Sneaker Confessionals: I Freaked Out When I Copped Rihanna’s PUMA Creeper

I have never been like this over a pair of shoes. If I liked a sneaker, I’d eventually get it–or not. NBD. The obsessive eBay watching and Google alerts for re-stocks is all new to me, even though I was a sneaker editor for three years. A sneaker has never really gotten me like the Puma Creeper from Rihanna‘s Fenty label, because everything else seems like it is, or will eventually be, accessible.

When Puma released the first look at the classic Suede on a creeper sole, they went for $120 in women’s sizes only. According to @rihanna, they were an instant success. During the launch back in September, she tweeted that the shoe sold out in three hours.

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In an attempt to curb my sneaker collection, I tried my best to ignore this drop. When they returned in November with three new colorways, I started getting anxious. It’s rare to like a silhouette so much that you’d be okay with copping almost any (or all) of the colorways. Star White/Oatmeal? Check. Coral Cloud Pink/Ultramarine Green/Oatmeal? Check. Oatmeal/Oatmeal. YES. I wouldn’t shell out hundreds for Yeezys (but that’s okay because I’m getting those for free, right ‘Ye?!), but the pink RiRis are calling my name. As expected, the second drop sold out almost immediately. According to the Wall Street Journal, Puma experienced an 11.5 percent rise in fourth-quarter sales after bringing Rihanna to the team.

Travis Scott Rihanna Puma Creeper

I just love fat, chunky shoes, and I think I figured out why. The platform sole is a cooler version of the over-the-top shoes the Spice Girls wore when I was a kid. They teetered around in outrageously decorated platforms and knee high socks, which really impressed me as a sheltered middle schooler. When the trend trickled down to my neighbor, I was hooked. Her Sketchers looked like souped-up Chuck Taylors, ridiculously propped up on a chunky white wedge with an aggressive outsole. They were ugly, but at the time they were so badass. My one-earring-per-ear parents were never going to let me own a pair of sneakers I couldn’t wear to gym class, and since this was before my Pinterest dream closets, I simply admired them from afar.

Surprisingly, I was never a fan of the sneaker wedge trend when it swept through. The difference is in the pitch of the shoe. An elevated plane is cooler than a full-tilt wedge, not to mention more comfortable. Why? A wedge affects the way you walk, pitching the toes forward so your stride becomes a strut; a platform simply puts you in a slightly higher level than your peers. At least that’s how I see it. You could say the platform is the Birkenstock to the wedge’s Louboutin. But a sneaker is a sneaker–can’t we just embrace it as the everyday staple it is?

For full transparency, I was given the Creepers as a gift. A very rare, beautiful, precious, Rihanna-approved gift. When I opened the package, I was pretty happy. Actually, it looked a lot like this:

To the unboxing! The shoebox is worth keeping (which is a big deal when you live in an apartment the same size) in a monochromatic black with a glossy logo that’s hard to miss.

“Fenty” refers to Rihanna’s surname, but I’ll admit I had no idea when I first got the shoes and assumed it was a cool word this white girl hadn’t Googled yet.

So far, I’ve worn my Creepers on a family trip and to work. My grandma complimented them because she’s cool like that. When I walk to my FiDi office, I feel like a Bret Easton Ellis description: “She’s wearing white cropped jeans (Levi’s, $80) and Rihanna x Puma suede Creepers.” In my closet, they look like any other pair of unassuming black and white Pumas, but it’s the gold accents and hefty sole that sets them apart when they’re on my feet. I love ‘em, which is why it hit me hard when I got a look at the latest Puma x Rihanna kick.

Puma Fenty Trainer Puma Creeper Rihanna

What? What?! Yes, these looked great on the runway and will do just fine in the occasional outfit collage, but I can’t hold back my disappointment over them not being closer to the Creeper–just because of my affection for that shoe. That said, I haven’t lost interest in RiRi’s mark on the brand. If the Fenty x Puma Fall 2016 show proved anything, it’s that the pop star has an eye for fusing high and low looks to produce a streetwear brand that’s compelling and full of attitude. She told Vogue the show was designed as “…if The Addams Family went to the gym.”

That’s an image this former Spice Girl fan can look forward to.

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