In the land of patriarchy and inequality, there's an unspoken, but palpable, pressure for women to rock sexy, feminine footwear over flats or Dunks.
We're told dainty sandals and sky-high heels trump a pair of Nike Roshe Ones.
But with every passing birthday, my appreciation for kicks of all kinds has morphed from casual fan into serious "Swimfan."
Because, come on, who says sneakers can't be just as seductive as a pair of classic red pumps?
To be clear, my love for sporty flats is no trendy act of look-at-me feminism.
But my days of tip-toeing to reach 5'7” in the name of sexier-looking stems for some random guy buying me a drink at the bar have passed.
And even though I look damn good in six-inch stilettos, I quickly learned my short physique lends itself better to the comfort of trainers or luxe sneaks.
Sure, my inner Carrie Bradshaw still squeals at the sight of sleek, high-end stilts as much as the next fashion girl, but I've come to love the comfort of being closer to the ground.
Once upon a time, women reserved running sneakers for gym sessions.
Now that athleisure is the new black, ladies are going more Sporty Spice than Posh, donning loungewear everywhere from boardrooms to the beach -- me, especially.
Here's how to make the most of your mean sneaker game this summer.
For shady Tinder date
Think about it: There's a dose of indifference with every Tinder date, seeing as how you've randomly matched with some stranger over a swipe.
In an attempt to curb wasting a pair of great shoes on a guy who's best filed under "fail," keep your kicks casually low-maintenance but universal and chic.
The beauty of everyday All-American Chucks? You can effortlessly assert Rihanna-like coolness with a skirt or dress if you're feeling more femme.
For a steal: Chuck Taylor All Star Classic, $50
For a splurge: COMME des GARCONS Play x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star '70, $125
For a pretentious rooftop party
Nothing says you put your fanciest foot forward more than a pair of coveted Kanye West's Yeezy Boost 350. Slipping on these Primeknit-coated Adidas Originals easily transforms even the most tattered look into Cinderella chic.
Opt for a utilitarian jumpsuit fit for rubbing elbows with the bourgeois, and stand out in a room full of fake-cultured folks in these exclusive kicks.
Those in attendance will be honored by your fashionable lateness (and casual comfort).
For a steal: Puma Suede Classic, $59
For a splurge: Adidas Original Yeezy Boost 350, $200
For poolside cabana lounging
If there's levels to stylish comfort, catching rays alongside the pool in lightweight, colorful kicks is queen.
Make the sock-like sneaks pop with a white one-piece swimsuit or play mix-and-match with prints for exaggerated style.
Either way, be sure to take your look a step further by customizing your fly footwear. Warning: haters will hate.
For a steal: Nike Free TR 5 Flyknit, $130
For a splurge: Nike Free 4.0 Flyknits iD, $160
For a wet, muddy music festival
While everyone else is giving their best Olsen-Twins boho-chic impression, OD-ing on floral crowns and all, comfortably catch a show in no-frills footwear that'll still warrant all eyes on you.
Don't let the weather rain on your casual swag. Just match some distressed denim cutoffs with a solid-colored crop top and it's lit.
It's that simple.
For a steal: Brooks Chariot Heritage, $58
For a splurge: Reebok Furylite Roses, $75
For a seedy dive bar with sticky floors
Like Gendry (for all my "Game of Thrones" fans), some of the dopest shoes have never returned after a Skrillex-style night in a hole-in-the-wall pub.
Protect your endless rows of other kicks by grabbing your skateboard-friendly shoes or cool-oozing trainers for this boozy excursion. Don't unnecessarily ruin your high-end options over a couple beers and clumsy “Cheers” extras.
For a steal: Vans Authentic Lo Pro, $45
For a splurge: New Balance 574, $75
For a stuffy work environment
TBH, the undeniable buzz of beloved classics is a nod to their style staying power. They work for almost every occasion -- corporate office, included.
Don't feel inferior to your heel-wearing coworkers or your buttoned-up managers.
Strut in (like a boss!) donning either of these updated retro sneakers, rocking them with anything from dresses to flared skirts to angle-grazing slacks. Guarantee you'll have fans knocking down your door for shoe deets.
For a steal: Adidas Stan Smith, $75
For a splurge: Nike Air Huarache Run iD, $140
Images via Polyvore