Runnin’ Scared Fashion Terror Watch: When Footwear Goes Bad


We at Runnin’ Scared make it a policy to adhere to some simple fashion rules. Nothing crazy: Foster is required to wear pants. We eschew Velcro. We do not purchase or in any way promote $995 jeans. And, whether exercising or simply going about our daily blogging business, we never, ever wear clown shoes, or anything that might be mistaken for a clown shoe or the footwear of a person we might have accidentally made fun of in elementary school before we learned important lessons in humanity (or something Tom Cruise would wear).

There are, however, some distinctly alarming footwear trends that we’ve noticed a bit too close to home of late. And we just have to warn you about them. For everyone’s good.

Offender No. 1

Seen all over billboards in the East Village, land of the exercise shoe (apparently), we have the Skecher’s “Shape-Up.” Ads promise this ugly, fugly mess will “burn calories, strengthen muscles, reduce joint strength, and make you look like you ride the short bus.” Okay, we’re paraphrasing.

If you wear these shoes for fitness, friends, you have already lost that battle. If you wear these shoes for reasons other than fitness, you have lost that battle as well. These are good only for a self-admitted ironic Halloween costume, providing you have friends willing to play Katie and Suri and a clean pair of tighty-whities. Even then we question the intelligence of purchasing something so hideous for $110 and in any way making Skechers think these are okay. They are a blight upon society.

Offender No. 2

This may offend you die-hard runners, but, um, those “Five Finger” running shoes that separate your toes? They creep us out. A lot. Feet are feet, and fingers are fingers, and we’d rather the twain not meet. And, honestly, if you’re that into running, perhaps you should move to a deserted island where you can just run barefoot and no one is around to judge you, and you won’t get pricked by an errant hypodermic.

Take those finger-feet off the island of Manhattan, please. They actually make Crocs seem humane. It’s like someone chopped the feet off a poor helpless animal and attached them to your hairy ankles. Being animal lovers and all, we don’t like that.

Offender No. 3

As if existing to mockingly prove us that bad — no, terrifying — things do indeed come in threes (WAH HA HA!), we have these horrors, the love-children of Freddy Krueger and Edward Scissorhands by way of friendly neighborhood surrogate (and amateur skier) Inspector Gadget — all rolled up in an exercise class called “Boing with Kangoo” which we’re pretty sure is code for having sex with the devil.

We should pray now.