Photo via DSW.

Help, My Fila Disruptors Have A Life of Their Own!

Our sneaker columnist tries out Brooklyn's favorite shoe.

by Sophie Helf
Jul 9 2019, 3:57pm

Photo via DSW.

In the series Footloose, Sophie Helf, who does not have feet, dives into the wide world of sneakers.

I am not a hypebeast—I do not hype, I am no beast. Supreme brick? Do what you want. New sneaker drop? That’s nice. I like clothes and shoes, of course; I’m very intent on leaving the house looking good every day, but I’m not too worried about whether what I’m wearing is fashionable or “in.” I just want to feel put-together.

Enter the Fila Disruptors. What a point of contention, what a signifier! Look: I‘m a transplant to Brooklyn, I’m in my mid-twenties. That’s a signifier in and of itself. These shoes, though–they’re the visual. With their dad-on-vacation levels of chunk, fang-like soles, and bright white sheen, these are the shoes, the trendy fat sneaker, the ones to see and be seen in.

The Disruptors, at approximately $65 a pop, are the more affordable version of the recent chunky sneaker trend, far less expensive than the Balenciaga Triple S’s that go for nearly $900, or any gooey, shapely shoe that might run you a cool several hundred dollars. Why not let everyone hop on the hype train? Just because you can’t throw down doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be allowed to wear shoes that make your feet look the size of Chevy Suburbans. For this reason, I’m rather fond of the shoes – conceptually, anyways.

Looks-wise, though, I’m not sure. Do they match my clothes? I suppose so–I’ve been going for the Lily Allen sneakers-gone-femme look lately; my Reeboks are often paired with dresses or cute little skirts. I decide one sweaty New York day to give the shoes a shot, wearing them with a black geometric Uniqlo U dress I scored for $20.

My new prosthetic legs have flexible ankles, making it easier to head up and down slopes and giving me a quicker gait. I expect my feet to angle easily with the shoes, which sport a decently elevated heel, but am instead disappointed to find that they don’t quite conform to them, tilting my hips forward and making it harder to walk. Bummer, really, but I wear them out anyways, intent on spending a day in them and seeing how they do.

I have to head to the Lower East Side for a haircut, which necessitates taking a couple of trains to get there. Trains mean stairs, which I find more difficult than usual to deal with and even a little scary, seeing as I’m tilted forward more than usual. I envision myself falling and think to myself, If I fall, I better chip a tooth because I’ve always found that kinda hot.

As I ride the train I notice some people staring at the shoes. Why? I can’t form a tangible thought about what exactly they signify, but, let’s face it, I know they’ve been mocked before —they’re a sign of a stereotypical “Brooklynite,” someone who drinks cocktails at Mood Ring and squeezes onto the L train that comes every 20 minutes. Is that me? Do the shoes make that me? I don’t think so. They feel like separate entities, with lives of their own, and I’m not sure I quite fit into that slot. And at any rate, I can’t really walk in them. I take them off at the end of the day and place them in my closet. They’re cool, yes, but not my type of cool – and that’s fine with me.