Meer Ako Ali and Loulwa Soweid
Last updated: 23 March, 2013

Strutting the streets of Beirut

Lebanon’s culture is not only embodied in its tradition, historical landmarks, and breath-taking scenery; it is also reflected in its people – more specifically, in their outfits. These are the citizens of the bustling capital of taste and Arab culture, Beirut.

Beirut is a cultural hub, a city of opposites and extremes – and what better way to see this than through walking the streets of Hamra or Ashrafieh or the boulevards of Beirut Souks, catching sight of women who are fully-clad to revealingly-dressed? The different displays remark on the stark contrast between conservative and liberal, past and present. Contrasting styles throughout Beirut contribute to its unique diversity.

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From sneakers to pumps to various styles of sandals, footwear makes the outfit what it is – bold, humble, eccentric, or cliché. There is a shoe size for everyone in life, they say. And you might just find your perfect fit in Beirut. A large variety of shoes strut the streets of the Lebanese capital.

Currently dominating the sidewalk are high-top wedge-heel sneakers, or literally the “pumped-up-kicks” of Beirut. They merge the femininity of high-heels with the spunk of sneakers, giving the outfit flare with just the right amount of edge. Other Beiruti à la modes include spiked flats and ballerinas, studded heels and boots.

While the current good-girl-gone-bad footwear obsession with its associational wearable shrapnel is transient, certain styles recur every year. Timberland boots, Birkenstock clogs, All Star Converses, and Ugg boots are indispensable staples of the Lebanese street fashion scene.

Timberland, Birkenstock, and Converse are prevalent amongst both Lebanese males and females. They have been and are still popularly worn with no intention of disappearing out soon. Uggs are, however, seen exclusively worn by girls in Beirut; it is unlikely to catch a rare sighting of the made-for-men Uggs.

Uggs or no Uggs, common, conservative, colorful, or plain diverse. You can wear it however you want it in the Lebanese capital. In Beirut they have got 99 problems, but their kicks aren’t one of them.

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