Whilst Trump and his peripheries continue to be every horseman of the apocalypse, sometimes there are more pressing matters at hand, such as the sad realisation that you need new trainers. Don’t tell me they’re not on a parallel, you can’t run the streets in ballet flats.
It strikes. Just as you thought you could be all smug and make-do-and-mend by giving your current shoe friends a bit of a clean and polish, you end up with a soggy sock on one foot heading home in the first of the year’s Great British Winter Storms. I was a soggy sock denier. Because buying new trainers, much like buying new jeans, fills me with dread. You break them in, they mould to you, they become your foot glove (not to be confused with Footglove™), they are your freedom, your weekend, your shoe pyjamas! You’ve spent years getting them to look this shit and feel this great. Then SOGGY SOCK strikes.
So what are the options? Frankly, it’s a minefield.
THE RUNNING SHOE: I’m not sporty, so let’s not to try to kid anyone. I will die looking like I worked at a desk all my life and spent too much money on moisturisers and serums to counter that. Also, they are U.G.L.Y. Never really ever in the running.
NEW BALANCE: Fairly cool, quite ‘indie’, revived a few years back by various Alexa Chungs worn smartly with man suits. Now branded the ‘Official Shoes of White People’ by neo-Nazis… *backs slowly away from the New Balance rack in JD.*
STAN FUCKING SMITHS: You may have noticed by now that these are fairly ubiquitous, y’know, just a tad. They have come to aesthetically grate on my brain during my commute through Brixton. It wasn’t always this way, sometimes bad things happen to good shoes. When I purchased my current pair (understated white Fred Perrys), I’d ordered them online along with some Stan Smiths because they also looked cool, a bit retro and very minimal, so would probably go well with a nice pair of cropped trousers to the office, unlike Running Shoe. I thought long and hard about these factors though, visualising the trajectory those positives would take them, imagining a mass of casual London media types who would see exactly what I had seen in them and never have I been more #Superforecaster in my predictions because lo and behold… I dodged a bullet. Now Stan Smith is dead, whoever he was. (He’s not really).
FASHION TRAINERS: You know the kind; designer trainers, high street dupes (of designer dupes) of Stan Smiths. Uber minimal, white, nude or dusky pink leather. Street-style blogger trainers. Do me favour, I know I’m not sporty but I’m also not a twat. The only graceful animal in this species is the navy leather. Much nearer a nice, comfy shoe and surprisingly difficult to find.
SHADES OF GREY: Now then. Some I can fully tolerate which seem to bridge genuine trainer with the city luxe of a fashion faker, are Adidas’ Gazelle in grey suede. Yes, light grey suede. Try arguing with yourself that your replacement for un-rainworthy trainers are HIGHLY un-rainworthy trainers. Even if I wanted to try the look as a cheap, shoe ‘chaser’ along with a more sensible purchase, New Look’s very acceptable grey minimal offering have sold out.
So there we are, the hunt continues. I wish I had a happy ending for you, but sometimes it’s worth the trial to find the thing you love by understanding what you don’t. Maybe I’m too Goldilocks. Maybe I’ll just get the superglue out.
*Stanley Roger Smith is a former world No. 1 American tennis player and two-time Grand Slam singles champion.