Why Sneakers Are Spreading Girl Power

You might think of fashion sneakers as just another frivolous accessory. Another item you spend too much on, a way to express the athleisure trend of the moment, or maybe just your go-to way to still look cool when you seriously need a break from heels, and while they might fall into all those categories, they're also doing something seriously important right now — fashion sneakers are advancing the girl power movement.

When Kylie Jenner announced a partnership with Puma, it meant far more than six figure contracts and a speculative rivalry with Kanye West — it was another strong, powerful female selling sneakers to women. According to an article in Footwear News, “Women can sell sneakers to women. What the industry has forgotten is that women want and deserve the same kind of attention to detail and storytelling that men do," said Adam Petrick, global director of brand and marketing at Puma.

Jenner also joins Rihanna, who has been Puma's women's creative director since 2014. Both women's involvement with Puma prove that sports and fitness, what is deemed strong and powerful in our culture, are not just a man's domain. Not only can women wear these shoes, but women can sell these shoes. And kick booty doing it, by the way.

Rihanna in particular has been influential in pushing the envelope; breaking down the constraints of what athletic-wear actually constitutes. For example, remember the poiny-tip stiletto boots with the Puma stripe during Rihanna's Fenty show at New York Fashion Week?

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

You don't have to be a professional athlete. You can still be strong, value personal fitness, and embrace your own femininity. That's the message this shoe spreads. As for Kylie Jenner, though she's only 18-years-old, her following proves she's incredibly influential when it comes to her personal style — one that is accessible, comfortable, and all-around cool girl. "I’ve definitely embraced a more casual side. I used to wear heels to lunch but not really anymore. Just for nights,” Kylie said. “I’m all about a cool sneaker.”

What these women are doing with Puma is far more than marketing a sneaker — they're advancing the girl power movement; proving that athleisure is just as much a woman's game as it is a man's.

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