Is This Shoe OK? The Expensive Velcro Sneaker Trend

Welcome to Is This Shoe OK?, an infrequent column about shoes that may or may not be good, as determined by me—an authority, because I own shoes—and you, in the comments below. In today’s installment, we’re looking at velcro sneakers, a new trend overtaking adults, not just children who’ve yet to learn to tie their shoes.

Not all trends are created equal, and not all trends are for you. It’s a lesson even the most adventurously fashionable must confront at some point in life and then again every season forevermore afterward, and it’s one I never really considered until everyone in my life started wearing heinously ugly dad sneakers. (In case you didn’t know: Demna Gvasalia, the influential Balenciaga/Vetements designer, started the trend because he hated looking at small feet. If you’ve partaken, you’ve fallen victim to a troll and as a result, elected to look like a clown. Also, I hate sneakers, so my apologies in advance for the inherent biases you’re about to devour.)

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Composer Terence Blanchard
Image: Getty

Next up in the tennis shoes trend is the velcro sneaker, according to a recent article on Well and Good, part of what the writer describes as an ongoing “‘so uncool, they’re cool again’ footwear craze.” I rebuke this concept, if only because velcro sneakers kind of make everyone look like a big baby? And not in an overall stylish way. A big baby with enormous calves?

In elementary school, I dreaded Field Day every Spring—an entire day dedicated to athleticism and extremely uncreative obstacle courses (such as running with an egg on a spoon, etc.) One of our regular challenges required running across a football field, in our socks, to a big pile of shoes. We were forced to locate our sneakers, put them on, tie them, and run back. I’d forget about this task almost annually, and would be forced into un-looping my velcro shoes, looping them again and snapping into place. For some reason this took me much longer than simply tying my shoes would’ve, which stands to argue against the simplicity of velcro shoes. Not only do they look weird, they don’t really save you any time. Velcro shoes are not a lifehack. So, forget about the practicality argument.

They’re also not cheap. The Veja sneaks pictured above retail for $130 - $150 at Nordstrom. Cole Haan is selling their version of the orthopedic-facing shoe for $150 as well. Stella McCartney’s Eclypse Hook-and-Loop velcro sneaker run for a cool $685. I think you could probably find some nurse shoes at your local Goodwill for $8.99 that will do the trick, but to each their own.

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While I find these divisive shoes to be terrible and self-infantilizing, I respect everyone’s individual style and assume someone can make them look cool and good. In that respect, the velcro sneaker trend is fine. Not okay, but functional.

At any rate, this is a collaborative blog series so I’m dying to know: What do you think? Is this shoe OK? Feel free to disagree with me in the comments below, if you are so brave to admit that you have horrendous taste.

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