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Sneakers for people who don’t wear sneakers.

Yeah, that’s right, I’m wearing sneakers. Craziness, yes? I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “What’s the big deal? Everyone wears sneakers all the time. YAWN.” Well, not me. The last time I wore sneakers with any regularity was more than 20 years ago, when I had a nice little collection of high-top Converse (“Chucks” as the kids today call them). Sure, I’ve had a few pairs of gym-appropriate sneakers in the interim, but considering the amount of designated exercise I get on a regular basis—somewhere between none and none—I can still accurately say that sneakers are not something I’m seen wearing. Ever. Until now.

OK, OK, OK. Yes, my sneakers have a 3″ wedge heel. No, I’m not going to run a marathon in these things (or any things). But they are seriously comfy. Despite my undying devotion to not going to the gym ever, I actually do—like most New Yorkers—get an awful lot of walking in on a daily basis, usually on concrete and at a rapid pace, so it’s not like I’m just wearing these to sit around in my office or anything like that. I can wear them for a full day of being out and about/running errands and not give my feet a second thought. Weirdly, I just started wearing them regularly during the past couple of weeks even though I bought them at least 6 months ago. Maybe it’s the fall weather? They look good with tight jeans and giant parka, which is pretty much all I wear between late September and early December.

Because of my aforementioned parsnip legs, I always think I look a little better with a heel. I dress like a sloppy tomboy, though, and I never wear “pumps” (or whatever it is you call high heels that aren’t wedges or clogs). They make me feel like I’m a drag queen with weak ankles. Regular sneakers make me feel stumpy and like I’m trying to trick someone into thinking I might be going jogging later or something. A wedge sneaker, though? Perfect.

I became obsessed with this type of sneaker when French designer Isabel Marant introduced her own wedges, including the impossible-to-find (and impossible for me to afford even if I could find them) Bekket model. Mine are the much more affordable and more accessible Bowie wedges from Ash. They owe a heavy debt to Marant’s design, as do the countless other variations she inspired that have come out at various price points over the past year. Here’s a little round-up of my favorites…

1. Ash “Bowie” (these are the ones I have)
2. Jeffrey Campbell “Teramo Spike”
3. Ash “Cool Ter”
4. Isabel Marant “Betty”
5. Ash “Brooklyn”

Ash also makes wedge sneakers in dozens of style and color options in addition to the ones I mentioned here. I like to think of myself as being the kind of person who would wear these, but we all know I’m just wearing black and that’s it.

Say it, Jerry Lee…

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34 Comments

  • Reply katie November 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Leather and calfskin? I thought you were vegan? (I mean that in the least judgmental way, just curious).

    • Reply Anna @ D16 November 17, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      I eat a vegan diet, but no, I don’t personally identify as vegan. I still wear leather and wool and haven’t given away my sheepskins or wool rugs. I’ve written about that a few times before—in the comments here, most recently.

    • Reply Katie November 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      Thanks! I find it tricky with leather shoes etc: balance between conscience of animal death vs conscience of a flimsier plastic alternative that’s probably going to wear out sooner and be ultimately worse for the planet.

  • Reply Madeleine November 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I hadn’t worn sneakers in ages (other than for exercise and for doing grubby stuff) but I recently got some basic-looking mens’ New Balance ones (in a small size, in burgundy, these http://www.newbalance.com/New-Balance-501/ML501-B,default,pd.html?dwvar_ML501-B_color=Black&start=159&cgid=10000) and I am really into wearing them now. So comfortable, and I like the way they look with big, tweedy coats and lumpy, cozy sweaters. I can see how these ones you have would be great with a big parka. I have been very ambivalent about wedge sneakers but seeing these black and cream-colored ones together is making me reconsider. #1 and #5 especially.

    Love the Smiths sweaters too!

  • Reply maria November 17, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Hi Anna- love these! Question: how is the sizing? are they true to size to is it better to size up? My feet are a bit wide…

    • Reply Anna @ D16 November 17, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      Maria, I’d say they run slightly smaller than true to size. I usually wear a size 10 shoe, but my feet are a 9 3/4 (I know that sounds ridiculous, but 9 1/2 is a tiny bit too small and 10 is a tiny bit too big!). I have the size 10, and it fits perfectly. They’re definitely narrower than traditional sneakers, too. If you’re at all between sizes, I’d go up to the next size.

  • Reply Amy November 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Oh, wow… those are amazing! Totally on my Christmas list.

  • Reply Annie Markantonatou November 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    love them!

  • Reply Louise November 17, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Love <3 It's been so long since I wore wedge sneakers – I think grade 4 was the last time I had a pair..

  • Reply Kali November 17, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    So, I just love this and you. I needed to share since I’m not good at giving complements. I’m not of the high heel sneaker persuasion, since running after my toddler in them makes me imagine twisted ankles and screaming, but I love them for you. Been following for a long time, never commenting, just loving from a distance. I can honestly say I just like everything you have to say because you’re honest, represent yourself well, and have a grasp on who you are. I like being “near” you, meaning that I’m not all “gosh, I want to be her!” – and more like – “she’s awesome!”, “I want to be me, like she is being her”. That’s truly a gift, and I appreciate you very much. Thanks for taking time to share you life and passions with the rest of us.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 November 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      Kali, thank you. That’s really nice to hear, because that’s pretty much the whole reason I have this blog—not to try to convince people to be like me, but to share who I am and what I like in the hope that others will feel more in touch with the people they are, too.

      Really…thank you so much. I hope you’ll stick around, and don’t be shy about chiming in if the mood strikes. ;) xx

    • Reply lisa November 18, 2012 at 4:41 am

      very nice comments by kali!!! i wanted to respond to her cuz i know exactly what she’s saying (about you in particular). i have no girl friends really (by choice)… just my best bud husband, and i love it that way. but if i did have a female friend she might be someone like you :-)

  • Reply katrina November 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    they’re so cute! i’d be tempted to buy a pair if it weren’t for my ginormous EE feet.

  • Reply mari November 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    i own so many of these types of sneakers! i’m obsessed!

  • Reply Jen b November 17, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    I love sneaker wedges! My favorites is the Tsubo Drilon.

    http://www.tsubo.com/womens-drilon-lace-up-wedge-sneakers/8208,default,pd.html?dwvar_8208_color=PUTT&start=9&cgid=women-casuals

    Thanks too for recommending the Gap curvy skinny jeans. I got mine today and they fit like a dream!

  • Reply lisa November 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    those are cute & i identify with the sloppy tomboy…
    just bought my first pair of TOMS, who has a really nice wedge now.
    as soon as a got them I took a seam ripper to that label/ad!
    http://www.toms.com/womens/new-styles/grey-wool-women-s-desert-wedges

  • Reply Attygreen13 November 18, 2012 at 12:03 am

    I just bought the black Hilight version from Steve Madden, and I LOVE them! Style with the comfort of a sneaker (and I don’t own a pair of ‘real’ sneakers either). So comfy and warm – and everyone asks where to get a pair. Love em, and love that you love em! ;)

  • Reply Anke November 18, 2012 at 4:12 am

    Hi Anna,
    you are my style hero and I’m always a bit proud when I discover something on your blog that I have too – is that weird? :)
    I have the exact same pair from Ash and even so I love them to death, I’ve discovered some quality issues…
    – the lining came loose after just a couple of weeks and some of the top stitching too
    – I just discovered that I need a new outsole, it already has a hole under the left heel…crazy! After only 6 months? (And not wearing them every day…)
    – the sole is pretty thin, adding a gel insole makes a world of difference especially on longer walks!

    • Reply Anna @ D16 November 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      Oh no! That’s disappointing to hear. I wonder if you have a defective pair? I’ve been pretty hard on mine these past few weeks (walking around in the city for 6+ hours at a stretch, etc.), and they still look like new. Hopefully they’ll hold up! I hate when shoes don’t last…and of course by the time you discover these things it’s always past the return date. :\

  • Reply joani November 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I want #5! Wish I had an extra $300, sigh. I prefer to wear something with a heel too, as my legs are both short and slightly stocky :)

  • Reply Alexandra November 19, 2012 at 5:30 am

    Hi Anna! Have you seen this pair? They are extremely comfortable, and so good looking :)
    http://www.zara.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product/pt/en/zara-W2012/269216/870598/STUDDED%20SNEAKER

  • Reply Molly November 19, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Haha, I love this, I recently started wearing these “sneaker wedges” too! They’re fantastic.

  • Reply gracie November 20, 2012 at 9:41 am

    My sister treated herself to the Marants after having her third baby, perfect for pushing baby around in comfort and style! Yours really suit your style.

  • Reply Lauren November 20, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Love these sneakers, they’re so cute.

  • Reply SFDC November 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    I was just in Paris this weekend and women were wearing them everywhere!

  • Reply Samone November 25, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Slammin’ kicks, Anna! They look great. I recently bought some lurid yellow Jeremy Scott for Adidas Originals wedges and think they’ll be getting a mad workout.

  • Reply Donna November 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I’ve been suddenly wanting mid or high tops too and just bought these which are way too cool for me:)
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/alexander-mcqueen-puma-medius-sneaker/3305281

  • Reply kari December 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Must all comments be positive? In most blogs ALL comments are sooo positive. As if there is a rule saying: “Only praise and sunshine, please”. Well, I must say: I hate those shoes. Does this make this a negative comment? No! Because I lalso must say, that I really like your blog!

    I only browse by every few weeks, but always enjoy your style of sharing your thoughts. So it must be okay not to like the style of these shoes. Right?

    • Reply Anna @ D16 December 13, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      Haha, of course it’s okay. This blog is about what I like, not what I think everyone else will like.

      I think the reason the comments are positive is because that’s a normal response when you like something…to be excited to have discovered something.

      I can’t imagine feeling the desire to tell someone I don’t like their shoes (online or in real life) but it’s very natural and nice for me to tell someone when I do. Know what I mean? I think that’s how most of the people commenting probably feel, too.

      For what it’s worth, my husband doesn’t like my shoes, either. That’s okay. :)

    • Reply Kari December 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm

      I know what you mean. Sort of “If you can’t say anything nice, why say anything at all?” I just notice how on blogs there hardly ever is the chance to disagree without sounding like a mean or negative person. And this seems fake and unauthentic to me. But being half German-half Danish it maybe is just a cultural thing.

      I really LOVE your dogs, btw.

  • Reply Amy December 16, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    You almost have me convinced. Almost.

  • Reply Jackie December 22, 2012 at 2:58 am

    Hi Anna, your sneakers stuck with me so much that I found myself back at this post on a late Friday night! One other thing I noticed were the leggings you’re wearing with them. They look like they might be a leather or “wet” look. I feel like that’s one of those pieces I want so badly, but have the hardest time finding the perfect pair!

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