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Sneakers that aren’t just sneakers.

Skim through enough fashion articles and sartorial suggestion pieces and you’ll notice that there is strong encouragement to pick pieces that are timeless, to select items that are not only versatile enough to mix well with different looks but are also unique enough to stand on their own if you so choose.

Needless to say, sometimes I don’t subscribe to those theories. New ground will not be broken if people are too obsessed with sticking to looks that just “work”. Lagerfeld wasn’t King Midas; he had to break some eggs to make omelettes. (For the metaphorically challenged, that means he made mistakes sometimes.)

That being said, sneakers that can moonlight as another kind of shoe definitely does not fall into the “timeless couture” category. The appeal of these, of course, is that they can transition from one lifestyle activity to another (Ed: Lifestyle activity? What the fuck, you sound like a J. Crew catalog copy writer) without making you feel like you should have brought a wardrobe change. I was particularly floored by Emerica’s Shifter Boot and Adidas Y-3’s Hijiri Homme.



The Shifter Boot comes from Emerica, a heavyweight in the skate industry. The traditional profile and silhouette of a motorcycle boot is fused with the light weight and comfort of a skate shoe. Like Casanova and I have noted in earlier posts, boots are coming back with the fierceness this season, and motorcycle boots are becoming increasingly popular for both males and females to punctuate the skinny/boheim look.

The rich full-grain leather uppers and lack of obnoxious branding or logos lets you feel the quality instead of shoving it in everyone’s faces, and it stays low-key as you go from tearing up the asphalt on your deck to chilling with friends at a local lounge. Or keep it gully and match it up with Commune‘s new offerings. Pure sex.



The Hijiri Homme from Y-3 is another stunner. Keeping the shinier patent details on the upper portion, near the ankle, is a nice attention to detail – paired with either Dior Homme slacks or mathrocker super-skinny selvage, you can keep the flashy stuff on the low-low until you decide that you’re ready to unleash it.

If you’ve been looking for a wingtip-type of shoe that you can wear all day and all night, the Hijiri Homme fits the bill. It’s art studios in the daytime fresh, and evening sidecars at the Roosevelt Hotel swank.

Let’s remember though that everything has its place. If you’re more of a traditionalist or a hermit that’s averse to scene-hopping, these probably aren’t for you. But for those of you who, like me, don’t want to go out of your way to make the move to the club from the street, now you’ve got some options to ensure that your style is on display, but for all the right reasons.

The Emerica Shifter is available at select retailers. The Hijiri Homme is available at Y-3 dealers.

Pictures courtesy of


One Comment

  1. Posted September 25, 2008 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Those Emerica shoes/boots are amazing. I want, I want!! And I love how you wrote this post, especially when you explained the Karl metaphor!! I’m a slow one, so giving me the answer helped speed things up for me! šŸ™‚

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