When John Mayer first shared his idea for the middle shoe, we thought the part-time crooner and full-time drip lord had suffered some kind of brain aneurysm.
A third shoe? What for? To prepare for the atrocious, three-legged biological mutations born from nuclear war? Well, no. Thankfully, it was a little more straightforward.
In the words of John Mayer himself: ‘You’re wearing the left and the right, they get sullied, they get dirty. But the middle one is always the one you get to put away and show that you had that shoe, you collected that shoe.’
Here are four reasons why it works.
4. The Cultural Curator
Ever dreamt of having your very own Grail museum? Well, wake up. The legitimisation of a middle shoe essentially means living in a permanent sneaker exhibition space; a display of all your cultural and material wealth. Your legendary purchases will remain in mint condition, while your left and right sneakers get beat on the streets.
Yes, the middle shoe will finally resolve the intractable question for any self-respecting sneakerhead: stock or rock?
Por que no los dos?
3. Modify Madness
Sneaker customs are continuing to gain momentum in the 21st century. We salivate over PEs and 1 of 1s, flock to IG accounts like the Shoe Surgeon, and closely monitor bizarre DIY mashups. But most of us shy away from entering competitions like the ,#readymadeoffwhite challenge because of the (very real) fear that we’re going to totally rinse our sneakers. Having a middle shoe opens up a whole new narrative for experienced sneaker customisers, whilst also providing an avenue for rookies that want to experiment without the associated risks.
The first time Michael Jordan laced the Jay 1 ‘Bred’ back in ‘85, the NBA were so shook that they slapped MJ with a fine every time he played in them. Sometimes, it takes something truly prophetic to shift the zeitgeist.
In 2019, where gargantuan soles, hallucinogenic colourways, and translucent drip are the norm, it’s going to take something truly disturbing to upset the status-quo. If you’re not totally convinced about using the middle shoe as an impressive sculptural ode to sneakers then … wear them.
Go to parties, walk backwards, talk backwards, smoke peyote, and renounce civilisation and its didactic fashion principles. Go on Tinder dates and exhaust all possible linguistic iterations of the ‘oh i can’t dance … two left feet’ quip.
Yes, it’s time to allow the middle shoe to pry open all kinds of philosophical and political inquiries beyond fascist ‘left’ and ‘right’ binaries.
1. The Middle Shoe Marketplace
The digital marketplace is volatile. It’s full of cryptocurrencies, geopolitical paranoia, and the noxious impact of whatever-the-fuck being an ‘influencer’ means.
The middle shoe is a shrine to integrity; a sanctuary amidst the ruin. Every time you buy a pair of sneakers you will receive a mint condition middle shoe that’ll be perfect for Swap Meets or online trading (no more sweaty anxiety every time someone provides an arbitrary numerical value to the condition of a sneaker).
Buying and selling will be streamlined, bots won’t be as potent, hypebeasts and high fashion will coexist, and a mutual love and respect will stifle trolls. Who knows, maybe the middle shoe will pad the US economy, curb global warming, and baptise a trilateral solution for Israel and Palestine.
In John Mayer we must all trust…