translate into a sneaker dipped in glitter.

Do separate sports from the streets
Men need to invest in at least two pairs of sneakers: One pair should provide serious support and perform under the pressure of an intense workout, the other simply needs to be comfortable enough to handle the harsh asphalt of the city streets. Most men never bother to wear a cool pair of sneakers outside the confines of a gym, or worse, some actually make athletic shoes do double duty as street wear. While there are definitely shoes that can handle every situation in style and comfort, it’s best to make a clear distinction in your shoe collection.


nesta said...

nice!very informative!

ipe said...

i need more than 2 pairs...

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