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Shoes follow built form

I have remarked this before, but I’ll say it again anyways: sneakers are very popular in Paris. Everybody seems to be wearing cool and colorful sneakers, regardless of what the rest of their outfit happens to look like.

Full business suit? Why yes, you should be wearing cool sneakers.

But why is that?

Paris is a famously walkable city. At any given time, you’re on average just about 500m from the closest subway station. So my entirely unproven sneaker theory is this: shoes follow built form.

If you build a city around people walking everywhere, one will ultimately choose the most appropriate kind of footwear.

Photo: Rosa Bonheur sur Seine


  1. I once attended a presentation in NYC by Jeff Speck where he illustrated the “shoe transect” matching urban design transects with show types. He was trying to make the point that the transect methodology can be applied beyond the classic urban design frame. I tried sending you the slide from this presentation by replying to the newsletter mailchimp email.
    Really enjoy reading your blog.
    Cheers from Monterrey, Mexico

    Liked by 1 person

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