No matter the generation or the individual, I believe that we’ve all gone through that fashion phase that we regret. For me, the fashion faux pas that I would take back, should I have access to a time traveling machine, would be Airwalks. Now, when I say Airwalks I don’t mean the company in general, but the style of shoe that used to be popular back in the early 2000’s, better known as a knock-off brand of Crocs.
Elementary school Calli loved this certain style of shoe with all her heart, and that was basically all I would wear during the school season. The rubber shoes were comfortable, bright and colorful, and left room for my feet to breath. Some styles even had little charms that could be inserted into the holes to make the shoes look even more garish—erm, I mean stylish. Now that I’m older I can see how ridiculous-looking Airwalks/Crocs were, but I can’t escape the feeling of nostalgia they give me each time I see a picture of this near-extinct footwear.
Retrospection has made me confused about why my younger self continued to wear these shoes, because although they might have been comfortable, they had a darker side. You see, connecting the back strap to the main part of the shoe was a black, plastic circle that fell just below the ankle. There would be no problem the first few times I wore my new shoes, but as the summer went on, the black circle started to wreak havoc on my foot. My younger self was a more active being than the girl sitting behind the laptop today, and all of my running and adventuring led to a lot of friction between the circle and my foot. Even back then, it was a big no-no to wear socks with Crocs, so without any protection between my shoe and foot, my skin would often blister and break.
Some summers it got so bad that I was actually limping places, and yet I continued to wear the shoes because I was a stubborn little girl who was not about to give up her Airwalks. Even when I gave up the Airwalk life, I continued to have red, circular marks near my ankle for years afterwards.
Shoes seem to be the biggest culprit when it comes to people sacrificing comfort for fashion, and leading this shoe mafia is none other than high heels. With nothing but a narrow heel to support 100+ pounds suspended several inches off the ground, all one needs to do is to look at one to understand that they would be more functional as a weapon than a form of foot protection.
Some girls love the high heel life, and I say good for them, but I’ve never had the desire to wobble my way through life. I can only remember owning three pairs of high heels in my life: a pair of sparkly purple ones that I used during dress-up, and two basic, black 1-inch heels that I occasionally wore to church or special occasions. I consider myself to be pretty self aware, and I am more than certain that high heels are not a good idea for a girl who frequently trips up the stairs when wearing nothing more than tennis shoes.
I’m a girl who enjoys her comfort, but even my favorite styles of shoe come with their own problems. Vans and flats are always a good go-to, but personal preference insists that I wear socks with them because I don’t like the sweaty-foot feel. The “no show” socks I wear to combat this problem like to play peek-a-boo, and I often find myself tugging them back onto my heel throughout the day.
Flip-flops are my favorite summer shoe to wear, but they do little to protect one’s feet from gravity. Or, more specifically, the things that gravity causes to fall and smash your poor little toes. Plus, there’s always the awesome tan-lines they give you (not a problem for me ever since I stopped going outside).
My personal favorite type of footwear is winter boots, but even they aren’t without some downsides. For one, although they might be cute and comfortable for Winter, I can’t exactly wear them with my shorts in hundred-degree weather. They also forced me into a relationship with skinny jeans, because stuffing boot-cut jeans into leather boots is quite an…experience.
Maybe it’s a little stereotypical of me (a girl) to write a post on shoes, but hey, if the shoe fits, wear it. Unless it happens to be a Croc, in which case extreme caution should be used. Back away slowly, and do not engage. I repeat, do not engage. No amount of comfort is worth that.