Fear of Athletic Shoes

I just don’t want to be one of those old ladies in ugly sneakers.   Is that so wrong?

I know stuff happens to your feet.  I know you have to be comfortable, and avoid falls.  Hell, I even know ladies in their thirties who have to wear athletic shoes – all the time – because of foot problems.

I just don’t want it to be me.

The distinction is probably a silly one, given my own footwear preferences.  For me, it’s all about finding the perfect ankle boot that will take me from walking around town to working to going out on the town.  Many a true fashionista would be appalled by my collection of virtually identical brown boots, of various heel heights, all scuffed and worn.

But still, I firmly believe that a well-chosen boot, worn with confidence, will always have the kind of sassitude that no white canvas athletic shoe will ever approach.

Getting older is discouraging enough.  Gravity pulls your once pert body parts ever downward.  The skin on your face heads south, too – bags under eyes, wobbly chins, jowls.  Loss of bone density shaves away at your formerly regal height.

And then, to add insult to injury, one day you find yourself firmly anchored to the earth by a pair of squat, chunky, ugly white sneakers.  Thud!  You are no longer a young, energetic woman gliding gracefully above the earth on a pair of delicate high heels.  You are earthbound.  And you will remain there, presumably, until you are dead.  (Note to family members: bury me in cute slingbacks, please!)

Of course, the mature thing to do would be to step back from all of this and adopt a new attitude.  Own your new down-to-earth strength and wisdom!  Give yourself credit for all you have achieved!  Leave behind this silly preoccupation with cute shoes!

Pfft.  I’m having none of that.

So, I’m trying to plan ahead for the day when even my trusty boots are not comfortable enough for walking.  I know it’s coming.   It’s not like I haven’t noticed that, when I go walking in workout clothes and shoes, my feet and legs feel a lot better afterwards than when I walk in even my most comfy pair of Clark’s.

A couple of years ago, all these adorable, colorful, street smart “athletic” shoes sprang onto the scene.  They were sported by cute young supermodels and celebrities – the same kinds of women who can run around in yoga pants and still look fabulous when photographed on the street.  They were a little sleeker and more streamlined, sometimes in leather rather than canvas, in darker colors and interesting textures.  And without the big thick chunky white sole.  Sort of like these:

Now, I don’t know if these shoes have made it to my low-key, quasi rural/suburban neck of the woods yet.  I haven’t exactly seen them at the local supermarket.   Not to mention, I’m not sure I can pull it off.  Does this look even work for a woman who is, a) over 40, and b) larger than a size 2?

But I am now officially on the hunt.  And I invite you to join me.  Let’s become the generation of old ladies that does not go gently into that dark night of ugly sneakers.  We are going to find us some slammingly cute, very hip, very street, Old Lady Sneakers.

And we will wear them, proudly, as we strut into the afterlife.


About Anne @ The Frump Factor

Reflections on beauty and style, for women who weren't born yesterday. Bring your sense of humor and "Fight the Frump" with me!
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2 Responses to Fear of Athletic Shoes

  1. Jean says:

    Pauline and I once bought what we thought were absolutely slammingly cute, very hip, very street shoes. But everyone kept asking us “What’s with the clown shoes?” Actually it was mostly the men. Like Joe and Ira. On second thought, those shoes probably WERE rad.

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