I get where Del’s coming from with her complaints about Trainer Heels. A lot are being sold because of their “hidden heel” nature, where you get the adjusted posture of heels, but nobody can tell they’re heels (like Tom Cruise wears). But the ultimate failing of this footwear is that it’s fallen into the most horrific of holes that any clothing can: it’s a staple of high-street brands. Everyone has their own version, though there’s very little variation between them. Generic footwear kills fashion dead, and it pretty much has in this case… but then there’s Yohji Yamamoto, Adidas and Y-3:
To the left is the Oriah boot. It’s a trainer, it’s a wedge, but gone are the bland shape and colour choice. It’s not using an existing shoe as its basis like that awful Nike heeled trainer, it’s creating something new. The same applies to the current line’s Kyura trainer (see right), its a platform trainer, but doesn’t have a non-heeled equivalent, even in this line, and consist of colours you really will not see in the high-street.
Now I’m not going to pretend it’s all sweetness and light. There have been… questionable elements to the Y-3 line, but they are still something unique, not the homogenised white/cream trainer with suede or gold elements to it, or a conversion from another trainer like those dull Converse. Even when they used the Torsion shoe name, one of Adidas’s stalwart trainers, they end up with something unique, crafting trainer technology into the shape of a slip-on heeled ankle boot.
My favourite of the bunch is the Nomad, below, one of the prettiest hybrids between ankle boot and trainer – pretty to the point where people probably won’t even consider them a heeled trainer (they’d look superb with wet look leggings, and I’d love to rock them with Lip Service’s Altered Perception leggings, but that’s just me). What they serve to demonstrate is that it’s not the concept that’s wrong, it’s the continual lazy execution of it, using basic colours, uninteresting shapes. But people will keep buying them, even when Y-3 are still pushing the boundaries. So yeah, these hybrids of sports fashion and shoe fashion have some legs, but you just have to ignore the background noise and focus on the true signal: