Style Foul: Running Sneakers with Jeans

Style Foul: Running Sneakers with Jeans

By Gabi Meyers | Last Updated: Mar 18 2018 | 4 min read

Megan says: It’s Wednesday! That means Intern Gabi is here to bring you some collegiate wisdom to help graduate your style to the next level. Take it away Gabs…

Regular readers, I hope that the following style sin isn’t one YOU commit. That said, information is the only thing that can trump ignorance, so please pass these words along to any wingman who needs them; I promise you both will benefit.

I have this friend of a friend (and if he reads this article he will know exactly who he is!) that commits this style sin just to spite me: running sneakers with jeans. I tell him that – from a female’s perspective – those are a ferocious turn-off, to which he responds, “I wouldn’t date a girl who would care about something like that.” I tell him he’s not reaching his potential, he tells me I’m shallow and not all girls are like me. (Eh-hem. I’m totally not shallow; I’m dating a guy who wore “relaxed fit” jeans…he’s changed his ways.)

Some girls won’t be phased by the running sneakers and jeans look, but they are probably the kind of girl who also wears running sneakers with jeans and thinks that it is a normal, “pretty okay” look. That, or she’s too nice to give you (constructive) criticism, and that’s no good either – lack of communication is never healthy in relationship.

If you are a frequent reader of this site, you’re probably a stylish guy, and want an equally stylish gal.

Not me/like-minded-female-individuals.

Here’s what running sneakers with jeans say to women looking at you head to toe (and, pro tip, that’s all of us):

You are indifferent to style.

It shows me that you started to get ready and after all the work you put into picking out a shirt that went with your pants, you gave up. You just sweated in those shoes and you’re going to wear them out? I know you HAD to take off your shoes to get in the shower, and that pair shouldn’t be what you put on after!  No offense, but you men have drastically nastier foot stank than us girls, and we don’t even do that.

And if you went on a run outside, I bet there’s some mud and earth guts on those shoes, which is not quite symbiotic with your clean clothes. And if you were wearing your running sneakers and you weren’t even working out…YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

As someone with feet as flat as pancakes, I understand as well as anyone that sneakers are made with extra support features for different types of feet, and being comfortable is important…BUT TIMES HAVE CHANGED! There are plenty of dress and casual shoes with new support features, wide and narrow sizing, and extra insoles to make all of your other shoe options on par, comfort-wise, with your workout sneaks. All of these SUPER STYLISH options (below) are available on Zappos, under the “Comfort” section.

(L to R): Superga, $65, Sperry Top-Sider, $80, Clarks, $120

Maybe it’s a mental thing – you’re comfortable in your running sneakers, and that’s why you stick with them.

But getting out of your comfort zone is important when it comes to style. Trying new things – like rock climbing, or anchovies – can be scary, but what if you find out you really like that previously unknown thing? You would totally regret not having tried it!

Same goes for better shoes. The great thing is, there are baby steps to this change that will be so itsy-bitsy you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Start with a pair of casual, walk-around sneakers instead of running sneakers:

RobPat rocks Adidas Sambas: a classic that you can still run in without it being a running sneaker. {}

John Krasinski’s Vans slip-ons are another great option: you don’t even have to worry about your shoes coming untied!  {}

Once you start upping your style game you’ll see how easy it is, and you’ll be wearing driving moccasins, chukkas, and boat shoes in no time. Take a step into a new shoe and you’ll walk onto a new path of life: a more stylish one.

An outfit is everything you’re wearing, including shoes. Sporting a mismatched outfit says that you don’t care what other people think about your appearance, and I’m pretty sure that kind of fashion disdain stopped being cool around ’95. Putting some pride into your look tells a girl you’re not afraid of caring about your appearance, which is good, because any guy that I’m going to be interested in has to care about something.

Bottom line: I will think more highly of you if you wear a shoe to the bar that you can’t wear to the gym, not only because it looks better, but because it shows you care.

Tell Me:

When did you upgrade your regular footwear? What’s your casual shoe of choice?

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Gabi Meyers went from Team SG's first-ever intern to a trusted fashion editor and stylist. She currently lives in Chicago with a very cute dog.