I wear black chucks or black vans with my clerics, and even under my alb, stole and chasible. I did not decide to wear black chucks because they make me look like the “cool priest.” I always have worn them, and I didn’t see why I should magically cease to wear them after being ordained, by either being imo pretentious in dressy shoes or pretentious in sandals. Why make a fuss over shoes.
People often comment to me that I am so unusual, so cool, so with it, so fashionable, so hipster. I usually shrug my shoulders. Were I a twentysomething who were not a priest, I probably wouldn’t get any of these comments. I wonder if, in the minds of these people, the bar for cool or fashionable is so low for priests, that I can surmount it with the tiniest of hops. What would be unusual for me, would be to mimic every the style of every priest (and perhaps generally every male) over the age of fifty. Even then I would still be assumed to be, you know, going vintage or whatever.