How to Wear Something Other Than Sneakers

I started fantasising about designer shoes long before my first tooth came out. I daydreamed about Carrie Bradshaw’s emblematic pair of blue satin Manolos and imagined an endless number of outfits that included loafers and boots. Yet now I only wear tennis shoes and I am sick of it. Don’t get me wrong, I love sneakers. They unite the three sacred fashion requirements: comfort, convenience and style. That’s why, twice a year I purchase an iconic pair of Stan Smiths. Velcro, laces, white and green, I’ve have had them all. They are my workout shoes, snow boots and summer sandals. You know the feeling of discovering a wonderful song and listening to it until you get sick? Well I have been listening to the same melody for six years, and it was conducted by Adidas.

The truth is I am scared of other shoes. They’re a recipe for blisters and bloody plasters. The unfortunate reality is, however, I don’t look at my best in sneakers – an insecurity highlighted by the comments of supposedly loving family and friends. Although I’ve always prioritised looking stylish over looking beautiful, I knew they had a point. Wearing sneakers all the time shouldn’t be a dogma. First, it ruins outfits that could have looked much better with other types of shoes. Second, wearing flat shoes everyday is damaging for both your back and feet. Third, sneakers are perfect for library days and society meetings, but can be too casual for some professional environments.  Moreover, since I’m in my final year of university, now would be the time to get used to wearing other shoes.

If I’m honest, the real motive to stop wearing sneakers goes beyond this list of reasons: it’s about leaving my comfort zone, choosing challenge over facility. Writing this article lays the foundations in this difficult process.

So, from my contentious experience with shoe shopping, I gathered a list of questions to ask yourself before purchasing a pair of (non sneaker) shoes in order to know if it is the one:

#1: If in the store, the shoes already hurt, do not purchase them. Don’t make the rookie mistake of believing the “You just need to wear them in” salesperson pitch. Trust me, these shoes will just sit in your closet and make you feel guilty until you finally decide do give them away – there’s your first fashion must: comfort.

#2: Would you wear them out of the store straight away? Or would you kindly answer ‘Yes please’ when asked if you need a bag? If you’re ready to walk out of the store in them then that means they are likely to go with any outfit – that’s convenience.

#3: Do these shoes make you happy? It is one thing to feel fantastic when trying on shoes in a shop, but standing by your decision in the face of mockery is another. Would you defend them with your heart and soul? – that’s style.

I hope you can use this trinity of values on your quest for better footwear. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to leave for a dinner. And since I’m running late, I guess I’ll quickly slip into my green Stan Smiths. Aren’t resolutions meant to be broken?

credit: Glamour Magazine UK

Anouk Sarfati