By Simon Vozick-Levinson
Updated July 19, 2007 at 04:07 AM EDT

Remember last winter, when Lily Allen was the universally acclaimed next big thing out of London? Somewhere along the way she seems to have gotten eclipsed, at least when it comes to mainstream buzz: These days it’s her fellow blighty songbird Amy Winehouse sticking around on the US pop charts, dominating the music-mag cover game, and nabbing nominations left and right. (For the record, I dig both of their recent albums and admit that it’s sorta dumb to pit them against each other, but if I have to choose, I’ll take Lily’s barbed wit over Amy’s self-immolating behavior any day.) Well, forget all that. Word just got out that Allen is putting her foot down, sprinting past the competition, taking one decisive step toward cultural dominance — in short, designing her own line of custom sneakers.

To the left you’ll find a sneak (ha) peek of Lily’s limited edition Nike Air Max 90s. They’re definitely eye-catchers. That red-white-and-blue color scheme (complete with white stars on the laces) feels more Uncle Sam than “LDN,” but there’s no denying that this is some pretty spiffy footwear. And having Lily’s familiar lightning-bolt logo emblazoned on your person could come in handy. No more humming “Smile” when you run into a loathsome ex; next time, just point to your brand new Nikes. It’ll be like delivering one of Lily’s patented withering insults… with your feet.

Of course, Allen’s far from the first celeb to dip her toes into the custom shoes market. Jay-Z has his Reebok S.Carter line; the Smiths’ Johnny Marr, his sleek PF Flyers; hey, at this very moment I happen to be wearing a pair of clunky white Run Athletics kicks, authorized by Run-DMC’s Reverend Run. (They were a gift, I swear.) The list goes on and on. Yet somehow Allen feels like a far more appropriate shoe patron than any of those guys. Stylin’ sneaks are a key element in her signature look (which has also inspired a Lily Allen clothing line), even when she’s wearing a formal ballgown onstage. And who can forget the line in “Littlest Things” where she ruefully recalls a bygone love: “You’d take me out shopping and all we’d buy is trainers/As if we ever needed anything to entertain us.” Now you, too, can go out with a special someone and buy lots of Lily’s trainers! (“Trainers” being Britspeak for “sneakers.”) Point is, if any star is fit to ask fans to walk in his or her shoes, it’s Allen.

Would any of you try Lily’s sneakers on for size, PopWatchers? If not her, then which celeb’s shoes would you most like to lace up?