While I completely agree with your suspicions about the threats posed by big data. I have to disagree with your definition of old man sneakers.

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  1. One of the entries that came up was Nike, so it’s hard to be uncool wearing one of the top brands in the world.
  2. New Balance is the only athletic shoe maker I know that offers shoes of different width. I can’t tell you how important that is for every athlete who has wide feet or wears custom orthotics. (Without my orthotics, I wouldn’t have been able to run a mile as a teenager, let alone compete as a professional tennis player.)
  3. There are images of shoes that fasten with velcro, while the picture you supplied showed shoes with laces. IMO, buying your first pair of velcro sneakers is when you cross the Rubicon into the world of people no longer physically capable of bending down long enough to tie their own shoes.
  4. If big data suggests the number one shopping choice for “old man sneakers” are those hideous $300 Gucci monstrosities, this must be Herr Donald’s choice for leisure wear. Only a fool with no taste or self awareness would pay that kind of money for a shoe that appears to supply absolutely no support. They basically took a pair of Jack Purcells (a fine shoe for tennis players in the 1950’s, but an abomination given today’s understanding of shoe technology), replaced the rubber with some synthetic material, slapped on some Christmas decorations and then had the Vietnamese produce them, because Chinese manufacturing is getting too expensive (and their standards are too high).
  5. At the bottom is a stupid article about Kanye West’s old man sneakers that appears in GQ magazine, again proving if you stay with something long enough, anything can eventually be cool.
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AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

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Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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