Growing up, I was a total girly-girl. In middle school and high school, you could find me walking down the halls in dresses, mini skirts, stockings and, as I got older, high heels. When the farthest I had to walk was from the 200s section of my high school to the 700s, wearing heels all day long was no big deal. But, I graduated, went to a university with a large campus and scored a job in New York City, a place that requires tons of foot travel.
Don’t get me wrong: I love being a New Yorker, but when 20 blocks is considered a short walk, my most fabulous shoes just aren’t practical! And as I get older, I am constantly discovering that there are more ways to be feminine than just slipping on a pair of high heels.
I am thankful to be coming up in an era where “athleisure” styles are not only acceptable, but fashionable. Even the chunkiest sneakers look sleek with a suit; subtly sexy with a mini dress and impossibly cool with a midi or maxi skirt.
In terms of my everyday style, I still wear heels from time to time, but most days of the week, I’m in sneakers. I have some of the flattest feet on earth, so I truly feel my best in a supportive pair of sneaks. (16-year-old me was extremely disappointed when my doctor recommended ASICS for my flat feet; now, I can’t get enough ASICS! I’m guilty of browsing their website at least once a week.)
While there are quite a few classic styles that need no improvement (such as Nike’s Air Force 1 and Air Jordan 1, plus New Balance’s 990), recently, high-end brands like Yeezy have made sneakers a lot better looking. They’ve also indirectly forced heritage brands to step up their sneaker game, as well.
Have you seen the makeover Nike gave their Air Max 97 or the way Kith’s Ronnie Fieg transformed so many ASICS styles? Additionally, coveted street-style label Stussy and go-to women’s shop Aritzia have both brought hyped pairs of New Balance sneakers to market.
My personal favorites? All the Harmony Paris x ASICS collabs; ASICS GEL-Kayano 5 OG; Nike Air Force 1; Nike Air Jordan 1 Mid and High (especially in the navy/cream and black/white colorways); and APL TechLoom Pro.