"WHAT ARE WE DOING TO SHOES"
Disclaimer - This was a commissioned article that did not get published when the site went dark. Please consider it an example of the humor pieces I can create for your website.
Last year, [editor's name redacted] brought up the incredulous idea of high-heeled Crocs, which I was assigned to research and report back on. Everything came back conclusively stupid, but we turned it into a laugh and had some fun with an article about it and I tucked the concept away in a hidden place in my mind that not even the best therapist could gain access to.
Until now. While some people like to start the day with positive affirmations, I continue to live as breathing trash with my morning “Envy and Jealousy Scroll” through Instagram. This morning a targeted ad thought that I would be the perfect person to pitch the following atrocities to:
The video above the products shows androgynous models in their late teens to early twenties parkouring it up with giant tires, a rooster, and some BMX bikes. All set to a really catchy song, so I’ll give them points for that, and only that. Because it gets worse. While the guys are running around in what are essentially New Balances with pops of color, the camera then cuts to a woman’s foot in a similar version of the shoe, in heel form. The next shot shows the women standing in those super indifferent looking poses only models can pull off (it looks like I have scoliosis when I do it) and that’s when I grabbed the beautiful screenshot above! (Full disclosure: I had to watch the video three times to capture that moment and I’m still questioning the quality of it—but what can I say I do the Lord’s work for my [website name redacted] articles.)
I could go on a real rampage about gender inequality in these shoes: how the guys are shown being active and fun, while all the women can do to not break their little ankles and wreck their runway careers forever is apathetically pose—but we need to address the more pressing issue: that these shoes exist. And not only that they exist, but that they exist at the insane prices they are poised at (shown below).
I recently had a conversation with a friend about our white Converse shoes. I asked him what the secret was to keeping them so clean and he responded, “You just buy new ones.” If I could shell out half a hundred on shoes every time they got a scuff, I would not even live in the realm of asking that question. What?! Just tell me the secret is Tide Pods, Crest Toothpaste and never wearing them outside! So, the fact that I’m already complaining about that made me want to throw my phone at a wall when I saw the prices on these glamorized dad shoes. (I did not throw said phone, because, as previously mentioned: I’m not someone who can just buy a new one if it breaks.)
But seriously, let’s dissect these bad girls. Even if I majored in engineering, I would not be able to understand the mechanics of these shoes, let alone who would want them. They look like you’d roll your ankle just trying to get them on! And from an even more knit-picky note, you can see the blatantly uncomfortable thick, clear, plastic piece that runs across the top of the foot--doing it’s best to keep you strapped in. Every woman knows that clear straps are more visible than neon ones. That’s science. (And a real learning lesson for all of us who thought we were getting away with “strapless” bras in the late 90’s, early 2000’s.)
And then the company (aptly called DSQUARED2—which seems repetitive) doubles down on the concept with another pair of heels that are even more running shoe and even more stupid. Two versions of the same heel of the same shoe, just stacked on top of each other! Two laces—if not possibly more? Hectic! I'm already irked by “hidden pump” shoes: they look like high top sneakers to the outside world, but it was actually just a huge wedge heel giving women a few inches of height but an odd way of walking in “sneakers.” At least these shoes don’t try to hide what they’re accomplishing, but I don’t know if I like their blatant forwardness either.
So this is me saying this all needs to stop. Back to basics. No more heightening (literally) of the classic designs. If I want to wear dad jeans and running shoes then you bet I’m buying them at "I have to deal with a nuclear family of four" prices at Target and Payless.