I think that a lot of humanity lies with in binaries: man/woman, sweet/savoury, cat/dog, minimal/maximal. Fashion houses and designers are increasingly becoming
intertwined with sportswear brands, their performance products and technologies.
In 2009, a book came out called “Born to Run” which focused on ultra-distance runners from remote tribes (such as the Tarahumaras in Mexico, renowned for their long distance running ability usually wearing nothing but a strip of car tire formed into a simple outsole), reaching peak interest in 2010 as runners (and sportswear brands) began looking at barefoot running or minimalism (“minimalist running” as a search term peaked in 2012). Such shoes, such as the Nike Free or Vibram Five-Fingers lead the way in the aesthetic of these shoes. In terms of fashion, footwear was about low profile, simple shoes, like Stan Smiths, Roshe Runs or Common Projects Achilles Lows. In 2015 the New York Times ran an article entitled “Forget barefoot; new trendsetter in running shoes is cushioning”, focusing on a particular brand of relatively new running shoes that features platform-esque soles, several inches think. Naturally it wasn’t long for designers to take notice of what the performance brands were producing, culminating with Balenciaga’s infamous Triple S model towards the end of 2017.
5 tips for wearing chunky trainers:
- Wear socks
- Tie the laces properly
- Consider the break of your trousers and the general silhouette of said garment(s). If your trousers are too narrow when paired with chunky trainers, you’ll look sort of like a Homunculus (emphasis on the feet).
- Accessorize. Get a dog, or borrow someone’s you know. People are drawn to pretty dogs. As their gaze is ground-ward focused, admirers will also be drawn to your chunky trainers. If they don’t like the trainers, the dog will focus their attention away from the offending footwear.
- Wear the shoes, don’t let the shoes wear you. If you’re just wearing them because they’re on trend, and you’re not that into them, fashion cognoscenti will smell you out a mile away.