Los Angeles fashion: Why do people love Adidas slides?
They are the most stubborn of sandals – always a little out of place. I remember them popping up everywhere in the 2000s, like emoji music, but without Spotify recalling it, it’s hard to remember the shape of this trend. Adidas slides: They’re easy to see in my eyes, the black or blue plastic of the sole is thick, spikes and single strap on the foot, the contrasting white of the top three stripes, trident or name Adidas branding embossed on the side panels.
I first saw them in 2003 when I watched Eric, a Korean-American high school student, grow up at the Brentwood Country Club. He wears a white t-shirt with flowers, basketball shorts, and Adidas sneakers with white stockings pulled all the way up.
Our golf team’s coach, who made it possible for us to play at the exclusive course for free, is commenting. He yelled that Eric’s whole outfit was wrong, especially the slides – the reason golf shoes have spikes so your feet don’t move when you turn. Eric brushed away his worries and assured him that the look was “gangsta.”
We’re all terrible golfers, so it’s hard to say if clubs will help our games. But when Eric did his adult swing, his legs really changed. Instead of the obvious Greco-Roman coil of a professional golfer, he looks like a washing rope blowing in the wind.
Eric wears those slides every day to class and to gym time. His socks are always bright white, and he often gets rave reviews from Black and Latino kids – a few wearing their own version of the slide – on the freshness of his Adidas. It’s important to note that the slides are authentic; Nothing invites more cruel ridicule on the court than their fourth-stripe knockouts.
Adidas slides, or Adilettes, were created in 1963 for European footballers who wanted something easy to slide when they entered the dressing room. They’re designed for transition, to help relieve foot fatigue on long runs and hit hard leather balls, to slip and be forgotten as they make their way home from the locker room to the bathroom.
The Adissage’s famous spiked sole – a later update to the line – is therapeutic, soothing your tired feet as you walk. But they are equally famous because many people find it unpleasant, almost like a test of endurance, the way ascetics lie in bed of nails. Even the Adidas website doesn’t refer to them as “all-day wear”. One theory about the pairing of tube socks is that they help cushion a person’s foot against the spikes.
In LA, where the weather makes them a year-round option, sandals are at the heart of style and self-identification. When I was growing up, there were Russian girls who loved Roman canvas sandals that made them look war-ready; white nerds sometimes wear Tevas with their cargo shorts; The girls race in jelly sandals that make their feet look like sparkling aquariums. And then there’s Johnny, the stickman, and the Latino – the first person I know who tried to fake the hawk, who wore a V-neck or a pink shirt – who upgraded from cheap, black rubber flip-flops the money many of us have for Havaianas, which are still relatively cheap but come in a multitude of colors to match your outfit, and then the leather and more expensive Rainbows.
The slides are for men whose comfort is their fashion statement. Eric is proud of his slides. He showed no indifference to the old white men who paid to get into the golf club; he literally dragged his feet as they waited for us to clear the green for their approaching shots.
The bluntness of the slides makes them weird in sandals. Flip-flops have been surpassed by Rainbows and other leather options: the straps have been replaced with thick straps; The thin sole, barely more structured than a yoga mat, gives way to multi-layered footbeds with contoured and arched contours. Now you can wear flip flops into the restaurant. Tevas’ Velcro straps and solid rubber sole make them suitable for hikes and even hikes, and have since become a trendy hipster shoe for their ugly functionality. of them. Birkenstocks prides itself on contouring your foot and turning that enduring collection of hand-crafted techniques into $400 designer collaborations.
These upgraded sandals are one of the first steps towards the luxurious comfort that will define us as millennials: the forerunner of sport, a twist on being as cozy as possible while remains highly mobile and in doing so, in turn lowers the standard of what it means to “dress up”.
So what is it about these slides, which are neither comfortable nor portable? Somehow, men of color across Los Angeles picked up on the early 2000s, and still appear again and again on Drake-loving white guys and in paparazzi photos of celebrities. trying to buy coffee? Which, when I showed a friend a version of the luxury brand in preparation for this article, did I come across the “f-boy” logo? Why are they so contemptuous and not willing to die?
Perhaps it was their harmony that caused them to suffer – they didn’t quite belong together. Outside, they carry the house with the wearer, an effect similar to wearing a bathrobe, marking them somewhere on the spectrum between permissiveness and freedom, laziness and authority. Anyway, any space where slides are not accepted is of no interest to them. And the way they pull on the ground shows that the wearer is not in a hurry, will not be seen running in them. Inside, they feel a bit chilly: Unlike fabric or fur slippers, plastic forms a stiff barrier around the feet, and you’re always wondering when the wearer is about to step out to water the lawn.
Today I am transported back to my early 2000s Los Angeles, a strange intersection of subcultures and expat communities, in which a group of Black, Persian and Korean children from K. -town and Fairfax and South LA have found themselves at an elite country club. $100,000 just to get in, play a game invented by medieval Scots. It’s as if LA is in a state of wakefulness and confusion after the OJ Simpson trial and the Rodney King uprising of the last decade, and its elites are making amends by ushering in a multicultural future. led by Tiger Woods.
We are in a moment not unlike the hangover of the 2000s, when societal considerations around race and class have forced institutions like the media and fashion to rethink themselves. . That time on the golf course felt like a rehearsal for this moment, when I was once again deciding how and when to get into facilities that weren’t built for me, to navigate the rules. dress and talk according to their culture. Eric refused to do what I and many of my friends thought we should do: assimilate. Adidas slides give an uncomfortable sense of difference.
I spent countless hours with Eric as he plodded through the lush, manicured fairways of Brentwood, spending time on bad shot after bad shot. Once we were out of the shadows of the club and the caddy and the green guard, it was a rare free space for the kids of our city, where no one was around and nothing could be done. apart from playing this quirky game. And in the cinematic nostalgia in my mind, even for three hours in the golden afternoon sun, Eric made the trip his home, and he was its relaxed king.
Ryan Lee Wong is the author of the upcoming novel “Which Side Are You On.” He was born and raised in Los Angeles, spent two years at the Ancestral Heart Zen temple, and currently lives in Brooklyn.
https://www.latimes.com/lifestyle/image/story/2022-07-28/adidas-slides-are-the-worlds-most-uncomfortable-sandals-that-refuse-to-die Los Angeles fashion: Why do people love Adidas slides?