Fashion: Sneakers? Not.

Fashion adds new bounce to the market for athletic footwear

The Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto creates the sort of high-art apparel often referred to as innovative, cerebral and, on occasion, unwearable. Only the particularly adventurous--and wealthy--are likely to don his elaborately constructed designs, with their asymmetric hemlines and exaggeratedly large collars. But some of his most coveted offerings of late are supremely practical. Last year Yamamoto teamed up with Adidas to design a line of sneakers, and the results--slip-ons in floral patterns or brocades, for example--are comfortable and versatile enough to wear with his own collections or even jeans from the Gap. Of course, at $240 to $590 a pair, they...

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