Distressed sneakers: What’s behind the return of this trend

‘Even if you wear very elegant Balenciaga shoes, if people are not aware of their cost, they will not know much about you,’ says the teacher Carolyn Mayr, author of The Psychology of Fashion, ‘but if you’re in that group, they’ll know. If you like Balenciaga and have already seen these scruffy sneakers, you will know that it is a status symbol. But the thing about fashion is that you have to be in the group of acquaintances for your message to get through.’

Dirty sneakers are an interesting concept when you consider that footwear is one of the first things one person notices in another’s outfit. In an article about the dirty Gucci sneakers 2017, a 2012 study was cited in the Journal of Research and Personality in which it was pointed out that shoes are a ‘thin slice’ of a person’s perceptions and can be an indicator of the wearer’s wealth and social status.

At first glance, it seems logical that some immaculately cared for shoes signify that someone is neat and, moreover, has time—and money— to make sure your footwear is clean and presentable.

In this case, this trend, which appears every few years, seems to say that spotless shoes are out and the dirty soles are in fashion. In any case, if you don’t want to spend $1,800, you can continue wearing out your sneakers old-fashioned way to get this look.

Article originally published in US Vogue, vogue.com.

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