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Reality Check Needed: Men’s Obsession With Athletic Shoes

cellphoneguy81

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I have always enjoyed a good “classic” sneaker with jeans. A Stan Smith, a Chuck Taylor, even some classic “trainers” from several brands.

However, why must all modern athletic shoes look like some kind of a space ship trying to take flight? And why do men attempt to wear this with denim?

Am I just getting to old and stuck in my ways or do these modern shoes and the fact that seemingly 9/10 guys wear them with jeans bother anyone else?

Is this just in the U.S. or is this a global problem?
 

AP251

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I have always enjoyed a good “classic” sneaker with jeans. A Stan Smith, a Chuck Taylor, even some classic “trainers” from several brands.

However, why must all modern athletic shoes look like some kind of a space ship trying to take flight? And why do men attempt to wear this with denim?

Am I just getting to old and stuck in my ways or do these modern shoes and the fact that seemingly 9/10 guys wear them with jeans bother anyone else?

Is this just in the U.S. or is this a global problem?
I Like an athletic shoe with a suit although I can't pull it off in my profession. I'm debating buying some ferrragadmmo drivers to wear its a suit. what do you think? no tie, white shirt, pocket square
 

cellphoneguy81

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I Like an athletic shoe with a suit although I can't pull it off in my profession. I'm debating buying some ferrragadmmo drivers to wear its a suit. what do you think? no tie, white shirt, pocket square
There are a lot of differing opinions on this forum on anything that is not a traditional dress shoe with a suit. I am not a sneakers with a suit guy...however, I am ok with loafers/drivers if they are the right kind with a suit that is slim fitting (no pleats, cuffs) and if you are wearing open collar. However, many men will tell you here that a suit with an open collar is a no go. I prefer to wear drivers or loafer with some dark, slim fitting jeans or some slim chinos (various colors) and a sport coat. It's obviously not a dressy as what you are describing but the shoes look better. IMO the only shoes that really look nice with a suit that don't have laces are some really dressy boots or some monk/double monks.
 

Bespoke Barrister

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I have always enjoyed a good “classic” sneaker with jeans. A Stan Smith, a Chuck Taylor, even some classic “trainers” from several brands.

However, why must all modern athletic shoes look like some kind of a space ship trying to take flight? And why do men attempt to wear this with denim?

Am I just getting to old and stuck in my ways or do these modern shoes and the fact that seemingly 9/10 guys wear them with jeans bother anyone else?

Is this just in the U.S. or is this a global problem?
I don't know if it is a problem outside the U.S., but I agree with you assessment. Sneakers are so god damn ugly, so many (often clashing) colors, textures, and so grossly overpriced that I too am disgusted. My solution is to use NIKEid to create a shoe with colors that are not so FUG as the off the shelf offerings. Try the NIKEid site, you might be able to make something you like more. But at the end of the day as sneaker is a sneaker.
 

Alpha11

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I believe the problem lies with your definition of "athletic shoes" as I believe you are more into tennis shoes or casual sneakers then athletic shoes.

Chuck Taylors would be the last pair of shoes I would ever consider using while doing something "athletic". There is little to no support in the ankle, zero balance in the midsole as well as no shock disbursement whatsoever in the heel or outer sole.

Technology as far as athletic wear has advanced far past what Chuck Taylors were originally designed for. So, this could be the reason as to why athletic shoes look so Space Age .
 

cellphoneguy81

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I believe the problem lies with your definition of "athletic shoes" as I believe you are more into tennis shoes or casual sneakers then athletic shoes.

Chuck Taylors would be the last pair of shoes I would ever consider using while doing something "athletic". There is little to no support in the ankle, zero balance in the midsole as well as no shock disbursement whatsoever in the heel or outer sole.

Technology as far as athletic wear has advanced far past what Chuck Taylors were originally designed for. So, this could be the reason as to why athletic shoes look so Space Age .
I don’t disagree - but my point was why folks seemed obsessed with wearing this new “technology” as everyday casual wear. I agree with your definition of what I am wearing- that is why I wear them. They are casual wear. My problem is the confusion between athletic wear and casual.
 

maxalex

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Along the same lines one might well ask why men wear gym pants in restaurants and sleeveless basketball tops on airplanes. For the same reason dogs lick their own genitals: Because they can.

There are no more standards today, and no amount of hand-wringing will resurrect them. Our only comfort must be that we who still care about appearances are often the only non-douchebags in the room.

It was Bruce Boyer who first observed that athletic clothes tend to make the wearer look decidedly unathletic.
 

stylish_raven

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I don’t disagree - but my point was why folks seemed obsessed with wearing this new “technology” as everyday casual wear. I agree with your definition of what I am wearing- that is why I wear them. They are casual wear. My problem is the confusion between athletic wear and casual.
i understand your point however comfort is a big factor to take into consideration and the peacock effect as sneakers tend to be flashier thus standing out even more so
 

Bespoke Barrister

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I believe the problem lies with your definition of "athletic shoes" as I believe you are more into tennis shoes or casual sneakers then athletic shoes.

Chuck Taylors would be the last pair of shoes I would ever consider using while doing something "athletic". There is little to no support in the ankle, zero balance in the midsole as well as no shock disbursement whatsoever in the heel or outer sole.

Technology as far as athletic wear has advanced far past what Chuck Taylors were originally designed for. So, this could be the reason as to why athletic shoes look so Space Age .
But there is no reason that they have to be so FUG! Even if one accepts that the multitude of materials and textures are necessary for the advanced technology in modern athletic shoes, the colors combinations are god awful. Experiment with this shoe:
https://store.nike.com/us/en_us/product/free-rn-2018-id/?piid=44652&pbid=126269999
 

amlemus

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I have always enjoyed a good “classic” sneaker with jeans. A Stan Smith, a Chuck Taylor, even some classic “trainers” from several brands.

However, why must all modern athletic shoes look like some kind of a space ship trying to take flight? And why do men attempt to wear this with denim?

Am I just getting to old and stuck in my ways or do these modern shoes and the fact that seemingly 9/10 guys wear them with jeans bother anyone else?

Is this just in the U.S. or is this a global problem?
I see this a lot and I find that bulky "athletic" shoes don't compliment a good silhouette, especially with denim which is already a fairly heavyweight fabric. Like you stated, the Chuck Taylors, Stan Smiths, or other relatively "thin" models (I even like white "leather" sneakers, as long as they aren't too glossy) compliment denim well and keep a sleek silhouette. Modern sneakers and athletic shoes just add too much bulk and kill proportions more often than not. That being said, if someone can rock them, go for it.
 

Alpha11

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But there is no reason that they have to be so FUG! Even if one accepts that the multitude of materials and textures are necessary for the advanced technology in modern athletic shoes, the colors combinations are god awful. Experiment with this shoe:
https://store.nike.com/us/en_us/product/free-rn-2018-id/?piid=44652&pbid=126269999
Well after reading the product description I do not see why you are perplex by the design.

It is a cross trainer /running shoes there the mid sole is made out of polyurethane or molded Eva. The lock down system is their wire system so you are going to have that kind of pattern throughout the show. The heel counter is the size it is due to it having to have a stable striking platform that runners and cross training athletes demand. The color pallet is often chosen by the runners for visibility when running at late hours.

To me your are getting the aesthetics of the shoe confused with the performance.

Casual shoes are intended exactly for that. Therefore, the design and material used will also be centered around that leisure activity. You have to decide casual or performance because at this point in time shoe companies aren't accommodating both into one shoe. Nor should they.
 

Solverson

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New Balance, made in England o made in USA models, has a lot of great options to wear with jeans
 

Bespoke Barrister

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Well after reading the product description I do not see why you are perplex by the design.

It is a cross trainer /running shoes there the mid sole is made out of polyurethane or molded Eva. The lock down system is their wire system so you are going to have that kind of pattern throughout the show. The heel counter is the size it is due to it having to have a stable striking platform that runners and cross training athletes demand. The color pallet is often chosen by the runners for visibility when running at late hours.

To me your are getting the aesthetics of the shoe confused with the performance.

Casual shoes are intended exactly for that. Therefore, the design and material used will also be centered around that leisure activity. You have to decide casual or performance because at this point in time shoe companies aren't accommodating both into one shoe. Nor should they.
I appreciate the performance of the Nike Free and accept the materials as required. My complaint is that the stock color combinations are awful by default. The shoe in question actually looks pretty good with a more subtle combination of colors IMO.
 

cellphoneguy81

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Well after reading the product description I do not see why you are perplex by the design.

It is a cross trainer /running shoes there the mid sole is made out of polyurethane or molded Eva. The lock down system is their wire system so you are going to have that kind of pattern throughout the show. The heel counter is the size it is due to it having to have a stable striking platform that runners and cross training athletes demand. The color pallet is often chosen by the runners for visibility when running at late hours.

To me your are getting the aesthetics of the shoe confused with the performance.

Casual shoes are intended exactly for that. Therefore, the design and material used will also be centered around that leisure activity. You have to decide casual or performance because at this point in time shoe companies aren't accommodating both into one shoe. Nor should they.
Point is still that men are wearing these “performance” shoes to go out to dinner with their wife/girlfriend or go out on the town. This combo looks bad. Men should stop.
 

adamdewilde

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As someone who wears sneakers with jeans I'll toss my opinion into this convo.. First of all I need to clarify that I don't buy colourful sneakers I try to buy all white or all black. Secondly the reason why I even wear sneakers in the first place is that I'm casual a lot of the time and I want my feet to be comfortable as I enjoy walking a lot. I have dress shoes galore and boots and etc. But one thing I cannot find are good leather casual shoes. Something that doesn't look round at the toe but isn't a dress shoe is very hard to find (someone above mentioned chuck Taylor all those Adidas shoes and other brands who follow suit are round and funny looking at the toe box).

The closest I've come would be the Cole Han zero grande but they're more a comfortable dress shoe than a nice sneaker. Really Nike/Adidas/Etc barely uses leather in their shoe production anymore. And companies like Todds/Hogan/Prada (Gucci and those "semi-lux" brands) don't make nice looking sneakers IMO.

The easiest way to get a nice looking (shape wise) sneaker is to go with something like an Adidas Ultraboost uncaged or a Nike Flykit. And to just buy them when they have triple black colour way or triple white colour way. They hug your foot, aren't too round at the toe box and since the material is very thin and stretchy they don't look bulky.

I would also like to add that none of my sneakers look "cool" with a suit. Even my casual jogger material suit I cannot seem to ever wear because I don't have the right sneakers for it. But with jeans or sport pants (think Lululemon joggers or tights) these sneakers are alright.
 

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