Will Morrow (courtesy)

Will Morrow (courtesy)

If the shoe fits …

I thought Sambas were simply affordable indoor soccer shoes from my high school and college days. Who knew I was so ahead of my time?

I didn’t realize that shoes can have anxiety.

I was scrolling through a social media feed recently, and came across a headline from GQ magazine that read “The Adidas Samba Enters Its Anxiety Era.” The subhead indicated that the shoes are so popular that there are questions about who should be wearing them.

This may shock some people, but I don’t generally take my fashion cues from GQ. I thought Sambas were simply affordable indoor soccer shoes from my high school and college days. Who knew I was so ahead of my time?

I can’t speak to who should or should not be wearing them these days. It seems from the article that perhaps too many different fashion trends incorporate Sambas, thereby clouding the meaning of what they mean.

To my mind, there are so many other types of footwear to get anxious over. For example, flip-flops. Flip-flops are great for going to the pool, or after a workout, or for when you’re on vacation in a tropical destination. Call me old-fashioned, or just old, but when I see someone around here walking across a dusty gravel parking lot in flip-flops, I cringe a little.

Sambas, on the other hand, are good for just about anything. When I was in high school in the late 1980s, the demographic that wore them were guys on the soccer team. They were good for indoor training sessions, doubled as everyday casual wear (along with acid-washed jeans), and were even formal enough to wear with our rented tuxedos for prom.

In college, my Sambas were performance footwear. Our soccer team played on artificial turf, and the classic gum rubber sole provided better traction and felt better on your feet than many other turf-specific options. I even splurged and got myself the kangaroo skin version. I wore them until they started to fall apart, put them back together with super glue, and wore them out again.

These days, there’s even more choices. In addition to the classic black with white stripes, you can get white with all different colors. There’s even a “vegan” version. And there’s a variety of collaborations with different designers. While the devil might be wearing Prada, everyone else in high fashion, it seems, is wearing Sambas.

In any case, I’m having trouble understanding why there’s so much anxiety over more than one group “claiming” an item of clothing. In fact, I’m surprised to see younger generations claiming anything their parents used to wear. I once offered to loan my then high school-aged son a pair of hiking shoes, and by his response, you would’ve thought I was asking him to go trekking in my worn out, super-glued Sambas.

I’m not sure that the recent Samba trend has caught on around here. Most of the kids I see are wearing Crocs or slides, which is a whole different discussion.

But for anyone who wants to rock a pair of classic kicks that are all the rage among the influencer crowd, here’s my fashion advice: if the shoe fits, wear it.

Will Morrow live in Kenai. Email him at willmorrow2015@gmail.com.

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