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Decision 2010: Green Sneaks Edition | Manolo for the Big Girl

Decision 2010: Green Sneaks Edition

Recently I have been obsessed, OBSESSED I tell you, with buying a pair of green tennis shoes.

The number of pairs of athletic shoes I have purchases in my life number exactly two.

One pair of Vans skate shoes purchased back in 1999 for some yet unknown reason, which I wore twice before giving them to my friend Craig who probably still wears them, and one pair of no-name gym shoes in 2004 that I bought because they were black and matched the rest of my workout gear. I still have the right shoe, but clearly the same person who stole my right Pour la Victoire patent leather pump with the red scoop heel has made off with my left sneaker (honestly, isn’t that much more likely than me accidentally leaving them some place?)

But I’ve not been able to shake my yearning for a pair of green tennies for weeks and, being a classicist even in my casualwear, I have narrowed it down to the following:

Onitsuka Tigers by ASICS “Lawnship”



  • I love the leather construction, and the padding looks dead comfortable.
  • The laces and lime-green lining are great and very fashiony-in-a-good-way.
  • Red soles! As a fashion person I think I’d get a little self-mocking giggle out of having a pair of red-soled shoes that so OBVIOUSLY aren’t Louboutins.
  • My pal Joey –who is a sneaker savant– says Onitsuka Tigers are the best made shoes he’s ever worn, and since he’s spent most of his working life covering sports, I’ve got to think he’s had access to a lot of high-performance footwear.


  • Iconic, but are they iconic enough? If I’m going to wear sneakers, I want them to be within a defined fashion vocabulary.
  • Socks. I hate them.  Esp. when visible. Do they make sock that are low rise enough to not make their presence know and still stay on, or do I have to find one with deely boppers on the back?
  • A little more butch than my ideal personal aesthetic?

Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars Hi Tops



  • Classic classic classic. They are THE iconic athletic shoe.
  • Hi tops potentially easier to wear vis a vis the sock issue.
  • Would be cute with a variation on the jules et jim boyfriend jeans look, which is what I’m wanting.


  • I hate buying fabric shoes as I don’t trust them not to fall apart at the seams
  • Not as well-constructed or padded as the Tigers. Would I want to work out in them? (Am I even planning on working out in them anyway?)
  • Laces are boring and white, and while I could replace them, I know myself well enough to say I probably wouldn’t.

What say you, loyal readers?  Put it in the comments!

35 Responses to “Decision 2010: Green Sneaks Edition”

  1. Lisa March 16, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    You’re not going to be working out in the Chuck’s.

  2. Gina March 16, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    I can tell you from personal experience the Chucks will probably not fall apart on you. I’m notoriously hard on shoes, yet have had my Chucks for years, and they’re still going strong despite all manner of abuse.

    However–they don’t offer much in the way of support, so I wouldn’t advise them for working out. They’re more of a casual wear shoe than a true athletic shoe. Still, I adore mine and wouldn’t trade them for the world.

    (If you choose the Tigers, you can definitely find socks that are low enough not to be visible, yet lack that annoying pom on the back.)

  3. daisyj March 16, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    I have to agree with Lisa. As much as I am in favor of them, Chucks are athletic shoes of the old school, which means no extra comfort/support features at all. Not that they aren’t totally comfortable for every day wear, but if it’s exercise shoes you want I don’t think these are they (them?).

  4. Sarah March 16, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    I agree with the above comments that the Chucks won’t fall apart but are not good for working out. I have a different version of the Tigers and I love them they are very comfy.

  5. Deb March 16, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    If you plan to walk or run in in your sneaks, I’d recommend these


  6. Deb March 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    Oh, and I meant to add that if you get over the urge for green sneaks at some point down the road, then the Pumas are less In Your Face green.

  7. Plumcake March 16, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    Thanks Deb, but that’s not an option. It’s one of those two!

    I’m not sure I’m going to really be working out in them, but I like the idea of MAYBE being able to do something in them.

  8. SusanC March 16, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    To answer the sock question, there are lower cut socks that still serve their purpose without being visible (at least in higher cut sneakers, not sure about the Tigers). Even Fruit of the Loom makes some.

    I’m not a fan of big socks (especially with stripes around them), but I do fondly remember those tennis socks with pom-poms. (The pom-poms prevented sock slippage slippage).

  9. harveypenguin March 16, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    I find Chucks too uncomfortable to even walk around in, and I rarely wear sneakers. The other ones are much cuter and look super comfy, and if you’re gonna buy sneakers, why not get something comfortable?

    And they totally make socks that hit at the bottom of the ankle. They would disappear inside those shoes.

  10. Deb March 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    Oops, sorry. I didn’t read carefully. In that case, I agree that the Tigers are probably the best choice.

  11. Debs March 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    (Different from Deb above). I’d go with the Chuck”s for a cute “Jules & Jim” look with a baggier-style jean rolled up at the ankles. Maybe with a top like a grey pullover (also a bit loose) or a tee and cropped cardigan.

    I think the shape of the ASICS would go better with a straight-legged or skinny jean, possibly longer covering the top of the shoe, and that’s a different look.

  12. Genevieve March 16, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    Hmm…I actually just bought chucks (bright red!) over the weekend. I love them.

    They are not a workout shoe–they are a “Genevieve has no car and walks to her grocery store/school” shoe, or a general casual kick. But for actual working out, you want the Asics, especially if you run, even on a treadmill.

  13. AmazonAngelle March 16, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    I like the Tigers and you can totally get low rise socks that won’t have pompoms on them. I wish they had them in purple and grey

  14. Rubygirl March 16, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    I am a long-time Chucks wearer. Depending on your foot-support needs, they can be quite comfortable, but I would not advise them for working out.

    However, when I was in college I used to go everywhere in them, all the time, no problems. I walked a lot in college, especially when I studied abroad. My dad used to play basketball in them.

    Nowadays, however, I wear them with inserts–even the cheapo arch-support ones (Dr. Scholl’s) make them super-comfy! Also, you get some ankle support, which I like.

    I think they are way, way cuter than the other pair. Plus, are those other ones even designed for working out? Also, I would not worry about the Chucks wearing out: in my experience, the Chucks’ rubber sole wears out before the canvas does.

    Get the Chucks.

  15. Janey March 16, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    Tigers, because they remind me of the lime green Nikes I fell in love with in the third grade. But they didn’t fit or we couldn’t afford them or something, so I got stuck with Strawberry Shortcake sneakers. With velcro.

    Feel my poignant pain.

  16. Patti March 16, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    The Chucks won’t fall apart but you sure don’t want to workout in them. No arch support – no stability – little cushioning.

  17. Chiken March 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    Neither of those shoes are really workout shoes, but you could run around in either. The green chucks make me think of the Celtics, which isn’t really working for me as a fashion choice. But I do love chucks as a general rule, so I will vote for those.

  18. Ali March 16, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    I have two pairs of Chucks – one in purple, one in orange and fashion-wise they are the coolest. I get more compliments for them than on any of my other shoes, including my stylish booties and my sexy high-heels.
    For how comfortable they are – I have slightly wide feet, not very, just a bit larger than medium but often too narrow to buy “wide” shoes and the Chucks do pinch me on the sides after wearing them for a while. I also have very high arches and that’s also something you shouldn’t have with Chucks.
    I used to have a pair of green Onitsuka Tigers – after I watched Kill Bill I had to have them. They weren’t the most comfortable shoes either, I have to say. They were also on the narrow side and had a very thin sole.

    I wouldn’t work out in either of them. If you want good walking shoes (because for running or any other exercise, I really recommend work out shoes), I have a pair which are cute and which my feet never get tired in:


    I know they are not green – but I used to own them in olive green (with pink stripes) and in dark brown so I know they still must have them out there in different colors.

    I also have a pair of really cute Nikes which I got at Famous Footwear for $30 and which have been not just cute but also incredibly comfortable.

  19. enygma March 16, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    If you want to go with the Tigers, there are socks that are cut really low without the little pom poms. Those are the socks that I wear when I work out because I don’t like the way crew socks look with low cut sneakers and shorts. You can go to any sporting goods store or even the neighborhood Target and find them.

  20. Evie March 16, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    It really comes down to two different style camps, I think. Chucks are classic Americana, worn by casual minimalists (in red) and angsty teenagers (in black); tigers feel more urban, and are worn by indie rockers (in red or gray) and hipsters (in maroon or orange). If you’re craving a more sophisticated boyfriend look, I’d go for the chucks.

  21. wendy March 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    My long winded comment where I described my hate of Chucks on myself (not comfy, feet look huge) but love of them on others, said there are socks for those ASICS and those have the cute and comfort factor, suggested PUMA and actually liked to 2 styles, but said if actual workouts were to be done I know there are all green Saucony Jazz… disappeared into the ether…. so, I leave you with
    ** Onitsuka Tigers FTW!!! ***

  22. klee March 16, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    voting the tigers, they just look cooler

  23. Frances March 16, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    Tigers tigers tigers tigers tigers!

    I am a sneaker head. The vast majority of my shoes are sneakers – I never ever wear heels.

    I have both Converse and Tigers and Tigers win all over. Converse DO fall apart (my boyfriend in high school ripped the shit out of all of his pairs), they’re thin so you can’t wear them in cold weather, and they’re uncomfortable. They pinch my feet something fierce and I can’t wear them for long periods of time.

    The Tigers are comfortable, look amazing, the leather construction is tops and they’re sleek – definitely not butch.

  24. Cat March 16, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    I’d go with the Tigers. And, for sure, you can get socks to wear with them that will stay on but won’t be visible. Go to any Lady Footlocker or any other store that sells women’s athletic apparel, and you will find them.

  25. Plumcake March 16, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    Lady Footlocker is a real place? I had no idea!

  26. Rubygirl March 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    In terms of “wide foot/high arches”, which may or may not relate to you: I have both and have always found Chucks to be quite comfortable. I guess it depends on the person.

    Also, I have seen people wear out Chucks once or twice, but they were always guys and I don’t know what they hell they did to them. I’ve had about ten pairs without problems.

    Your mileage may vary, of course. Good luck with your quest!

  27. Beth C. March 16, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    Yeah, I love my chucks but they are totally flat on the inside, no arch whatsoever, so please, plummy do not try to run in them. You will need socks most likely. The canvas rubs the backs of my Achilles tendon if I don’t. I have had the same pair for ten years and the canvas is holding together. I wore them every day in college, too. I would keep in mind they are thin, as someone else mentioned, and they have holes in the sides by the soles, so these are not good cold weather or rain shoes. At the same time they are always classically cute.

  28. avirr March 16, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    I’ve always liked the look of Chucks, but have terrible feet and need lots of support, so never bought them.

    What insoles have other people tried, and what results have you had? I saw one good experience with Dr. Scholls, above.

    And my favorite color is green…

  29. Jezebella March 16, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

    Chucks are always in style, and will be forever and ever, amen. Stick an insole in there if they’re too flat, or get lowtops if the hightops crowd your ankles. Also it takes a hell of a lot of wear to tear up a pair of Chucks. A guy friend of mine buys one new black pair about every 18 months, and wears them every single day until they fall apart. That’s hundreds of days of wearing them before they start to crack up.

    Hell, just buy both pairs. Wear the Tigers when you’re feeling fashion-forward, Chucks when you’re feeling classic. It’s not like the Chucks cost a fortune.

    If you want high-impact sports gear, go to a specialty store and get a charming young sports dude to find you some performance shoes that fit your foot needs. I hate to say it, but when it comes to running and working out, function has to come before fashion.

  30. Lisa March 16, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    Deelie boppers are easily snipped off, too. I do. Cat loves ’em.

  31. Ripley March 17, 2010 at 12:25 am #

    Go with the Tigers. I hate Chuck Taylors. Hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate…

  32. LisaM March 17, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Do the Chucks come in a low top variety? Because then you have the Iconic Chucks but not the high-top if that’s not your thing.

  33. zuzu March 17, 2010 at 11:46 pm #

    I actually do wear Chucks (mine are pink, and I have another pair in Carolina blue) to work out. They’re a great cheap weightlifting shoe precisely because they’re flat, have little cushioning and are hightops so they provide ankle support. I used to wear my old running shoes when I lifted, but the cushioned sole was a little too squashy and led to some instability in the squat cage. And if there’s any place you want firm, flatfooted contact with the ground with no moving around, it’s in the squat cage. I looked at various specialty shoes, but time and again, I saw recommendations for Chucks.

    That said, I don’t wear them outside the weight room. The same qualities that make them perfect for heavy lifting make them uncomfortable for knocking around in, and forget running. Which is too bad, because I love the way they look. I might try the insert, because if I could make them comfortable and supportive, I’d never take them off.

  34. jeannemarie March 18, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    I know they’re not sneakers, but my daughter just bought these cool patent leather lime green doc martens. She loves them! I think this is a picture of them http://www.polyvore.com/dr_martens_8eye_boot_green/thing?id=5755286

    not much good for working out, but she does walk around the city in them a lot.

  35. Kath March 19, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    Squeee! Get the Cons! I <3 my Cons, I have the raspberry ones and absolutely live in them. Now I want green ones.