Sick Shoes


I’ve always been the sort who thinks that shoes make an outfit. They can make it really good, or really bad—it’s not often I’ve come across a pair of shoes that have little impact on the rest of your look. And for the past, oh, I don’t know, half-a-year, spindly stilettos have been leaving me with the impression that I look kind of…dated. Don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing like a pointed Manolo pump or barely-there “nothing shoe” with a whisper-thin 5-inch heel to elongate the leg and make you stand tall, but they haven’t made me feel cool. They typically make me feel like I’m in a “going out” outfit, no matter where I am, or what time of day it is.

So, lately, I’ve been going the complete opposite route. “I may-or-may-not-skateboard” off-white Converse hi-tops? Love. “I may-or-may-not be a buyer for a Tokyo concept shop” Céline creepers? Be still my heart. And don’t even get me started on the black-and-white flatform Alexander Wang sandals I preemptively bought in February. When it comes to footwear, my M.O. is the more boat-like, the better. I'm looking to shoes to quite literally anchor my ensemble. “But…are they flattering?” you might ask. No—no, they’re not. But I don’t care.

I first spied my newest shoe crush at Stockholm’s answer to Bergdorf Goodman, NK, during a trip to Sweden at the beginning of June. First of all, let it be known—in this totally sweeping statement—that Stockholm is a magical land filled with, among other things (...such as My-Little-Pony-hued skies and the new store & Other Stories), surprisingly light, delicious food and extremely good-looking/stylish people, who will make you rethink your mousy brown hair and whatever it is you're wearing. In light of this, Nick and I were casing the Acne mini-boutique during one of those frantic shopping expeditions where you know you don’t have enough time to accomplish anything but you reeeeally just want to "see what’s out there." I looked down and there they were, in all their silver-glitter-infused, lug-soled, awkwardly green(ish?) glory: the “Mia.” I picked one up, nearly throwing my back out in the process—ooh, they’re heavy. My eyes lit up. (Inexplicably, and in spite of stringent luggage weight restrictions, the heavier the shoe, the more I want it.) I held the size 38 left-footer at arm’s length, examining the stiffly molded leather, the industrial buckles, and the price tag: 550 Euro? That’s a lot for totally insane shoes, I thought. “Do you have these in a size 40?” I asked. “Ah, no—last pair!” (Read: winner. These shoes were clearly a winner.)

“What are you doing?”

I looked over my shoulder—Nick.

“I LOVE these shoes. Aren’t they awesome?!” I declared.

“No. They’re horrible. Let’s go.”

Back at my hotel that night, I found myself in an I-hole (Instagram K-hole) and decided to do a little experiment: “Am I batshit crazy to want these amazing Frankenstein shoes?” I ‘grammed, and the comments poured in. They ranged from “GET THEM NOW! LIFE IS TOO SHORT, BUY THE SHOES” to a could-go-either-way “Yes!!!!” from Karen Elson to “Ick.” The cyber room was largely divided. I was torn, but ultimately thought, I just have to see them on.

And, ultimately, it didn’t really take trying them on to make up my mind. (In fact, they don’t even look particularly ‘good’ on.) It took meeting a really fucking cool shop girl, one Linnea Sennerholt, at the Ack-neyh (that’s right, not Ack-neee) flagship store the following day. She had on a glitter cat-eye, an exaggeratedly oversize white dress and THE SHOES. “NICK! LOOK! Look how cool she looks,” I said. “Yeah, because she’s Swedish and has perfect style. You don’t wear dresses.”

But I could.

And I did. And I do now—it’s actually the same dress, a raggedy floral 1940s number that I hacked the bottom off of. Because, end-of-story, I bought the shoes, wore them through the airport because they wouldn’t fit in my luggage, and have barely taken them off since. I’m still unsure as to whether they’re “good” or “bad,” but then again, I wonder the same thing nearly every time I hear a new song (put it on repeat 30 times, though, and I’m hooked). But I love these weirdo shoes. I love that they’re clunky and will probably never totally wear-in, their vaguely orthopedic, distinctively 90s club-kid nature…and that they’re making me dress around them. They’re a total look-changer, a look maker—and that, my friends, is the holy grail of shoe-dom.

—Emily Weiss

Photographed by Nick Axelrod in Stockholm, Sweden. 

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Nicky Zeeb

    I love them!! I think they are incredible!!


  • Steph

    I LOVE them. Fan of boat-like shoes as well!

  • k80

    I have pretty conservative taste in shoes myself (my latest purchase is these: - practical and oh so sensible, but how I love them!) - but I think the Acne shoes look incredible on you, they're fab! ps. you're making me miss Stockholm!

  • sashi

    In 1993 I was in high school and went on a Europe trip, where I saw nothing but Doc Martens on everyone, guy and girl. Returning home to Chicago, after lugging a pair of the giant brown oxfords home, I wore them nonstop and they fit perfectly with the grunge era outfit of flannel shirts. A look- yes. Attractive- hell no! But... I still have them.

    • chrisbean

      I still have the oxblood Doc creepers I got in London in 1999 during my college study abroad. I still wear them, and they are the most weatherproof, slip-proof pair of shoes I own.

      Plus, they were so embarrassingly on trend the past season or few!

  • eastvillagesiren

    I totally get it. I'm drawn to what I refer to as "ugly" shoes, like the kind of clodhopper types companies like Dansko, etc. make. Especially in summer, I like the dichotomy of bulky sandals, a skirt and a non-red polish pedicure. And because I'm busty, I sometimes feel like stiletto heels can look too "done" on me. A pair of fugly shoes can balance out a dressier outfit or delicate facial features. And your shoes look great on you, Emily!

  • therealblonde

    I would never get them myself, but you make them werk!
    Where did you get the dress, because that *is* something I would get.

  • Isabel

    I don't think those shoes are ugly! Apart from the glitter they're not especially 'out there' for me, but that may be a British thing. Have you seen the cut out ankle boots in Topshop? The Adonis boots (which I was in love with but couldn't afford!); half sandal, half tough, heavy ankle boot with a chunky heel. The more 'biker' version of these shoes were big all autumn/winter.

  • Sarah

    I agree with Nick. I do not like them (feel too old for them), but I love your attitude. Plus, they suit your personality very well. Wear what you like/love!

  • Helen

    Boat-like shoes indeed. I watched them sell out, powerless, with all the sadness of bidding a Navy lover a last farewell. Yeah I just really like jelly shoes.

  • Lucinda

    Everyone has got to have a pair of 'cool' shoes - I'm totally on board

  • Juan Jaar

    lol, my instagram comment in on this- glad u got them. Still love them shoes gorl- also tell nick hes a party pooper.

  • bonnenuitmonamour

    I'm in love with these shoes! I already bought the more conservative black loafer version and I think I might have to go for seconds. Plus, apart from the fact that each shoe is about the weight of a brick, they are surprisingly comfortable!

  • Kristin


  • Hannah

    Emily!! I love you and I love the shoes. Good for you for standing up for what you want. I too have a fetish for unconventional shoes. Although it can be hard to rationalize with one's inner logical bitch, my winning argument has always been "damn you, I love them, I only one have lifetime to wear shoes." Cue, Rocky Balboa music and run, run, run with your glorious shoes, girl.

  • MsDenbi

    I actually like them! I would prefer them in black, though.

  • Jen

    I think they're fantastic. One of the best sartorial compliments I ever received was when someone told me that my shoes (Doc-Marten-ish, teal with navy soles, purchased in Prague mid-90's) "went with nothing and everything" I wore. Exactly. They were stompers too.

  • dana

    They are NOT ugly --- they are beautiful!! I'm glad you got them because I have always loved chunky shoes and I love seeing cool girls like you wearing them (it vindicates my predilections).

  • Aliya

    I've been really digging on "ugly" shoes, too, and when I saw these Acne ones it was just instant admiration. Have you seen the new ones Acne came out with for Resort? They're even uglier, which makes them even more beautiful!

  • Emma Hager

    I'm so glad that you decided to purchase these babies! They're wonderful in a way that I actually find really unironic. Perhaps they are composed of elements that, on their own, wouldn't be very dashing. However, put together, they are incredibly beautiful creatures -- and this might just be due to the aforementioned mixing of elements. They're inherently cool, and go perfectly with your dresses, and I'd imagine your Ksubi's, too.
    And love your correcting the Americanized way to say it! Ock-neh has always sounded wayy better! Oh, Swedes.

  • WY H

    Absolutely love these. Can't believe you even had to think about bringing these babies with you. & Other Stories have some great sandals, which I'm sure you'll fancy. x

  • isabelle

    love them! oh, i live in stockholm and wish i would have caught a glimpse of you while you were here! i love love love your writing and everything you do here at ITG. come back soon :)

  • Julia Sweeney

    First off - this was really funny. Secondly, I do like them solely (HA HA) based on the fact that Angela Chase would wear these to her prom.

  • Nina

    Acne's shoes are now crazier than ever it seems. I really don't get why anyone would wear these, but I do love that you went to Stockholm! Wonderful city.

  • daphne

    LOVE! They look awesome on you and you love them--that's what matters! Plus, they seem like they could be very practical during rainy storms and cold weather while making the perfect style and attitude statement!

  • NeenaJ

    I'm with Nick! Glad you like them, though - Confidence is everything.

  • ak

    i love them!!

  • isaobeso

    You're right.. they're really awesome and make you look really cool. I think these are those typically types of pieces that you find in a store, mostly when you're on vacation (because that's how it mostly goes for me), try them on, love them and then you don't get them because you think you'd possibly never wear them; and a week later, once you're home, all you think about is that piece of something (in this case the shoes) and you totally regret yourself not buying them. So good for you for buying the shoes and rocking them Emily!

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  • alicake

    I've been drooling over those in my Acne shop since they first arrived. I actually went for the yellow stain loafer version instead, and if I were made of money I'd get the Mias too. Anybody know what the cute white purse is that she is sporting in the pics?

  • babs

    Ah, you're such a funny writer. I think those shoes look great on you, not in the least because you have such an individual, non-contrived sense of style. I think you need a certain je ne sais quoi to pull those off, and you have it in spades, Emily.

    I kind of want these. Not sure I have that je ne sais quoi myself, though!

  • Kallie, Happy Honey & Lark

    I love them.

  • highmaintenance

    As a proud owner of Acne's Meg (in pink!) i believe purchasing them was the only sane choice. Now, what about these babies?

  • Colleen Oczkowski

    Hate the shoes. Love your enthusiasm.

  • JB

    I absolutely love these shoes. I would overhaul my wardrobe just for them.

  • Sue

    I love my beige Acne Jordans and my burgundy Avalanche boots. They're so fun and I got each pair at a huge discount too.

  • hollygoeslightly22

    I'm getting a very strong Winona Ryder (in Reality Bites)/90s vibe from those shoes.

  • Missingthecity

    Oh Emily! Please stop doing this....I already had to track down the Derek Lam shirt you wore to Fashion Week (found it on sale, thank god, and am obsessed) and bought the 1509 body oil (a quick-click purchase without even a trial smell, and now I wear the so-called Male fragrance every day). It's getting so I have to hide my wallet when I read ITG.

  • miep

    i've never commented here before, but this time, i just had to... i loved reading your story so much. it's so cute and honest.
    and for the shoes: go for it! you fell in love with them no matter if they fit to the rest of your wardrobe and no matter what other people may say, and this is really huge! i like you even more now, emily!

  • Emma

    Emily, you are my style crush forever. Please keep following your gut; you have fantastic instincts.

    Also, will you please start using Spotify so we can all follow the music you mention? Every time you cite a song (i.e.: Stay remixed by Branchez) I listen to it for a week straight and and hungry for more.

  • Shara

    Are you effing kidding me?! I've been home from college for six days now (read: no time for non-mobile internet) and haven't checked the site for that amount of time. Guess what I did the last time I had proper internet connection? Googling the shit out of those shoes. In that exact colour.

    I refuse to believe that this is a mere coincident. I mean, come on. Out of all the shoes in the world! The universe is clearly trying to tell me something.

    • IntoTheGloss

      I mean... Clearly you are meant to have them. Trust in fate. XE

  • C

    I looooooooooove them, I'm glad you didn't listen to Nick ;)
    But I tend to gravitate towards shoes everyone else finds ugly. Ok, by "everyone else" I mean my friends and family, none of which are into fashion much, but still. Those 7 inch Burberry creepers (officially referred to as "the boats" by my flatmate), and a clunky ass pair of Ann D. boots are some of the most prized possessions in my closet. Sure, I may look like a horse, but I feel like one cool motherfucker.

  • chrisbean

    AH! I love love creepers. and men's oxfords, brogues, and so on.

    You obviously bought down two sizes--how try-to-size are they? Are they comfortable? I can't stop pinning pictures of....!


Acne 'Mia' Platform Loafer
Alexander Wang
Alexander Wang Jade Flat Sandals
Acne Mia in White