Slack is the place where dreams go to die. We have spent too much of our year on that cursed app, sending the same Office GIFS back and forth and wondering if we messed up because a boss ended texted “OK” with a period instead of an exclamation point.
Slack is bad. So are Slack-themed sneakers.
Fashion exists to sell fantasy; we like pretty things to distract us from the incessant grind of our normal lives. Cole Haan’s new Slack running shoes are not fashion. They are a $120 made-for-Twitter joke, what we might call fodder for water-cooler talk if this were the ’90s and Slack didn’t exist yet.
The sneaker comes in four different colors—green, blue, yellow, pink. They are unisex. The Slack logo, which resembles a rainbow pound sign, sits right above the heel. It is the same logo you click every morning you log on for work, and pray that a car might somehow come crashing into your third-story apartment window, ending it all. Now you can wear it on your body.
“Our limited-edition collab isn’t just two great brands coming together—it’s a living example of how Slack makes great things possible,” the sneaker description reads. “Nearly everything we at Cole Haan do gets done on the world’s most lovable work messaging platform.”
According to the brand, these sneakers were “designed with the Slack crew, all over Slack.” That makes sense, because they are ugly and people put the bare minimum into them. The laces feature an “innovative” system that “locks laces into place for effortless slip-on styling.” Hey why not? You’ve already given up anyway.
It brings me no joy to report that these sneakers have not been universally panned. A Mic writer called them, “Kind of cute.”
“To be clear, I am absolutely not in the market for a pair of workplace-messaging-app-branded sneakers, but if I were then these are probably the ones I’d go for,” The Verge wrote.
According to Fast Company, these shoes were originally designed for the company’s co-founders as a “surprise” for their Stock Exchange IPO. Slack’s CMO, Julie Leigl, “says the shoes are likely to appeal to Slack’s superfans.” Show me one of them, then.
On Twitter, many bemoaned the style as being, in the words of GQ’s Rachel Tashjian, a “peak startup sneaker.” There were jokes about dystopia and business school and Allbirds, the OG tech bro sneaker.
Mostly, everyone was very disturbed—and still Slacking through it all.