When it comes to walking and running without pain, your footwear is extremely important. You need supportive, comfortable shoes in order to perform at your best, and to avoid injury or discomfort. Some of the best running shoes are expensive, I know. It's not unheard of, or crazy to pay up to $100 for a truly well-designed running shoe that is appropriately designed for you specific needs. People with low or flat arches may need to spend more money on orthotic inserts for their running shoes in order to get enough support to train pain free. All of that is logical and appropriate. Which brings us to the topic of this blog post: shoe designers who create footwear that's pre-distressed (i.e. worn out) and costs almost $600!
These Crazy-Expensive Sneakers are Falling Apart
Golden Goose is a luxury shoe brand, and, as such, they charge a premium for their footwear. Recently, however, they came out with a new style that has sparked controversy among podiatrists like myself and concerned shoppers alike!
For this specific stye, the shoe--priced at $530!!--was given the following description: "Crumply, hold-it-all-together tape details a distressed leather sneaker in a retro low profile with a signature sidewall star and a grungy rubber cupsole."
Let's break down all the fashion-speak in that paragraph to figure out what Golden Goose really means: we've designed a shoe that looks like it's about to fall apart. We did that so you can look cooler.
Why the Internet is Mad at Golden Goose
Online shoppers were quick to point out the insensitivity of such a design choice. Some people--gasp--can't afford $530 sneakers. In fact, most people can't. And some of those people can't even afford to replaces shoes that are actually falling apart, and not just designed to look that way for fashionistas pleasure.
As one adept Twitter user pointed out on the platform: "Golden Goose comes out with a pair of sneakers listed at $530 that are worn down and kept together by tape. Since when is it a trend to glorify the appearance of used sneakers and poverty?"
I could not agree more with that Twitter commenter. But I have more to add to this specific conversation.
Why It's Important NOT to Wear Worn Out Sneakers
First, I want to emphasize my understanding of the financial stress related to new shoes: I have three children, and keeping them in shoes isn't always fun! But I also want to point out that good, inexpensive sneakers are always an option. You DON'T have to spend a fortune to support your feet properly.
With that said, it can be a problem if you wear your sneakers for too long. After about 300 miles of walking or running in them, your sneakers are no longer able to properly support your feet. That means it's time to start looking for a new pair. You would never want to wear your shoes until the point they need to be taped together. A taped shoe toes would likely leave your actual toes gripping the bottom of your shoe to stay in place. That kind of gripping can, over time, lead to foot pain. In certain cases, it can even change the anatomy of your foot, leading to crooked or hammertoes.
In other words, there's really nothing cool about sneakers made to seem like they're falling apart. Whether they're glorifying ill-fitting footwear or openly mocking poverty, there's really no way to justify this kind of design decision. I can only hope that Golden Goose will hear the criticism rebounding across the internet and be more sensitive about their design choices in the future!
If you have been wearing sneakers that have outlived their life span...definitely replace them. If they caused some foot pain that isn't going away, contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider. Together we'll get to the bottom of your pain and get you walking and running pain-free.