Trendzilla

Bad idea: the high-heeled sneaker

There are some things in life that just shouldn't be fused together. Eating meat is bad enough, but combining meats—turducken, chicken cordon bleu, Monte Cristo sandwiches—seems like you're committing even further crimes against nature. The spork, despite its adorable moniker, is pretty useless, and you know it means something when the only places you can get one are Taco Bell and KFC.

But today's bad-idea award goes to whoever designed the high-heeled sneaker. Yeah, high-heeled sneakers—they look exactly how you think they look: like someone Super Glued the heels from Mom's old pumps onto some Converse All-Stars, laces and all.

While originally designed in the 1960s (see Tommy Tucker's R&B hit "High-Heeled Sneakers"), the shoes made a comeback in the '70s, the '80s, then the '90s, when they graced the wardrobes of such chesty music-video babes as Jennifer Lopez (except hers were more like a high-heeled Timberland work boot, complete with thick gum soles) and Mariah Carey.

The good news is that they're as tacky today as they were decades ago. They re-emerged two years ago, and Mariah's still wearing them, though you shouldn't ever take fashion pointers from someone who seems to be doing that whole "dress your age" thing backward. (Remember the full-length velvet-gown Music Box Mariah? Remember?) BAPE even designed a pink pair for Beyonce for her 2005 "Check On It" video. Even relatively faultless Prada had their own offering.

The bad news? They're back again. L.A.M.B. and Manolo Blahnik weighed in with their versions this past fall. And now, a favorite go-to site of mine for higher-end label clothing, shopbop.com, has several pairs by Ash up for sale. For $130, you can acquire your own pair of mauve-colored, 3.25-inch rubber-heeled satin high-top pumps with lace closures and ruching. Don't like satin? That's okay. They're also available in a black leather and metallic silver.

A far-less-offensive evolutionary stage of the hybrid sneaker/heel has stormed stores these past few years, the sneaker flat-sneakers with thick rubber soles in the silhouette of the ballet slipper (see photo). You see them everywhere, but aside from a few designs from Keds, there's just something about the thick soles that tell me they should probably be reserved for the more juvenile sector of the fashion world.

This turquoise pair I spotted on a 24-year-old is by Sugar, a brand known for its cutesy-print shoes and cosmetics in bright-pink translucent packaging. Though they're not nearly as bad as heels, the miniature laces and bright-yellow patent-leather trim and racing stripes are still reminiscent of the Converse All-Star. Too reminiscent.

Other bad combinations? Chelada (Budweiser + Clamato), Levi's iPod jeans, skorts, Audioslave, vodka with Red Bull, French Canadians (just kidding!), and Carson Daly and late-night TV (definitely not kidding).

 
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