When I was young, a kid growing up on the mean streets of London in the 90s (read: tree-lined suburbia) trainers was the be all and end all of my foot wear. My school hadn’t become the draconian thing that most schools are now and we could wear comfortable footwear all day long and not just for PE. This was primary school. In High School trainers became this disgusting thing only to be worn under the direst of circumstances.
Instead there were the hellish ballet flats.
They mangled my feet, made them bleed and made me hobble for far too many years before I finally bid them a fond farewell. I discovered Toms and didn’t look back. And then came the wedge trainer and after that the normal, flat trainer. By this time I was running all the time and spent a lot of my day in very expensive, aerodynamically designed, wonder trainers which promised to make me run faster and/or better. But wearing them for fashion?
Because fashion trainers are nothing like running trainers (though as expensive). Nike limited edition beauties were in the Chanel haute couture show in January (Supermarket Sweep anyone?) which are for sale but only for those with money to burn. Nike and Liberty teamed up for another designer collaboration – very feminine prints all over the shoe, making it (I assume this is the goal) more feminine and appeal to those women who still like to believe that five inch heels are the only way to look stylish (chintzy willow print or permanent feet issues? I know which one I would pick).
And you know what, it’s working. I see more and more women in trainers walking around, wearing a confident smile – a smile which only comes from pain free appendages. These women aren’t tourists walking miles and miles wanting to see everything before flying home, oh no, they are Londoners born and bred on their way to work or coffee with a friend. Trainers are becoming mainstream (by this I mean they aren’t exclusively for runners and men), seeping into the consciousness and I love that.
Yesterday I bought my first pair of fashion trainers, adidas’ Gazelle Og in colours which make me think of summer and with an arch support which makes me feet think of comfort. They are coming to Japan with me where I will be able to walk and sightsee and thoroughly be a tourist without wilting, feet first.
Image credit: adidas.co.uk