"The ones that look like socks"- Cardi B, 2018

Following the rise of the high-fashion shoe-sock, Phoebe Eyles is here to share her thoughts on its truly Marmite design

Phoebe Eyles
17th October 2018
Instagram: @thopreem

The fashion industry is one of the most diverse and dynamic creative industries to exist. In footwear alone, we have been graced with a variety of weird and wonderful creations from Perspex heels to denim over-the-knee boots. The latest footwear trend is no exception. Sock shoes, most famously seen as the Balenciaga speed, are making their way into high street stores, with the likes of Zara recreating the controversial shoe.

The shoe typically has a thick white sole and a stretchy black fabric covering the foot and cutting off at the ankle. There is no denying that the shoe is unconventional, but could it follow in the footsteps (no pun intended) of the sock boot and make its way into mainstream fashion?

[pullquote]Despite celebrities loving the sock shoe, are we really going to be seeing them across campus this year?[/pullquote]

The Balenciaga speed trainer was first released in November 2016 and one year later Vogue dubbed them as ‘The Shoe of 2017’. At first glance they are not exactly stylish. You could even say they look like wetsuit shoes, and why would anyone want to wear them on a daily basis? However, with celebrities such as Gigi Hadid and Kylie Jenner wearing them, there must some appeal to the unusual trainer. The ‘ugly trainer trend’ has become somewhat of a phenomena in recent years, with shoes such as the Balenciaga Triple S and the Gucci Flashtrek trainers becoming must-have items, despite their somewhat garish appearance. These styles of trainers have become easily accessible with knock offs seen in high street stores. Like the sock trainers, none of these shoes are aesthetically pleasing but they certainly make a larger fashion statement than wearing more simple designs. The ‘ugly trainers’ are the shoes everyone has an opinion on, it makes sense that celebrities would want to be seen wearing them. We have seen and accepted the sock boot trend, perhaps we should accept its more casual alternative, the sock shoe. With a pair in Zara costing £50, they could be the next pair of shoes for your wardrobe.

Despite celebrities loving the sock shoe, are we really going to be seeing them across campus this year? Sure, they make a statement and your fashion conscious friend might explain the ‘artistic value’ in the ugly trainers, but these shoes are definitely a brave choice to wear for every day. The ugly trainer trend might have gone a step too far with the sock shoe as it is one of the most outlandish items of footwear on the market. Celebrities are wearing the trainer with black skinny jeans to elongate the leg, with gym wear for running errands and with culottes for a relaxed yet put together look. However, none of these looks are ground-breaking; all of the styles mentioned could be worn with a pair of Vans or Air Max’s and still look put together. I am not sure we really need the sock shoe for our everyday collection, the fashion industry might have pushed the boundaries too far for me with these shoes.

Whilst the sock shoe has been a hit with celebrities, it is a daring style that might be too far for an everyday look on campus. I have no doubt there will be some students rocking knock off versions of the Balenciaga speed trainers, but I think I will stick with my trusty Stan Smiths for this semester.



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