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Real Talk: Pre-Distressed Sneakers Make No Sense

via nike

This article was originally published on June 9, 2021.

Over the last 18 months, a troubling trend has re-emerged within the sneaker scene. Deep scuffs, glue stains, and yellowed midsoles – once considered undesirable defects – are now being proudly etched onto brand new shoes like badges of honour. While it’s an impressive artform to make a sneaker look like it’s gone through a lifetime of misuse before it’s even touched the ground, has anyone taken a moment to consider that this scenario is M.C. Escher levels of impossible? And also a soulless relinquishing of the coveted sneaker wearing journey?

The fundamental issue here is that artificial ageing erases the enjoyable experience of wearing a sneaker from box fresh to beat-to-death. Hard-earned wisdom says it’s about the journey, not the destination. However, new sneakerheads no longer have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes – the sandpaper does the hard yards, and the end result is a pair that’s devoid of memories.

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