Apparently Charm Bracelet Sneakers Are A Thing, Because I Bought Them

My friend Belle loves wearing what we’ve come to call “shoelery.” It’s basically shoe jewelry, like a snap-on brooch or something similar she can clip onto a pair of plain pumps to spice them up. Personally, I love the faux-anklet trend happening on heels right now—the little gold chain details make it look like I’ve accessorized to the max when all I did was put on some fancy sandals. The shoelery look I never expected, though, was charm bracelet sneakers. So with that in mind, can someone tell me why I just impulse-purchased a new pair of Nike Air Force Shadows?

Let me backtrack and tell you how I got here. After a good year or so of seeing every basic betch in New York City trek through the streets in all-white Air Force Ones, I was determined to replace my Skechers with a pair of standout Nikes. I didn’t want anything too bold, but I knew my new shoes simply could not be the plain white pair, for fear of fitting in. Sue me, I like to pretend I’m more innovative than your average fashion girl.

Now, are Nikes that look just like Air Force Ones but with an added pop of color really all that much more innovative? No, but when I saw these babies on sale at Macy’s last week, I thought I had some real winners. The pop of yellow felt so playful, but still neutral enough that I could style them with all my summer outfits. I ordered them on the spot, sizing up from my usual 7.5 to an 8 because my size was out of stock.

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Courtesy of Nike.

Of course, the 8 was too big, so after sharing them on Instagram and getting a ton of DMs about how cute they were, I had to return my beloved new buy. At this point, I was absolutely dead-set on finding a pair I loved, and now my desires were even more specific: They had to be yellow!

I swore I wouldn’t find anything that fit the bill, but as I walked down the Soho streets this morning, a pair of kicks in the window at Foot Locker (Yes, Foot Locker!) caught my eye: the Nike Air Force Shadows.

STYLECASTER | Nike Air Force Shadows

Courtesy of Nike.

These were no regular Shadows, though—in addition to pops of bright yellow and creamy vanilla on a white base, they featured colorful silver charms that spelled out N-I-K-E along the thinner part of the iconic swoosh logo, accented by a yellow Nike smiley. The whole thing was unnecessarily maximalist and therefore perfect for me.

I tried them on in a 7.5 and the fit was perfect, so I purchased them and immediately came home to ask my Instagram followers if they were good enough to replace my original yellow Nikes. Was my impulse-buy a mistake? Were the charms cheesy, or camp? Luckily, literally everyone was a fan (except my younger sister, but she’s one of the basic white Air Force Ones-wearers that we discussed earlier).

STYLECASTER | Nike Air Force Shadows

Courtesy of Bella Gerard

The purchase is still fresh, but I’m feeling better about it by the minute. Maximalism is trending for summer and these babies are sunshine in sneaker form—yes, they’re a little over-the-top, but so am I! If you’re shopping sneakers this season and thinking about snagging those white Air Force Ones, consider this a sign to go bold and do something different. Oh, and if shoelery becomes some massive trend and TikTokers take to DIY-ing their own iterations, remember where you heard the term first!


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