The Co staff writer and fashion influencer Jenn McNaughton identifies and interprets fashion trends and inspirations of the moment, with a nod to where they’re coming from and how to make them your own.

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Fashion’s infatuation with the sneaker has been around since the days of Nike Terra’s 15-seconds of fame in The Goonies and Michael J. Fox’s swooshed Vandals in Back To The Future. The OG sneaker has yet to fall from the media’s radar, walking off the big screen and onto the catwalks of Christian Dior and Markus Lupfer—never mind the entire Wang collection of Stan Smith-inspired tennis gear. But with today’s insane mark-ups on what it essentially marketed to you as a “technical fabric sneaker” but really just a non-sensical way of depicting meshed cloth, has the practical sole become a mockery of the industry’s “cult-like” effect?

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Although designers have since replaced them with a classier, suede-block heel, runners are still taking up space on the street mid-commute. Sure, you’ve got comfort going for you but has all sneaker etiquette gone out the window, like wearing socks and sandals? Admit it, you’re the Bay Street business man whose gotten away with more than casual Friday’s; you’re the minimalist with the audacity to fork out three pairs worth for that signature gold lettering (looking at you Common Projects); you’re the morning pilates-goer who’s mastered the art of the look, despite leaving the studio hours ago.

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Here’s the thing: sneaker history repeats itself—or at least, its symbolism does. Who would’ve thought that we’d be coveting the seemingly low-soled profile of the Puma after said ‘90s glory days (re: Missy Elliott at basically any awards show), similarly to how we’re all revived Belieber buffs? Trust me, I’m not excused. I held my share of the rubber-soled spotlight with a pair of polka-dot Etnies in grade five, complete with a best friend in a matching plaid pair.

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So how do we know when enough is enough? When you see 100 people watching the eBay sale of Yeezus Platinum NRG Season II Starting bid: $7,000. Unless you’re on-par with the vintage 501-feel and rocking a puffer vest with Marty McFly, I’m deeming them nothing more than a sartorial fad.


As quick as they’re in, they’re out.