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D&G models walked the Fall 2011 Milan Fashion Week runway in sporty sneaker heels, a trend that several designers and companies have attempted to establish in the past. The D&G sneaker heels matched the brightly colored outfits that the models donned. The shoes had a similar design to that of Converse’s popular high-top sneakers (plus a 5-inch stiletto heel). Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana established D&G as an eclectic and contemporary fashion line which aims to set trends instead of following them. The idea of transforming sneakers into high heels, however, is nothing new.
Several years ago, Nike came out with an Air Force One sneaker heel. Today, Nike has an entire collection of Nike Jordan high heels. These heels sport the Nike swoop logo and various bright colors and designs. Why anyone would ever buy these sneaker heels is beyond me. These are among the ugliest sneaker heels I have ever laid eyes on.
You know a fashion trend has reached an all time low when Mariah Carey is emulating it. Mrs. Nick Cannon herself developed a sneaker heel and is selling it on the Home Shopping Network. She claims her shoe is where athletic wear meets chic and sexy. Unfortunately, MC’s sneaker heel is known to be very painful to wear (and look at). What is the point of merging sneakers and heels if you are not going to get the comfort benefit of a sneaker? It certainly is not for the “unique” style.
In 2009, Italian fashion designer Sergio Rossi teamed up with Puma to create their version of a sneaker heel. This heel premiered during the Fall/Winter 2009 collection. The leather shoe sits on a 3.5 inch heel and is called the “High Heel 1st Round Sneaker.” The shoe originally cost $760 and currently sells on Sergio Rossi’s website for $454. Rossi, known for his impeccable fashion sense, and Puma, known for its sneaker innovation and style, created the least ugly of the sneaker heel I’ve seen yet.
Christian Louboutin, a French designer of five inch or higher red soled stilettos, and my personal favorite shoe designer (given my 5’2″ frame), created a sneaker heel for his Fall/Winter 2010 collection. Louboutin classified his design as an ankle boot, with admitted, but obvious, inspiration from the Studio 54 disco era. The ankle boot is made from python and leopard print with shiny metal. The 5.5-inches of heel is accompanied by a 1-inch concealed platform. Louboutin calling his shoe an ankle boot does not make it any less of a sneaker heel, it is still tied up with black sneaker laces.
Now, for the Fall 2011 Milan Fashion Week, D&G donned every model in high heeled sneakers. D&G usually sets trends, but I am not so sure about this one. I hope it doesn’t stick. There is a place on the shoe rack for both sneakers and stilettos, there is no need to compact them into one shoe. I think this is definitely a trend failure. It would almost be understandable if the sneaker aspect of the design offered the feet in a sort of comfort-heaven, but this is not the case. The 4+ inch heels still leaves feet in blistering pain.