I had resigned myself to wearing sneakers only on cooler days. I am insanely picky about footwear comfort, and most of my sneaks feel awful on bare feet. Socks are a must. So my cute sneaks get thrown to the back of the closet once temperatures rise. Much to the chagrin of my husband, who is always begging me to wear, "little skirts and sneakers". Sigh.
But inspiration strikes in the most unlikely of places, and my recent inspiration came while chasing my little man around Gazelle Sports in Grand Rapids, MI. We were there on a quest of my husband's: to find a pair of Vibrams FiveFingers (you know – the barefoot running shoe that looks like a weird foot-glove?) Anyway, as little man and I were blurring past the women's shoes, BAM!!! I saw these:
"Oooooooo……." I thought as I raced by. So as soon as Mike was done, we did the kiddo hand-off, and I made a beeline for the shoes. The result? Total comfort with an insane amount of style.
Yes – you are seeing spikes (they are detachable!!).
Yes – this shoe is actually a Cross-Country racing flat.
Yes – it's completely supportive, and somehow molds to your foot to actually make it look smaller.
Yes – it's breathable. So very breathable.
And yes – it comes in 6 other colors besides the gorgeous pink. Like these:
A note about the breathability: this shoe is made of a fabric I can only describe as weird. At first blush, it appears to be some strange plastic/fabric hybrid…but it is, in fact completely breathable and very comfortable. These are probably the only sneakers I have ever tried on that fit more comfortably without socks. The Holy Grail of cute sneaks? YES.
Want it? You can either try the Nike Victory Zoom Track and Field Spike at Nike.com, or the Nike Victory XC at Gazelle Sports (only pink and yellow). The only difference (that I can see) is the spikes – one is for track and one for cross-country running, but both sets of spikes are detachable. These shoes retail for $110. Nike.com lists the sizes on a men's scale (so a women's size 6 should order a 4, etc)…but they do offer a handy chart for conversion.
Price point a bit steep? I also loved Adidas' XC Racing Flat, pictured at left (it looks much cuter on than it does in the picture). These shoes fit much closer to the foot than the average sneaker (though not quite as close as the Nike's), they have a mesh upper through which I could feel air flowing as I walked around, and has detachable spikes. These retail at Gazelle for $60.