You can glean a lot about the sartorial decline of Western civilization by going to a ballgame. In the days of yore, men -- and they were all men -- dressed formally when heading out to watch men hit balls with sticks.
When members of the Greatest Generation, trapped in a frozen foxhole in Bastogne, pined for sunny summers at Ebbets Field, that fantasy still would have included dressing in a way that seems oddly formal today. That's because, thanks to the explosion of merchandizing as a multibillion-dollar industry, the modern fan resembles an expensively decked-out little-leaguer.
One can argue that this is part of an ongoing trend toward sartorial infantilization -- today's adults, especially older adults, seem to dress like large toddlers. (One especially notices this at the airport as well as the ballpark.) And that's why the screamingly garish high-heels pictured here are so intriguing. Yes, they represent a capital crime in the eyes of sports-related fashion police. But they buck the infanilization trend in the broadest possible way.
It used to be that one would only see four-inch heels like this in the pages of a Fredrick's of Hollywood catalog (where the models always seemed to have their lingerie half-on and half-off, demonstrating how easy it was to remove in a hurry). But no more. Today, young women clomp around in nosebleed-high heels to such an extent that one wonders if San Francisco has been subtly infiltrated by undercover Amazons. If so, they'll be rather easy to run away from when they finally attack.
To call shoes like this impractical is redundant -- but they may be even more so at the ballpark. Trodding atop loose detritus (peanuts and crackerjack?) and across slick tile floors is hard enough in sturdy boots. No one should brave a ballpark restroom in stilettos -- and God help the people sitting in your aisle as you squeeze into your middle seat, with each precarious step threatening to give fellow fans an unwelcome podiatric piercing.
These heels do, however, appear to go well with the prison break-orange outfits that have also come into vogue at Giants game. So they've got that going for them. Which is nice.
And yet, in this day and age, one can use the Google to access many interesting photos of a top Giants player and his odd choices of footwear.
Sigh. If it's good enough for Brian Wilson, it's good enough for us. Fear the shoes.
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