I Tried These $320 Sawdust-Covered Dirty Shoes — Here’s What Happened

If my mom were reading this, she’d probably have a heart attack (proverbially speaking, of course). That’s because I’m rocking a brand-new pair of shoes that already look a little worse for wear — and cost a whopping $320, no less.

With everyone from Taylor Swift to Bella Hadid sporting dirty-looking shoes these days (think noticeably distressed looks like those infamous Golden Goose sneakers), I was inspired to try the unconventional trend for myself. In my quest for a style a little less predictable than those celebrity-approved picks, I landed on Melissa x Comme des Garcons’ Derby shoe.

First appearing on the Comme des Garcons spring ’18 runway, the oxfordlike style is covered ankle to toe in real sawdust, creating a speckled effect with strategically placed scuffs. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to see what sorts of reactions these quirky shoes would get during my typical day in NYC.

While the style isn’t one I’d traditionally pick out  the pair initially reminded me of clown shoes — I had a feeling they could actually look pretty edgy when worn with the right outfit. On my first day giving them a spin, I sported them with black tights, a skater skirt and white blouse for a more classic look. But despite my wearing them on the subway for my morning commute, at the office and to dinner with a friend that day, no one seemed to look twice or comment on what was happening below my knees.

It wasn’t until I decided to get a little more daring with my outfit that people started to notice them  a pair of light-wash jeans and fishnet socks highlighting the unexpected style in all its glory.

The result? I actually received tons of compliments on them. They earned high praise from my especially fashion-forward friends and some enthusiastic “yaaas queen” responses from a few of my colleagues. Heck, they even started to grow on me, too.

Aesthetic aside, I began to love the shoes even more because of how comfortable they were. Although their all-rubber construction emanates a strong gluelike smell (which, thankfully, has started to go away the more I’ve worn them), it makes them super-flexible and easy to slip on and off for added convenience. They also feature a slightly padded insole, so I never suffered from achy arches running around the city throughout the day.

Love or hate the way they look, it’s safe to say this dirty-looking style isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As my 26-year-old brother, Ph.D student and far removed from the fashion industry, comically put it best: “They make you look like a chimney sweep or someone who is bad at painting walls. But I imagine that’s probably a good thing in the fashion world, though.”

Yes, brother. It is, indeed.

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