It’s time to celebrate the shoe. Why you ask? Why not? People are always scouting out the perfect shoe – whether they are looking for the perfect stiletto to match a first date outfit, searching for a loafer to perfectly pull off a pair of shorts or needing a supportive arch to accommodate an ever increasing belly bulge, men and women need shoes and search far and w-w-w-wide to find the right pair. The shoe is represented and celebrated often in pop culture so let’s put on our boots (those that were made for walking) and take a trip down the yellow brick road to relive some great moments in pop-culture podiatry.
1st stop? – East 73rd Street. Sex and the City (OK, Carrie Bradshaw) turned shoe appreciation into an art form and single-footedly made Manuel “Manolo” Blahnik Rodríguez a house hold name. Carrie declared independence for single women everywhere when she registered for a pair of Manolos in the episode “A Woman’s Right to Shoes,” she named herself the ‘old woman who will literally live in her shoes’ when she discovered her Manolo habit had a $400K price tag, and she purchased a pair of plaid Manolos in order to up her height and compete with her nemesis, Natasha. All good episodes, all good shoes.
Across town on West 81st street – Jerry Seinfeld‘s apartment – Elaine brought some recognition to another brand of shoes – Boticelli. In the episode aptly titled “The Shoes,” Elaine becomes defensive when asked about her brand new Boticellis, insulted by the implication she couldn’t wear such a high class brand. As hilarity ensues, Elaine goes to confront the possible insulter, only to sneeze in a dish of Pasta Primavera, ultimately causing Jerry and George to almost blow their chance to get their pilot picked up by NBC. It was only a one time mention, but to this day, Boticelli shoes have little other claims-to-fame.
Switching over to movies, and relocating down to Greenbow, Alabama, I’d like to acknowledge one of my favorites, Forrest Gump. As most of us will remember, Forrest is gifted a pair of Nike Classic Cortez sneakers by his love, Jenny. When she disappears after finally spending the night together, Forrest’s response is to set off on a 3 year run, back and forth across the country. Not exactly the reaction of your typical guy but then again, Forrest was anything but predictable.
Jump to Hill Valley circa 2015… where Marty McFly dons a pair of Nike sneakers, complete with automatic laces and an auto-drying system. Remember that scene from Back to the Future Part II? It was part of the outfit he had to wear in order to look like his future son and protect him from participating in a potentially heavy situation with Biff’s future grandson Griff. I coudldn’t follow the plot when I first saw the movie in 1989 so I don’t expect that sentence to make sense. But, I did find out that last year, Nike actually released a limited edition version of the futuristic shoe – called the Nike MAG – to the delight of 1500 fans who were able to snatch them up. Leave it to Nike to find creative ways to remain part of the pop culture conversation throughout the 80s and 90s…
There are many more examples out there so please, let us know if you can think of any other shoes specifically referenced in the pop-culture space. And while you’re at it, vote in today’s poll: Justin Timberlake will make music once again when he composes the score for the upcoming film “The Devil in the Deep Blue Sea.” Which song from the triple threat is your favorite?
“Cry Me A River”
“Rock Your Body”
“What Goes Around Comes Around”