OK, time flies, tastes change and we must adjust, but really — dress sneakers?

This is the latest footwear sensation, a sort of hybrid between Florsheims and your old pair of P.F. Flyers, gaining popularity among politicians, celebrities and the guys with untucked shirts I see heading into classy downtown restaurants.

You can understand the appeal.

Dress sneakers allow the wearer to keep options open — to go smartly with the flow.

Can’t decide whether to look formal or casual? Why not have it both ways? Hey, why not have everything both ways?

No surprise, the items are big in Washington, D.C.

At a White House meeting in May there was bipartisan consensus on shoe design, if nothing else.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, showed up for debt ceiling talks with President Joe Biden in dress sneakers, and so did Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

Another dapper attendee was Mitch McConnell, Republican Minority Leader in the Senate, who, while dressing in perfectly acceptable fashion for an 81-year-old man, rarely is viewed as a fashion pioneer. But Mitch, suddenly vogueish, arrived in sneaker shoes, too.

Criticism came quickly.

The online Washington Free Beacon said wearing dress sneakers to the Oval Office was a “fashion hate crime.” On Twitter, menswear guru Derek Guy registered dismay — a presidential sit-down demands “traditional dress shoes,” he insisted — but gave McConnell a pass, noting that the Kentuckian was recovering from a fall and entitled to maximum foot comfort.

Writing in Forbes, corporate lawyer Michael Peregrine observed that traditionalists might view the sneaker shoe as “a metaphor for the loss of a certain grace and elegance in leadership style.” Also, maybe that, uh-oh, “things are getting a bit too loose, a bit too relaxed.”

Then, to the rescue, comes something called the “Congressional Sneaker Caucus,” which, according to The Hill news website, declared it “unequivocally supports Speaker McCarthy’s and Leader Jeffries’ freedom to wear dress sneakers in the Oval Office.”

The caucus — chaired by Jared Moskowitz, a Democrat from Florida, land of sun, surf and flowered flip-flops, and Lori Chavez-DeRemer, a Republican from laid-back Oregon — predicted, correctly, that all would work out when at last rubber met the road.

“We appreciate that both parties are putting their best foot forward and demonstrating that sneakers and statesmanship are compatible,” said a caucus statement.

Political implications aside, dress sneakers have emerged as yet another exhausting post-millennial “thing” commanding cultural scrutiny and social analysis as though pierced lips and pickleball weren’t enough.

Why else would the web publication Real Men Real Style publish an oversized illustration titled “Dress Sneaker Anatomy” noting vital components — tongue, toebox, bumper, midsole, outsole, etc. — with a promise the product would relieve “pressure from your feet” and “also help you stand out” at play and work?

“Can you wear men’s dress sneakers with a suit?” the story asks.

Let’s take a guess.

“The short answer is yes, yes you can definitely wear sneakers with a suit!”

Maybe, but the cautious trendsetter still might keep feet under table at corporate sales meetings. It doesn’t take much to sink a career.

This is not the biggest issue in the world like, say, the shortage of toilet paper during the pandemic or the travails of Harry and Meghan, but it does send me back to distant times — maybe not simpler, but less encumbered, for sure.

Sneakers were the work boots of kids on 69th Street, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn — unremarkable as the galoshes worn by my truck driver father when he trudged off to deliver Bond Bread on stormy winter mornings. No light-up circuitry, swooshes, psychedelic motifs or magazine depictions of posh duplex models.

Favorites were the aforementioned P.F. Flyers and, of course, Keds. At our neighborhood store, color options were few: Bond Bread brown for the Flyers and black for Keds. White might have been available but an imprudent choice in view of local tough guys.

“White? Ain’t you just something?”

We wore sneakers for stoopball and stickball and when we played iron tag. We didn’t wear them to school, church, or when hoping to land a job as delivery boy for Mr. Kolk, the pharmacist.

Back then, there were sneakers and there were shoes. No hybrid versions, no style statements, no political consequences. Fashion hate crimes? Not on 69th Street.

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