16 February 2007

Office-appropriate sneakers

Let me be clear, by providing you with links to these shoes, I am in no way endorsing the sneaker-in-the-office practice.

I'm a heel girl. On the rare occasion a flats girl, in the gym an Asics Gel-Kinsei girl, but my go-to default shoe is a 4-inch, skinny-heeled bow-adorned peeptoe.

I should also preface this by saying that the sneakers pictured below, though dressier than Mom Reeboks, might still not pass muster when it comes to your office's Casual Friday dress-code. If you aren't sure, look at the footwear of the worst dresser in your office - the one to whom no one will say anything even constructively critical for fear her fragile self-esteem balloon might pop in the form of gunfire - and base your decision on her. Is what she's wearing more casual than the pair of brown velvet Pumas burning a hole in your shoe rack?

If no, save them for the weekend. If yes, slip 'em on. If you do get called out by your superior, bring the fragile one down with you. Ultimately, it's for her own good.

My 3 rules for office-appropriate sneakers:

1. They must be fashion sneakers, not functional, athletic sneakers. Look for slim silhouettes with thin soles. A thick sole with a contrasting color (especially white) is too informal for any office setting.

2. They must have denim-friendly coloring. I prefer muted and monochromatic - blacks, browns, reds, navy blues, and olive greens, primarily - but as long as the color(s)/pattern isn't distractingly bold (the Eleanor Keds are a good example), you'll still be fine.

3. They should be in mint or near-mint condition. You shouldn't show up to work looking like you've just played soccer at recess. Suede sneaks are extremely dinge and dirt prone, so if you're going to choose a shoe in this material, you need to accept the fact that you'll have to perform weekly stain rubouts.

And with that, here they are, top to bottom:

1. Narella by Stella McCartney for Adidas ($94.95 at nordstrom.com)
2. Future Cat Lo by Puma ($93.95 at zappos.com)
3. Adi Run Suede by Adidas ($63.95 at zappos.com)
4. Bow Flats by Cat’s Meow ($35 at shopintuition.com)
5. Air Beau Mary Jane by Nike for Cole Haan ($155 at colehaan.com)
6. Raffia flat by Nanette Lepore for Keds ($70 at neimanmarcus.com)
7. Satin Ballerina by Nanette Lepore for Keds ($60 at neimanmarcus.com)
8. Eleanor by Keds ($43.95 at zappos.com)
9. Rally by Rocket Dog ($54.95 at zappos.com)
10. Koka-Kola by Rocket Dog ($45.95 at zappos.com)
11. Onitsuka Tiger by Asics ($83.95 at zappos.com)


Anonymous said...

Those duck-print Keds are too cute! The satin ballerina ones, too. It's nice to see a pair I want for under $100. Doesn't happen very often anymore, unfortunately...

Anonymous said...

I agree with all of your choices except that green Adidas one. It's too soccer practice-y, don't you think?

I'm taking the weekend to think about purchasing the black satin Keds. They are very tempting.

Johanna said...

You're probably right about those green ones. Though it isn't fair, I think they'd be more okay on a guy than on a girl.

I like the duck Keds, too, though I might wait 'til Spring kicks into full gear before investing a cute pair of casual kicks.