Athletes and celebrities were dressed to the nines Tuesday night in New York for the 16th annual Foot Locker “On Our Feet” gala, an effort to raise money for the its educational initiatives. But when the sports and TV stars showed up to New York’s Chelsea Piers, eyes weren’t on their formal attire. Instead, they were on their feet.
Foot Locker asked attendees to wear formal attire paired with their favorite athletic shoes. The result was plenty of heat on people’s feet. FN caught up with several notables and asked how to properly style sneakers with formal wear. Here’s what they said.
Guard, Brooklyn Nets
I’ve been doing this for a while; I’ve been doing this for like four years. When I went to my senior prom, I wore a suit with the Jordan IX. Everyone was looking at me, like, “Is this guy serious? Where are his shoes?” I just felt comfortable knowing how to put the colors and the pieces together and not trying to do too much, just keeping it simple. Depending on the basketball shoe, it could work with a suit, as well as different Air Forces, Air Maxes, Jordan retros — the ones I like to wear with a suit are the 1s.
Running Back, New York Jets
You have to look at it in the mirror to see if [the sneakers] go with it. If it’s a running shoe, it has to be an Air Max type of shoe because those have a low cut that goes better with [a tux]. If you don’t do that, then a basketball, like a mid type of shoe. Tonight I’m wearing the patent leather Jordan 11s because I think they go best with a tuxedo. The patent leather is shiny like a shoe you would wear with a tux, but also super comfortable.
Walt “Clyde” Frazier
I was doing that in 1973. The Puma shoe became not only a sport shoe but a style shoe, so kids were wearing them when they dressed up. I was wearing my mink coat, big hat and a suit and had the sneakers on. We just came out with a patent leather type, very shiny ones in black and burgundy — that will go with pretty much everything that you wear. Running shoes, I think they’re too clunky. I think low cuts look better, more of a casual shoe than an athletic shoe — they don’t look bulky on your feet, they look sleek.
Reality TV Star, “Vinny and Ma Eat America”
I don’t think it will ever match, really. It looks funky, it looks cool. I think I could see some people look like this to a club and people not looking twice. Usually when you wear a suit with [sneakers] don’t do black, because it looks like a dress shoe. If you’re going to do it, be weird.
Receiver, New York Giants
It’s all on the person; if you’re owning it and rocking it comfortably, then I guess it’s going to work for you. The [shoe style] depends on the person and the comfort level. If you’re comfortable in the shoe, then you could wear it.
Receiver, New York Giants
For me, it’s got to be the right shoe. It’s got to be a specific height — preferably a low-top because the slacks come down, and it’s all about the tailoring. You’ve got to let your tailor know you’re wearing those pants with a specific sneaker and tailor the pant a certain way so it’s streamlined and it looks good and not all bunched up at the bottom. Tonight I’m wearing the light gray [Nike] Air Trainer Cruz; this colorway comes out in December. I love this shoe mainly because it’s my shoe. I was a part of the design process, but I feel like it’s a dress-up and dress-down shoe — it covers so many different realms.