“Formal” sneakers are the latest assault on good taste

While it might seem like an oxymoron, formal kicks are now a thing. For years rappers and celebs have donned them with just about anything and collectors have paid tons to acquire just the right pair. But now sneakers for the fashionable masses are becoming less about comfort and more about status. America’s obsession with athleisure wear has taken a (comfy) step further with the addition of sneakers worn with night-time attire and even red carpet garb.

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High-end couture designers like Balenciaga, Valentino, Maison Margiela and Lanvin are getting in on the fun by supplying pricey rubber-soled shoes that range in price from $495 for a pair of cap-toe Lanvins and $695 high-tops by Isabel Marant (originator of the hybrid sneaker wedge), to $895 for studded Valentinos and $990 crystal-encrusted Gucci slip-ons.

But to be sure, these gems aren’t to be worn on a tennis or basketball court. Nor should they get scuffs or be seen looking anything but pristine. They are to be paired with elegant businesswear and formal attire. Even fashionista brides are getting into the mix having white stilettos step aside for a more modern option. Keds has launched a monogrammable wedding collection and Tom’s offers lace slip-ons for those brides interested in making a bold, yet comfortable fashion statement on their big day. [Forbes]