Fashion has few black-and white issues. But the trainers you choose to wear are one.

Heels are now the new trend in footwear, with flat shoes replacing cufflinks or hat pins.

Although I try my best to avoid culture wars, sometimes it is just impossible. Some battle lines – such as philosophical, generational, and lifestyle divisions- cannot be ignored.

This is not about black trainers or white trainers. This is the key frontier of footwear, comfort over style has put to rest the heels-vs-flats debate. While many people still wear heels occasionally – like me – few people are full-time heel-wearers. High heels still give me a blast of energy, much like a Whitney ballad’s key change. Heels are becoming the new cufflinks, wing collars, and hat pins.

Flats are now a common fashion choice for all of us. But it’s not always that easy. The type of trainer you choose is more important than ever now that almost everyone wears trainers. There are many who believe that the type of trainer you choose is important. If you’re one of them, you can just look at my inept ramblings, and then move on. I am referring to how trainer adoption by people with little knowledge of trainer culture (people such as me) has changed this game.

A decade ago, a lot of Generation Xers assumed they had “grown out” of trainers and started wearing them again. Blame the 2008 financial crash, blame Phoebe Philo for taking a bow at Celine in 2011, and blame athleisure, minimalism, or gender-free dressing – it doesn’t really matter. It was a trend to wear trainers with smart-looking clothes. The trend for trainers with a trouser suits, once a sign of a creative type, has been embraced by CEOs who do Ted Talks or politicians on walkabouts. Shoes that were practical and stylish for work meant women switched to Adidas Stan Smiths.

These newbies gravitated to trainers with a slim sole and minimal bounce. Think Veja or Common Projects or Gucci trainers with red-and-green stripes. The flat, minimalist silhouette of these shoes is similar to a Chanel pump or leather loafer. Although technically it is a trainer, its soul is a smart shoe.

Black is a popular choice for men. This makes sense since formal men’s wear is usually dark. I am thinking about the black leather trainers with white soles, probably made by Hugo Boss and Axel Arigato. These are the shoes that men who drink espresso in Italian airports wear every day.

Women who choose a midlife trainer mainly opt for white. Even if you are worried that your trainers might look shabby, a box-fresh white trainer is eye-catching. This is the nude court shoe in a slightly less sloppy version.

The standard trainer is the white trainer. This means that younger and cooler trainer-wearers are starting to look elsewhere. White trainers are more popular, but a little older. Black trainers look a bit more modern, cooler, and younger. From my perspective, that’s how it appears. Everybody has the right to have an opinion.

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