With Season 9 of Curb Your Enthusiasm poised to become the next water cooler show of the fall, fans can only speculate as to the ridiculous situations that Larry David will find himself in – alongside a stellar returning cast of regulars including Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines, Susie Essman, J.B. Smoove, Bob Einstein, Richard Lewis, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen.
Garlin, who has portrayed David's manager since the beginning, said of the return after a five-year hiatus, "It felt like putting on an old pair of shoes."
While the metaphor is certainly appropriate as to illustrate not only a sense of nostalgia, but also comfort and reliability amongst the cast, crew, directors and writers – who all seem to work effortlessly to bring Larry David's neuroses to life – it also awakens a lesser-known aspect of the show: Larry David has had a lot to say about sneakers during the past eight seasons.
We've compiled the best Curb Your Enthusiasm sneaker gems for all you schmohawks and shoe whores out there.
Keep it simple
Although a shoe like the Nike Monarch has enjoyed an uptick in interest in recent years thanks to the normcore attributes of the silhouette, Larry David often favored the appropriately-named Simple Shoes during his sitcom run.
Usually opting for the label's most popular OS silhouette, the barebones shoe combines a memory foam insole with an unexpectedly on-trend chunky shape, and comes in understated colors like black, navy, taupe, and olive. Not only are they perfectly suitable for men of all ages, but the suede versions only retail for $70 a pair.
The shoes are part of the outfit
One of Larry David's greatest crusades was his staunch opposition to removing his shoes when someone asked him to do so while attending a dinner party hosted by a former male porn star (portrayed by Bob Odenkirk). Sure, he was worried about literally getting cold feet, but perhaps he was equally concerned that he'd lose a crucial part of his entire look. That, or once you remove one piece of clothing could lead to more coming off when you're at a porn star's crib.
But also, a lot of time and consideration is put into choosing the right shoes for any occasion. So why let someone's stupid rules cramp your style? No one has ever successfully flexed on the 'gram in a pair of socks.
You can't go wrong with gray
In the fifth episode of the second season, "The Thong," Larry remarks: "I'm really happy with my new sneakers. You know, 'cause they're gray. And, if you think about it's a good color, 'cause white is really too bright and black is like a pair of shoes. And gray is kind of like right in the middle. They look good."
David is spot-on with his assessment when it comes to choosing a sneaker colorway. Whether it's the chunky Triple S model from Balenciaga, or something more affordable like the New Balance 990, gray is a color that goes with pretty much everything.
In 2014, The Guardian proclaimed it was the "color of the decade," stating that the subtle hue "has become a fashion color, signifying good taste."
Vogue echoed the publication's sentiments a year later, boasting: "The color has been a fashion staple since as long as fashion has existed: It’s unexpectedly flattering, entirely urban, and strikes that happy balance between black’s severity and white’s impracticality."
In a fictional universe where nothing gets past Larry David's laser-like focus on the mundane, his shoes are a reflection that you don't need color to be bold.
Literally anyone can flex in Jordans
Technically this photograph was taken during Larry David's equally sneaker-laden days at Seinfeld, but here, he's having a great sneaker moment, instead of noted Nike Shox fan and low-key sneaker icon Jerry Seinfeld.
What David illustrates is that there is no expiration date for when you have to stop wearing Jordans, or other statement sneakers. You just have to be willing to own them and rock them in a way that's true to you. In this case, he effortlessly pulls off the 6s while giving Seinfeld some last-minute advice inside of Monk's Coffee Shop.
Be vigilant about your grail footwear
However, in the world of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David handles a personal case of stolen kicks in a very Larry David-esque manner. He confronts the perpetrator, who was mistakenly given the wrong pair of shoes a few days after the incident, and wears him down through talking in circles and thinly-veiled passive-aggression. It's a strategy that won't work in most cases of stolen sneakers, but props to him for getting back his property.
There's money in the sneaker game
As much as people bemoan the state of the sneaker industry due to the resale aftermarket, there's no denying that it has become a sound investment, propelling forward resellers like Benjamin Kickz and Allen Kuo, who count musicians and athletes as prominent clients as they build their empires.
In a Curb Your Enthusiasm context, the idea that there's money in sneakers is taken literally. In one episode, Larry David finds out that Marty Funkhouser uses his sweaty New Balance sneakers like a piggy bank. Even if the source of the money doesn't smell quite right, income is income, isn't it?
Now check out 12 moments that prove Seinfeld’s style is still relevant today.