Who is this shoe made for?
Another example of men thinking they know what women want?
Despite what your late ’80s-crazed instincts may tell you, this shoe was made for a girl’s feet.
This black/pink LBJ VII made its way across the Net this week. Whenever shoes like this drop though, the reaction to them from females (those who talk to me about sneakers, anyway) is usually the same.
They don’t like them.
“This was a surprise that they made the Air Max LeBron in a smaller size for the ladies,” says Fetti D’Biasi of Female Sneaker Fiend. “But pink? We know who we are as females. We don’t need pink to tell us that we’re females.
“We spend all of this money on sneakers and the companies are still pretty much delegating what colors they think we’d like as far as pink, red, yellow, baby blue, grey and (women’s shoes are) always something as far as those colors.”
But still, these black/pink, girlie-looking shoes continue to drop, year after year. And they wouldn’t keep dropping if people didn’t buy them, right? Which brings me to a strange thought, but one I think is spot on.
These shoes aren’t made for girls. They’re made for guys. I know this because I’ve fallen victim to it plenty in the last few years.
You’re at your favorite sneaker spot, checking the shelves. You see a pair of shoes that you’ve been feening for and your first instinct is to pull the trigger and add to your collection. Then you hear the voice of your significant other in your head.
“What are you doing buying more shoes? You have all of these other things you could be spending your money on: our vacation, student loan payments…or just save your money. You have enough shoes, etc. etc.”
Then a pair of black/pink LBJ VII’s, or a black/pink pair of Air Force 1′s, or a multi-tone pink Air Force 1 catches your eye and the lightswitch is flicked.
“How great would it be if I could get her into this?”
Mental pictures of of the two of you combing through all those sneaker spots you frequent solo pop into your head. You could go on that vacation and visit all of the sneaker boutiques that you wanted to and she could be just as enthused as you are about it. Or at least somewhat enthused.
So you convince yourself to buy her the black/pink AF1. “My gift to you,” you tell her, kind of feeling like Denzel Washington in the early stages of American Gangster.
Except in my case, no one got hooked. I bought the black/pink AF1 for one girl; bought the multi-toned pink AF1 for another. Do you know where they are now? No really, do you? Because the shoes and the feet that go in them are out of the picture and neither of the girls got any more into sneakers or any more tolerant of an impulse pickup of SB Dunk lows at the outlet in the process.
“I totally think that (sneaker companies) think of the men first, being that this is a male dominated industry,” D’Biasi says. “They totally think that, ‘If we made the Ones for the guys and if the guys like them so much, maybe they’ll buy them for their girlfriends. Let’s give them the pink, or the icey blue.’”
It makes sense. This is a male dominated industry and that male groupthink shines through when I see these ladies’ sneakers and want to gift them. Whether they’re for a girlfriend, or you’re buying them for your daughter, a niece, the thought process is likely the same. “Look, pink shoes. Girls like pink. These would make a good gift.”
“We’re tired of pink, our wardrobe doesn’t consist of only pink,” D’Biasi laughs.
“Men are wearing more pink now than we are,” she continues. “We don’t need a color, we know what gender we are. For those that are hardcore sneakerheads and even for those that are the casual female sneaker fiend, we want the hot styles and colors to go with the rest of our fly wardrobe.
“To constantly only have the options of pink, yellow, red, grey, navy blue, it gets to be a pain in the ass sometimes.”
D’Biasi says that even though there are sneakers being made in women’s sizes and colors, the ladies are an afterthought in the process.
“(Sneaker companies) really believe that men spend more money on the sneakers,” she says. “But anyone will tell you, anyone who has a daughter, anyone who has a sister, anyone who has a girlfriend will tell you no, we spend way more money than you guys. So why are we being ignored as to what we want?”
Do the sneaker companies miss the mark on these shoes with women, or are these shoes aimed at guys who want to gift the girls in their lives with them? What do you guys think?