DO THIS DON'T: Rock The Wedge Sneaker

Ugly they may be, but wearing my wedge sneakers makes me feel like a velociraptor cosplaying Astronaut Robyn.
Publish date:
July 26, 2013
shoppables, fashion, shoes, do this don't, ugly shoes, M

Let's get this out of the way: I am aware that high-tops don't look great on me. Something about the way they hit me right around the lower shin turns me into the gym teacher version of the Greek god Pan. I dig my muscular San Francisco Hill legs, but when I pair them with high-tops, I basically look like I have hooves.

Not that this has stopped me, mind you.

In fact, my most-worn pair of shoes for the last three months has been the ugliest pair of built-in wedge high-tops the world has ever known. I know the wedge sneaker trend is getting a lot of hate right now, and with good reason: they are absurd-looking, and they pretty much give everyone varying degrees of the aforementioned Pan Vibe. Even Beyonce has worn better shoes, and I do not say that lightly.

Mine are actually stealth ugly, which makes them even better: at first glance, they look like normal black high-tops. But the first time I wore them out on a date, the conversation went something like this:

Date: "Oh, hey, Kate, how are -- why -- why are you so tall?"

Me, faux-innocently: "Oh, am I?"

Date: "You're not normally -- oh my God, what are you wearing?"


Date: "They're -- they're somethin'."

Somethin', indeed. They weigh a pound each, they make me topple sideways every time I drink more than one beer while wearing them, and I am going to wear them until they rot off my body, god damn it.

Honestly, it's mostly because wearing them makes me feel awesome. I had a big Daria-boner/combat boot phase in the seventh grade, and I think I never got over the "Don't fuck with me" feeling that clomping around in heavy shoes gave me. Plus, like my date noticed, there's the height factor: suddenly, at six feet tall, I'm able to see over most people's heads, making wearing them a huge advantage at concerts, parades, or passive-aggressive office parties where looming is a signal of power. When I put these on, I feel fierce, like a velociraptor cosplaying Astronaut Robyn.

They're also comfortable as hell. Since they're sneakers, it's possible to wear them to walk all over the place, though I would recommend foregoing the three-mile stumblecrawl home from a bar, as your butt will not thank you the next morning.

I am kind of a wuss when it comes to normal heels, mostly because of my tendency toward duckfootedness, so I appreciate that these give me the fancy-ish feeling of pumps without the intense, screaming pain in the arches of my feet after an hour. In fact, I have worn wedge sneakers out dancing so often that I now feel compelled to strike a dumb pose whenever I put them on, even if I'm just standing in my bedroom.

But Kate! I hear you ask. With what shall I wear these horrifying shoes?

And I will answer, my friend, as follows: witheverything.

The best thing about these shoes is that they become a sort of black hole of ugliness, making everything around them look hip and chic by comparison. Going out to a club? Wear 'em with ripped garter tights, high-waisted shorts, a tight tucked-in tank top, and the most terrifying statement earrings you can find.

If you're just hanging around town and want to jazz up your grocery shopping, slapping them on with jeggings and a zip-up hoodie brings to mind that "celebrity in an ineffective disguise" feeling.

And if you're feeling femme -- maybe you're going on a dinner date with a boy in whom you wish to inspire just a smidge of small-animal fear -- I'd recommend pairing them with a mini black dress, red matte lipstick, and hair gelled up to there.

Convinced yet? If not, please just look at these amazing examples and then try to tell me a tiny, screaming part of you is not begging to wear these and look like the prettiest girl on the roller derby team:

These are my pride and joy. Like a fine wine, the longer you experience them, the uglier they become.

I have this tube of glitter gel I received for my last birthday. Sometimes, on certain weekends after particularly harrowing weeks, I just think to myself, "It's motherfuckin' glitter time" and start slathering it on. These shoes are good for nights like those.

Think of these as wedge sneaker training wheels. They could be boots. You could even try to convince yourself they're "winter sandals!" But you know, in your heart, what you truly want them to be.

There was a time in my Baby Butch days when I really didn't know whether I wanted to be a skateboarder or just fuck one. When I saw these in a store in the Castro, all I could think of were skinned knees and men with unfortunate hair. Needless to say, I felt a mighty stirring.

LOL JK, these might be too weird even for me. But if a braver (and wealthier) soul than I decides to go for them, please, by all means, send me photos.

So have you hopped on the wedge wagon now? Let Kate know: @katchatters.