Five Times and Places NOT to Wear LED Light-Up Sneakers
LED sneakers are hot right now. They are available in a wide range of colors and styles, and because it’s so much fun to show them off, we’re tempted to wear them everywhere we go.
This is not always a good idea.
Light-up shoes are a terrific way to display your forward-thinking fashion sense and let the world know what a stand-out personality you have, but there are certain times and places where they are not appropriate … and some circumstances in which they may even get you into trouble.
1. At A Wedding
Everyone loves a wedding—the dancing, the food, the music, the games. And you may think your LED shoes will make you the life of the party when you hit the dance floor.
And this may even be true—after all, a good pair of light-up sneakers can certainly light up the dance floor at a nightclub or a party. But a wedding is different. When attending a wedding, it’s important to remember that this day is not about you. It’s the couple’s day (or, more to the point, it’s the bride’s day). Your presence at this event is important—that’s why you were invited, after all—but no one came here today to look at the flashing lights in the heels of your shoes. They came to pay their respects to the bride and groom, and those are the people who should be the center of attention on this day.
The only thing that should be glowing at a wedding is the bride’s radiant face. Leave your LED sneakers at home and wear something more formal. And put on a tie, please.
2. At a Job Interview
When you’re interviewing for a job you’re dying to get, you want to make a strong impression, of course. You know that the hiring manager sitting across the desk from you is going to be speaking to dozens of people this week, and you want to make sure he or she remembers you. That’s understandable, but don’t get carried away. Light-up sneakers are a no-no at job interviews.
Certainly some industries and professions have a less formal culture than others; advertising agencies, for example, are are known for cultivating a more relaxed atmosphere than you might find at a law firm or a bank. If you’re considering showing up to a job interview at such a business with flashing lights in the heels of your shoes, you may be thinking that your bold choice of footwear convey youth and creativity.
Resist this impulse. It’s not a risk worth taking. Even in the most casual office environments, people expect a certain level of decorum. Most employment experts agree that simple, conservative clothes make the best impression at a job interview.
3. At a Funeral
Reading the title of this section, you’re probably thinking, Who would even consider wearing light-up sneakers to a funeral? The answer to this question is that everything under the sun—anything you can imagine—has been tried at one time or another by someone.
In most cases, when someone wears something inappropriately colorful at a funeral, the reason is that the deceased had a vibrant, fun-loving personality. Often, when such a larger-than-life person passes away, that person’s closest friends may feel that he or she “would have wanted it this way.” Certainly there have been famous people who have had unusual funerals. For example, before his death in 1990, Jim Henson left instructions in his will that no one should wear black at his funeral. At such an unusual event, with the wishes of the deceased being so well known, flashing lights in one’s shoes might actually be appropriate.
At most funerals, however, this kind of display would serve only to upset grieving family members. As with a wedding, remember that the day is not about you, and dress appropriately.
4. While Going Through Airport Security
No one enjoys flying, and the time we spend at the airport can seem like the longest, most hellishly boring hours of our lives. Faced with such a dreary experience, we may sometimes be tempted to liven things up by doing or wearing something fun or outrageous to the airport.
Do not ever do this.
Airport security is no laughing matter, least of all to the beleaguered people who do this generally thankless job. Certain kinds of jokes—e.g., jokes about bombs—are actually a crime in airports, and wearing light-up shoes or fooling around in any way will in most cases turn out to be more trouble than it is worth.
Inappropriately timed humor may not be the only reason you’re considering wearing your LED sneakers to the airport. Perhaps you find yourself inspired by Chanel’s October 2015 runway show, which actually featured fashion models wearing light-up shoes in a setting designed to look like an airport. Nevertheless, you need to curb this desire. The TSA has guidelines that should be observed for how to dress at the airport to avoid unnecessary delays, and light-up shoes are a particular headache in these situations, as they set off metal detectors and other security devices, and airport security incidents have been caused by LED shoes.
5. While Attempting to Escape from Police
Probably the worst possible time to wear light-up shoes is when you’ve just committed a crime and you’re being chased by the police.
This is no joke, as a man named Alfred Acree learned one night in April of 1993. Police in Charles City, Virginia stopped Mr. Acree’s van because they suspected that he was a cocaine dealer. The incident escalated, and somehow Mr. Acree escaped and began to flee through the woods on foot, with the police in hot pursuit. No doubt the fugitive expected to be able to elude the cops in the dark, but he forgot that he was wearing his new sneakers, which had light-emitting diodes in the heels. "Every time he took a step, we knew exactly where he was," a police spokesman said. "It was dark with the woods and the briar patch bushes, but we were able to find him with his tennis shoes lighting up."
The police found $800 worth of cocaine on Mr. Acree’s person. So let that be a lesson to you kids: Stay out of trouble … or stay out of your light-up shoes.
So Where ARE Light-Up Shoes Appropriate?
Almost everywhere else. Music festivals, in particular, are good environments for the splash of color in your wardrobe that LED sneakers provide. Other appropriate venues include parties, nightclubs, or anywhere else people gather just to have a good time. So don’t hesitate to bring your LED shoes with you when you go out; just know when it’s best to leave them at home.