Man Week: Mark Weighs in on Men’s Ugly Shoes

Ugly Shoes I Would Never Wear

I have no desire to stand out. Perhaps that is a negative personality trait (and explains my irrational hatred of the teenager on my bus that wears a fedora), but it also guarantees that I won’t be walking around in bright orange and silver shoes. Bright, florescent, and oddly shaped shoes seem to be very popular in America (and also Miami) and I am not quite sure why.

(“For when astronauts have an 80s night.”)

 Adidas – Y-3 by Yohji Yamamoto Neo Tech


Get them here!

I’m pretty sure these were inspired by the hybrid Michael Jordan biography/Looney Toons sci-fi animated comedy, Space Jam. They could have also been given away as the second level consolation prize on 90s children’s television game show Legends of the Hidden Temple. “No thanks, Kirk, I think I’ll just take two of the cans of tuna fish.” Common sense would indicate that these would appeal to a very limited group of people (“freaks”), but this doesn’t seem to be the case, as they are being sold for 374 dollars. That kind of dough could buy Nickelodeon enough tuna fish for an entire season of losers’ consolation prizes.

(For the classy hobo.)

John Varvatos X Lace Boot


Get them here!

My shoelaces never seem long enough to tie well, but this is too much. These boots look like they’d be perfect for Indiana Jones, a hobo, or some awesome combination of both. They wouldn’t allow these in prisons though, because prisoners tend to try to commit suicide by hanging themselves with shoelaces. (Between that and making prison-wine in their toilets, these guys make MacGyver look like a total amateur.)

The interesting (or ridiculous) thing about these boots (besides the, you know, laces wrapped around the whole damn thing) is that the laces serve no purpose. There is a zipper at the side to hold the shoe on your foot. The zipper is on the side to, according to the product information, “keep those stylish laces in place.” Right.

As unnecessary, stupid, and impractical as these may seem, they are on to something. Someone should make a pair of sneakers with laces on the front, but a hidden zipper on the side. It’s the perfect idea! There’s a zipper so you don’t need to tie your shoes if you don’t want to, and there’s laces so you don’t look like someone who doesn’t want to tie their shoes. I realize there’s no joke at the end of this paragraph, I am just too enthralled with the idea of never having to tie my shoes again to think of one.

(“For the man who wants to look ridiculous in America, but conservative in Switzerland.”)

Vivienne Westwood Man Seditionary Boot


Get them here!

Where do I start? The wooden heel? The white leather top half? The black leather bottom half? The buckles? (Which, incidentally, are the only shoelace alternatives I would pass up on.)

Remember when Forrest Gump had to wear leg braces attached to his shoes? If these were the only pair available, he would pass on them. Not only that, but he would wait outside the shoe store and kick the ass of whoever bought them; probably while laying on the ground, because there’s no way that kid’s going to stand up with two bum legs.

But to be fair, they’re only $562.00… I’ll take four!

The verdict:

Of these three pieces of footwear, I think the worst pair is the first one. The multi colored, shiny sneaker. Yes, the other ones have buckles and fake laces, but you could pass those off as shoes for a Halloween costume. An ungodly expensive Halloween costume, but a costume nonetheless. No, these sneakers earn a special kind of hatred in my, and hopefully your, heart. People actually wear these. My theory is that this trend of obscenely colorful sneakers will only come to its logical conclusion when people begin stuffing their feet in the mouths of peacocks. (Suggested retail value: $654.95)


BONUS: Ugly Shoes I Totally Would Wear

(“For the lazy, the incapable, and the clinically depressed.”)

Propet Men’s LifeWalker


Get them here!

It kind of makes me angry that people can wear shoes like those Adidas’s in public without any scrutiny, but my yearning to wear Velcro sneakers falls on deaf ears. (Editor’s note: We think Velcro sneakers are the footie pajamas of the shoe world and will continue to ensure that our offices are free of them. We’re looking at you Mark.) I am not passionate about a lot of things, but Velcro shoes are one subject I have strong opinions about (the others include the merits of Steve Guttenberg in popular culture and also why it isn’t totally absurd to take a semester off of college to acquire the necessary funds to purchase a KISS pinball machine).

Let’s face it, the Velcro sneaker industry is doing fine. Not only does it have a stronghold on those under the age of nine and over the age of eighty, they are also quite popular in America’s prisons. (Most prisons prohibit shoes with laces, most likely for the same reason shotguns can’t be sold in Seattle.)

 As previously mentioned, it is quite inconvenient to tie your shoes. My shoelaces aren’t long enough to tie properly, so they come undone roughly seven times a day. Usually when I complain about this people tell me to buy longer laces, but they’re just scared (and I’m just lazy). They’re scared that the next day I’m going to walk up to them wearing a pair of plain white sneakers with two Velcro straps holding them on my feet all day. Sure, they’ll joke about how I wake up from my afternoon nap after a rousing game of shuffleboard, watch PBS at 7:30, and then hit the hay. But secretly they’re yearning for the day when they can wear Velcro shoes in peace. And until that day, every time they bend over to tie their shoes I’ll be there waiting, ready to make a fart noise.

Editor’s Note: Right after finishing this post, Mark found out that Nike just patented plans for self-lacing sneakers. Needless to say, Mark was VERY excited.