Bring back... Velcro plimsolls

Think of this as a radical gesture, a call to legs. In the world of the pounds 120 trainer, the Velcro plimsoll - no "trainer" pretensions here, thank you - deserves resurrection, less as footwear, more as a polemical statement.

For most of the 1990s, those dark satanic mills of the trainer revolution, Nike, Adidas and Reebok, have subjugated the nation's feet to their pedal yokes. Children walk the streets of this country benighted in the belief that nothing less than the most baroque footwear monstrosities will cut it in the playground. Even those stalwarts of the sneaker's golden days, the timeless Dunlop Green Flash, have prostituted themselves in pursuit of the sneaker pound, encouraging that other old faithful, Patrick, to udergo a po-mo makeover.

Not so that Adam of footwear Eden, the Velcro plimsoll. Cheap, honest and with an endearing lack of faith in laces, the Velcro plimsoll didn't attempt to hide its obvious redundancy behind a multi-billion dollar international marketing campaign - it was to the "leisure shoe" what the Sinclair C5 was to personal transport.

But that's not the point. Only wholesale consumer investment in this, surely the most ghastly footwear ever pulled over a sock, can topple the sneaker elite. Only as plimsoll Luddites can we hope to expose the air bubbles, the pumps and all the other trainer gimmicks for the spinning jennies that they are. The Velcro plimsoll is dead! Long live the Velcro plimsoll!

Mike Higgins

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