Shoes

Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers

White and navy Adidas Stan Smith sneakers

The first time I tried on a pair of Adidas Stan Smith sneakers, I was in Office on King’s Road. It was autumn 2018, and I was searching for comfortable footwear that would be suitable for running around London. The pair that the sales associate presented me with was white with green detailing. I wanted to like them, but the footbed, which appeared to be made of the same material as the outsole, was slippery when worn. Leather should really be reserved for non-athletic shoes. I passed on the pair from Office but ordered a similar style via Zappos two years later.

When they arrived this past November, I was pleased that the insole was primarily made of a material resembling textile (most likely polyester). I don’t know if it’s the time difference or the change in country that accounts for the different insoles. (If you’re privy to this information, please share with the class.) But, I’m glad that the style I ordered stateside met my expectations. After taking my new kicks for a brief walk down the hall, I officially admitted them to my closet.

Fast forward to last week when I took them for their first walk outside. I couldn’t believe how comfortable they were. No break-in time required! Of course I’m partial to the version with navy detailing.

Do yourself a favor and try these sneakers on. They’ll tide you over until it’s warm enough for sandals. In recent news, Adidas revealed the Stan Smith Mylo, which is made of mushroom roots. The creme/cinnamon coloring is stunning, and I’m just biding my time until I can try them on.

Works Sighted

Adidas Stan Smith // J.Crew Martie Pant

5 Types of Footwear for Spring

Footwear for Spring: loafers, boat shoes, Superga, adidas Stan Smith, and espadrilles.

The idea for this post came to me after I witnessed several young women wearing sandals outside. It’s not warm enough for sandals in PHL. I shouldn’t see anyone’s toes, no matter how pedicured they are. Ladies, I know you’re eager to get into a summer vacation state of mind—I can relate—but if it’s too cold for sandals, it’s too cold for sandals.

If you’re really in dire straights, consider the espadrille—the kind that covers the parts of your foot that sandals tend to reveal. The boat shoe is also an appropriate option—boat encouraged but not necessary. In the realm of sneakers, there are canvas and non-canvas options to consider. Don’t forget the loafer; it’s polished and extremely versatile. Beach days, cookouts, and hours poolside are coming.

Works Sighted

G.H. Bass & Co. bow weejuns // Sebago loafers // G.H. Bass & Co. Whitney weejuns

Sebago boat shoe (navy) // Sebago boat shoe (beige) // Superga 2750 Cotu classic (white/gold)

adidas Stan Smith // J.Crew Factory espadrilles // J.Crew espadrilles

The L.L.Bean Boot

L.L. Bean 6″ duck boots

As I mentioned in my post on the parka, dressing for the weather is the first step to enjoying it. This mantra should be applied to every type of weather, but I find that the colder months present more style-related challenges. Today we’ll discuss the L.L.Bean boot. I’ve owned the same pair of 6″ duck boots since 2017, and so far, I haven’t found another type of winter-appropriate footwear that is equally practical outside as it is inside. Prior to working remotely, I’d often leave them on after my daily commute. The rubber sole, leather upper, and gold and tan laces pair nicely with the classic tights/woolen skirt/button-up combination.

I tend to wear my Bean boots when there is either snow on the ground or an imminent threat of it. Winter in the Mid-Atlantic is mild compared to the season in New England, and I’d probably own several pairs of Bean boots if I lived in Boston (one of my favorite U.S. cities). There are a number of linings available for addition insulation, such as shearling and Thinsulate, but I find the style sans lining suitable for the weather in PHL. I’ll wear them with a pair of J.Crew camp socks on colder days or a tall sock of standard weight in warmer winter temperatures. Every winter I turn to the same pair of boots to get me through the elements. Eventually, I’ll have to get them resoled, but for right now, they still look good as new.

Margaux Demi Flat

Margaux Demi ballet flat in platinum.

I’ve kept at least one pair of ballet flats in my shoe collection since I was in high school. However, it’s taken me quite some time to find what I would consider the perfect pair. I’ve come across two styles that meet my expectations, but today we’ll focus on the second of my discoveries, the Margaux Demi flat. (The other style, the Havana flat by Blue Velvet Shoes, isn’t available to ship to the U.S.)

I’ve never had a more glamorous shoe shopping experience than the one I had at the Margaux showroom in 2017. The business was located at 37 W 20th St. back then, and I’d made a special trip into the city for the occasion. (They’ve since moved to 387 Bleecker St.) Before the pandemic, I’d make up any excuse to be out and about in Manhattan. The building on W 20th was a high-rise with multiple business suites, and Margaux lived in number 1206. The plain, white hallway gave no indication of the beautiful decor beyond the door. The soft grey walls, the picket-fence-white shelving, the circular table that reminded me of a tree, the plush seating…all of this was surpassed by the sales associate who made sure I was trying on the proper size. Before departing the studio, I placed an order for two pairs of the Demi: one in black and another in navy/black. Having my shopping sent to me felt luxurious, like an experience from an era long gone.

When my Demi flats arrived, I put them to work right away. My two original pairs have since been put out of commission; they’re sitting in my closet awaiting new insoles. I recently purchased the style in platinum. In fact, I’m wearing them as I write this. They look pretty in the light of my desk lamp. Not only does the style’s low vamp accommodate my high instep, but the insole is comfortable and cloud-like. It has a little bit of a heel (not including the inside padding, I measured about a half inch). The grosgrain drawstring that is mean to be tied in a bow on top of the vamp isn’t just for show; it also functions. A feat of engineering indeed!

Works Sighted

Margaux Demi flats (platinum); Brooks Brothers Red Fleece skirt (old)

Slides vs. Flip-Flops

J.McLaughlin mule and Spanx perfect black pant.

I’ve spent an unbelievable amount of time shopping for footwear to wear around the house; I needed something backless that didn’t require any effort to put on or remove. Prior to the current state of things, I would change into flip-flops at the end of every workday. I’d wear them from the time I returned home until the time I went to bed. In the fourteen years that I’ve worn them in this fashion, the style has never caused me any issues. Things started to go downhill this year once quarantining became a reality. After assuming my new role as a homebody, I began to wear flip-flops more often.

When considering a shoe to wear indoors, I know now that flip-flops aren’t the answer. I speak from experience when I say that wearing flip-flops constantly over a long period of time will cause damage to your feet. Thank goodness I was able to reverse mine. Heed this warning: you may not be so lucky.  

In my quest to discover why flip-flops are so damaging, I came across the website of a leading New York podiatrist named Dr. Miguel Cunha. His practice, Gotham Footcare, has two locations: one on 5th Ave and another on Broadway. Not only has Dr. Cunha lent his knowledge to outlets like Health magazine, PopSugar, and Refinery29, but he also writes blog posts to benefit the general public.

The three most important points that I’ve extracted from his writings concerning the topic of this post are as follows: 1) you should have a pair of indoor shoes 2) wearing flip-flops puts too much pressure on the forefoot and can lead to conditions like hammertoe 3) slides tend to cover a generous portion of the forefoot, which may keep unwanted conditions at bay (provided that you don’t wear them excessively). After months of searching for shoes to wear indoors, I’ve ended up with a pair of gold mules from J.McLaughlin and a pair of slide sandals from J.Crew (the Cyprus sandal in roasted pecan).

As you can see, I’ve worn my mules outside for photo-taking purposes. I wiped the soles down later for the sake of cleanliness. Although I love how they shine in the sunlight, I don’t wear backless shoes outside unless I’m leaving the nail salon or going through airport security. They’re not appropriate to wear whilst actively working towards my daily Fitbit goal.

Works Sighted

J.McLaughlin mule (no longer available); Spanx Perfect Black Pant, Ankle Backseam Skinny

Everything You Need to Know About the Superga 2790 Acotw

Superga 2790 Acotw in navy.

If you haven’t read the preceding post on the Superga 2750 Cotu Classic, have a look at it before diving into this one. Unless you’re a Spice Girl, I recommend getting acclimated to the Superga 2750 before acquiring the Superga 2790. In the preceding article, I discuss the comfort of the 2750’s 1-inch, vulcanized sole, which cushions the impact the wearer receives while walking. The sole of the 2790 is half an inch higher than that of the 2750, and, although you may not think a half inch would be significant, traversing the pavement in the 2790 is equivalent to walking on air. I am especially grateful for them when I am on my feet all day.

That being said, there’s one caveat. While the 2790 is exceptionally comfortable, I can’t wear them every day like the 2750. I tried wearing them every day for three weeks in 2018 whilst hopping around the U.K. My feet hurt after a week, and I had to buy a new pair of sneakers without a platform. However, let it be known that I was probably averaging 30,000 steps a day during this period—far more than usual. I’m still wearing my first pair of 2790s, which I purchase in September of 2018. The heels are a little worn down, but I haven’t replaced them yet. In contrast, I wear down several pairs of 2750s each year.

Originally, I ordered the 2790 in white, black, and navy. The white version looked like boats, and I decided against them. When it came down to choosing between the navy or the black, I gravitated towards the navy pair. I wondered if it made sense to own both the 2790 and the 2750 in the same color. Then, I came to my senses. You can never have too much navy.

Like the 2750, the 2790 is extremely versatile. I wear this style with skirts and dresses in lieu of heels. They also look amazing with skinny pants. I’ll now reiterate some points from my Superga 2750 post that also apply to this one. It is important to lace and tie these shoes during the fitting process. Your size in the 2790 and 2750 will probably be the same; this is true for me. They don’t have arch support, but the comfortable sole is fair compensation. You’ll have to break them in, but the process isn’t terrible. Don’t attempt to meet your 15,000-step Fitbit goal in these shoes during the break-in period. If you buy them in white, you may clean them in the manner descried in the preceding post. I wear Bombas socks with these too. Lastly, the 2790 is the most affordable platform sneaker of quality that I’ve found. I’m not paying $200 for a sneaker that can’t be resoled.

Works Sighted

Superga 2790 Acotw (Navy)