Photo illustration by Ben Park..........just do it.

I Wore Acne Sneakers. Whatever!

Our intrepid sneaker goddess takes on a pair of skor! (That’s Swedish for sneakers.)

by Sophie Helf
|
Feb 5 2019, 5:53pm

Photo illustration by Ben Park..........just do it.

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

Most of the time I tend to be—as my friend says—an opinionated little shit, but when I first receive my Acne Studios Manhattan sneakers I’m not quite sure what to think of them. Sitting on the kitchen table next to the day’s mail and a couple of spare paper napkins, they’re strikingly different to how they looked against the pure, bright-white background of the website on which I first spotted them. They’re real, now, and in the world, and look far too strange contrasted with life’s boring detritus surrounding them.

This is not to say I don’t like them. Their shape is sublime, impossible to describe as a whole– the shiny, cherry-colored sole is thick and gloopy, swirling and bubbling like a cartoon witch’s brew; the soft pink suede-and-leather upper’s gentle waves and curved angles look a little bit Jetsons, a little bit Spongebob in their spacey exaggerated-ness; and the toe’s rectangular shape makes it look like it used to be longer, but was lopped right off. In the sunlight, they are sculpturesque, true objets d’art, and I find myself eager to put them on.

I slide them onto my prosthetic feet just fine, but then realize they don’t match what I’m wearing (Dickies, jean shirt), so change into something else. I want something slick, put-together, an outfit that will show off the shoes themselves and not draw attention to the rest of what I’m wearing—something I’m not sure I’ll find in my closet, full of logo shirts and weird patterned pants. I paw desperately through my closet anyways, searching for something simple and clean, but in the end I end up in a Peppa Pig/Thrasher knockoff hoodie (the Peppa pink matches the shoes) and some loose black pants. Does it work? I’m not sure, but for now, it’s good enough.

Standing up, I realize immediately that the shoes are not for walking, at least not for me. What I haven’t considered is that even sneakers can have a heel, albeit one more hidden than that of a kitten or stiletto, and these shoes have ones that are a solid two inches high. They tilt my prosthetic legs forward, turn my gait into a sort of scoot, and I realize with dismay that as cool as they look, they simply don’t work with the legs I’ve got.

Despite that, I decide to take them for a spin. That evening I clomp my way up the hill to my neighbors’ place, where I eat a hot dog and watch the election results. The reaction from everyone there is generally “are those practical with your legs?” and I feel a little bad telling them no, not really. I take a few pictures of the shoes while I’m there, juxtaposing them with some jazz CDs, a slice of pie, and a marble tabletop. They look nice that way, pretty next to pretty things. I think that’s how they’re supposed to be.

In the end, I don’t wear them again. I love the shoes–they’re beautiful, so awesomely weird –but they don’t work, not with my wardrobe, not with my carbon-fiber legs, and I find myself spending more time admiring them than actually having them on. Perhaps one day they will grace my plastic feet again, and fit, and go well with my clothes. Not yet, though. Their sculptural shape indeed awaits a wearer, but that wearer is not me.