RED Hearts: The Perfect Shoe

RED Hearts are guest posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today. Today’s RED Hearts post is from RED author Charlotte Steinway, 24, in NYC, who writes about The Everyone Shoes:

By no means do I consider myself “a sneaker person.” Granted, I occasionally wear the New Yorker’s rotation of Vans, Keds, and Nike Dunks (namely on the weekends when I intend to either cross the Williamsburg Bridge or venture above 14th Street by foot). In the summer, my footwear of choice is sandals; in the winter, it’s a go-to pair of combat boots. Through all seasons, however, classic Chuck Taylors have always held a special spot in my heart -- and my Polly Pocket-size closet.

I first got to know Mr. Taylor in third grade: It was Twin Day, and my veritably fashionable eight-year-old peers said I could only be a part of their precocious hipster tribe if too I bought a pair of black Converse low-tops. I complied. And in the 15 years since, I can definitively say that footwear purchase was my most timeless. That’s not to say I didn’t fumble a bit along the way, though. I also owned a pair of orange-striped Adidas Shell Toes, denim Pumas, and best (or worst, you decide) of all, a rainbow-tinged pair of sneaks eerily similar to this pair of Jeffrey Campbells ($125), which, mind you, are currently on the market.

But amid other rough sneaker territory -- involving platforms, curly shoelaces, and that terrifying “stuffing” trend -- my trusty Converse never failed me. And while I’ve wavered between colors (black and white) and styles (low- and hi-tops), the chicness of basic white low-tops ($45) was underscored during a semester spent in Paris, when I actually convinced my mother to ship me my pair from home so I could “assimilate with French culture.”

Just last month, I decided to replace the pair of black hi-tops ($45, pictured) I’ve owned since my feet stopped growing at the age of 14. And even though I’m a financially independent (family cell phone plans don’t count, right? right?!) 24-year-old living 3,000 miles away from home, I somehow couldn’t bring myself to buy them without my mom. So when she came to visit, we took a trip to the SoHo Converse store -- and each got ourselves a pair.

RED Hearts guest poster Charlotte Steinway is an author of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today, which is out in paperback.