The Best Sneakers for Your Wedding, and Other Not-Excruciating Shoes

In Depth

The thing about a wedding is it’s usually long, the person in the dress is often the most encumbered by her or his outfit (or outfits!), and there are very few people out there who really want to spend seven hours in stilettos no matter how perfectly they shape our beleaguered legs under all the lace, satin, and tulle.

To that end, a tipster writes:

I am getting married in october and i dont want to wear crazy high heels that will ruin my feet. I was wondering if you guys could do a post about the best wedding sneakers- (wedge sneakers? or platform?)
i am sure a lot of your readers feel the same

Indeed. I once attended a union in which the entirety of the wedding party—bride, groom, everybody—wore pristine new Converse All-Stars. Of course, the wedding was in a forest in Oregon and most anything else would have been untenable, but it was also ideal for the married ones’ sensibilities (vegan; punk) and it provided an affordable alternative to the fancy-fancy, super pricey wedding wardrobe the betrothed couple expects from their attendants. (Also: wearable forever.) I’m assuming you won’t be getting hitched in a forest in Oregon (wedge sneakers are not good for hiking), but I’ve got a few thoughts on this.

First of all, I don’t think sneakers even have to possess any sort of height to be formal enough for a wedding. For instance, Nike recently launched a series of iridescent and pearlescent sneakers lovely and shiny enough for a wedding gown. While some of the originals are now eBayed for a five-hundred percent mark-up (ay, chihuahua), you could customize versions of your own on Nike ID if you were so inclined. If you’re wearing white, doing an all-over metallic silver Air Force 1 low with an iridescent sole would be super cool, plus you could have them embroider your names or wedding date on the back. Or if you like the pearl, they offer that in Jordans, too.

For flats, I also like the idea of pristine white plimsolls (if you’re wearing white), and if you are turned off by the ubiquitous Ked (fifty bucks in a dainty eyelet pattern!), you can find some nice, affordable variations on the theme: the Vans Lo-Pro, the Superga classic, these lacy platform cheapies from H&M or, if you are Fashion and/or live in New York, there’s always the Adidas Stan Smith.

But you asked about platforms and wedges! First, a word of caution: as the owner of several pair of platform sneakers, I must note that even the most comfortable are a potential ankle-twist hazard, because there isn’t a lot of give on the ball of your foot. If you’re wearing a complicated gown or one with a very long train, I would recommend choosing a wedge over a platform; it will allow you more foot control and avoid potential stumbles down the aisle. (That would be cute and charming, but I’m assuming you do not want it.)

That said, as for wedding-appropriate platform kicks, these silver Miu Miu platform espadrilles (pictured at the top of this post) are the most, if you’re in the position to drop like six Benjis on your footwear. (You could wear them again!) If not, these Sam Edelmans are similar and a lot more affordable. Also, erm, have you considered platform faux-Birkenstocks? They’re so hot right now and you can wear them into the summer. These platform Supergas are not white but the hearts are super cute and could capture the love I assume you have for your betrothed. Or, for another variation: bejeweled slip-on platform sneakers? Takes care of your something new, something blue.

Wedge-wise, I am an ostentatious, brassy chick, so obviously I am in love with these flossy things: Helen’s Heart Silver Bling High Tops, with sparkle and flash for your big, campy day. (For what it’s worth, I am also obsessed with these light-up sneakers—are you into raves? Perfect for your wedding!)

If you are more subdued, these are really nice Converse wedges, as are these Giuseppes, though a little costlier. It would also be a lovely idea to wear sneaker-y open-toed sandals—like these super-cute, affordable Lacoste spectators—or a comfortable Mary Jane with a cushiony footbed,—such as these Tsubos or, if no one is ever going to see your feet, these Toms wedges from their wedding collection. Or, screw it, just wear some ever-foot-friendly Doc Martens.

So, did you wear sneakers to your wedding? What did I miss?

Contact the author at [email protected].

Top image via Barneys; Air Force 1 image via Nike.

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