Monday, June 26, 2006

I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty. - Imelda Marcos

I am having shoe issues. I am thinking entirely too much about my footwear these days. (Wait till the bathing suit purchasing begins - if you think I am obsessing about shoes. BUT -- there will be NO photographs with that post.)

I wear these shoes a lot. Like all the time.
I bought them at Kmart five years ago – they’re Thom McAn - but only started wearing them recently, once I realized that, though they are red, they do indeed go with pretty much everything and have the added bonus of making me look all boho and hip and stuff. They are very comfy, I can walk in them (crucial when you bus it to work), and they don’t smell because I can spray the Dr Scholl’s foot-smell stuff in them thoroughly and easily.

My Op sneakers, despite having been washed and sprayed numerous times, must be thrown away because they REEK. This is a shame as they are kicky and sporty and cute. And comfy and cool (as in temperature). But they really truly do smell like something died inside them. And make my closet smell the same.

I wear my Tevas often - especially when I want to feel leggy and athletic and fit - "Yes, I have been white-water rafting!" - but the fact that the straps are too short bothers me more than it used to. And I have been having clothing-irritation issues, and when that happens, my Tevas start pissing me off because they CHAFE my feet. Especially around my ankles. I know I am weird, don’t look at me like that.

I toyed with the idea of Birkenstocks but can’t see my way clear to spending that kind of cash on them. I just don’t like them all that much – not a hundred-plus bucks worth - and plus, I hear you have to break them in, and I am not interested in breaking anything in. Except maybe flip-flops (See below). Kilowatthour had a cute pair of Mephisto sandals on her site the other day, but for this summer, I am afraid I must stick with my Jesus sandals. They were bought when I was hugely pregnant, with swollen feet, last summer. So they are comfy but ug-uh-ly!

I have an inordinate number of running shoes - something like six pairs? Some reserved purely for running, some are “dress” running shoes, some are for when I am painting or doing yard work – I don’t pitch them till they are quite literally falling apart. I only wear Adidas. And I don't wear them so much during the summer, as they can be hot. Except of course when I run during the summer. I am aiming for four times a week right now. Four times a week of sweaty, smelly feet in running shoes. These are my current favorite pair:

My Doc Marten boots, which I bought in London in 99 and my mother told me they were the ugliest shoes she’d ever seen, and my Doc oxfords which I bought shortly thereafter since the boots were so comfortable and utilitarian - also very hot and seldom worn in the summer. I wear them ALOT in the winter, though.

I *used* to LIVE in these, in high school – with the laces tied in those little knots on each side, and then also in college. (My mother deemed them hideous. She HATED them. No idea why she bought them for me...?) I wore them with jeans, shorts, skirts. But they offer no arch support whatsoever, so they went away shortly after I got old enough to need arch support. Like when I was spending all day on my feet, painting, to, you know, make money to pay rent and whatnot.

These slingback pumps are the most comfortable sexy shoes I own – very pretty and stylish, and I truly needed a pair of wearable and pretty black heels to go with various dresses and skirts, but can’t really wear them to work everyday, or to the playground, or the zoo. I’ll bet H wishes I’d wear them around the house, swishing the feather duster and wearing a little apron – and people in hell wish for ice water. Instead, I tend towards these as my default around-the-house footwear:I have/had two pairs, but can’t find the old ones, which are more comfy as they're already broken in. I faintly remember putting them SOMEWHERE so I could slip them on to wear into the basement when it flooded recently, but now have no recollection of what clever place I chose.

I like the cute little LL Bean sneakers, but for some reason sneakers cut like this always hurt my feet, usually up around my big toe-knuckle (Is there a real term for that?) I bought a pair in Paris because my flat strappy leather sandals were just not cutting it, walking around on the marble floors of the Louvre all day – but they were almost worse. And certainly looked worse. And does anything scream “American tourist” more than a pair of sneakers, no matter how cute?

I considered buying Crocs - everyone's wearing them. R up at the coffee shop told me they are "heaven on your feet." So I bought a pair a few weeks ago - going through my usual shoe-buying angst of "Did I buy too big? Too small? Wrong color?" etc. - and have worn them pretty much constantly since, including to work with skirts. I wear them with the strap around the back, but you can flip it forward. They are VERY light, comfy, and are supposed to be some sort of antibacterial material so won't smell. They are also cheap, cheap, cheap - so I may go buy a pair in green.
I *thought* I just couldn’t do colored shoes – I am *still* recovering from my high school days when my mother bought me shoes to match.every.single.outfit. Gah! WHAT was she thinking? I remember yellow gladiator sandals, red pointy-toed, cross-strap flats, navy Gloria Vanderbilt peep-toe pumps, white strappy sandals, various black shoes, little white Keds canvas sneakers...the very memory makes me shudder. So black Crocs it is.

Then I was considering these: I think the regular Keen sandals that everyone is sporting these days are HIDEOUS. That big rubber toe thing reminds me of a pair of Nikes I had in junior high. Total dorkdom. That was me, Miss Total Dork.But someone at the coffee shop was wearing this version, and I think they are so very cute. And probably just as comfy as the regular ones. (She said her kids hated them, and begged her not to wear them, but who listens to their kids anyway?)

I guess I do, sometimes. Primo picked these out:But I wound up returning them. I think they’re adorable, they made my calves look fabulous – as in NOT the Eastern European peasant calves that they really are - but they are just so NOT ME. I just could not bring myself to wear them outside the house. I think you must agree.

So - you see, I am a shoe schizophrenic. And I am fickle. Oh so fickle.
How do men do it? My husband gets by with - let me see - he recently bought two - TWO - pairs of shoes AT ONCE, an unprecedented feat (haha!) of shopping for him - so that brings his grand shoe total up to ---
SIX pairs of shoes.

His sneakers.
His brown leather casual moccasin-types for work.
His sandals.
His black dress shoes.
His brown dress shoes.

Oops. Five.



How does he do it?


Carolyn said...

Cool post.

My shoes are not post-worthy. :P

Joke said...

5? That's IT?

I have more suede bucks than that.


Lazy cow said...

My favourites are the first pair (I covet those red shoes - Pea Soup has similar ones), and the sexy slingbacks. I've had the same pair of runners for 5 years (not smelly, that's how much exercise I do).
What about wedge slides? Not too high, but enough to give a nice line for your legs. I've been looking for the perfect pair for years.
So *that's* what Tevas look like. Damn ugly.

Badger said...

You're not schizophrenic. Apart from the slingbacks and the cute wedges which you returned, there's a definite theme there: You like ugly shoes.

It's okay. There's nothing wrong with it. I like ugly shoes, too. I'm just sayin'.

Sarah Louise said...

Mmmm...I feel a meme coming on...I have a pair of shoes in my closet that a homeless man on the bus sneered at (they were so worn and scrappy) but I keep them because I love them so...

And true confessions: I have never owned a pair of heels that I intended to wear (I owned a pair of pink heels for a bit b/c they went along with the theme of the website I was developing--pink pumps....I think my mom bought them off me for 2 bucks for dress up for her kindergarden class.)

Alas. Shoes. They are so great.

I have thought about Tevas for about ten years.

julia said...

If you really want to see if you like Birkenstocks, but you don't want to spend the cash on them, get the Bass version. They're much less expensive. I don't know what variety they're pushing this year, but mind are really comfy, even if they are a bit on the Jesus-y side. I don't really care what I look like.

I really like those Thom McAn shoes. I didn't even know they still existed! I used to work for Thom McAn, way back when, in my misspent youth.

Katya said...

I like the shoes Primo picked out but I would never wear them. Alas, they aren't me -- your Jesus sandals and Thom McAn shoes are more my style.

My husband has one pair of shoes. He claims he does not need any more than that. I think he is insane.

Surfing Free said...

Shoes are dominating my thoughts at the moment as well as I contemplate whether or not I need a pair of browny coloured boots. I'm not sure anymore than black goes with everything - oh, my world has turned upside-down!!!
Summer shoes are a lot easier. Have you tried Aerosoles?? They are comfy and nice to look at.

MsCellania said...

It was fun to travel with you on your Shoe Trip.

Have you tried Teva running shoes? They are super light weight.

Yep, I love my Keens, butt-ugly though they are.

And don't wear your Crocs too much. I swear they are increasing plantar faciitis something fierce. They were invented by a former neighbor, and we've worn them for years. I wore them ALOT 3 years ago, and ended up with a really bad case of plantar faciitis. It has taken a year to get over it - and now I HAVE to wear shoes about 100% of the time I'm on my feet. Sucks, as I'm a barefoot kinda girl.

BabelBabe said...

Vickee - Thx for the warning. I have plantar fascitis issues anyway, so good to know. The Tevas do the same thing, btw.

Joke - I forgot that he also owns a pair of sand shoes, and a pair of wingtips that I have never seen on his feet.

Badge - I have some other heels: silver strappy sandals, and black strappy sandals, and black silk pumps, and a pair of Steve Madden platforms - but I cannot remember the last time I wore any of them.

SF - I own one pair of dress boots - black, calf-length, mid-heel, square-toed microfiber. They DO go with everything.

Joke said...

The more I look at them, the more I agree with Primo. Those were kick@$$ shoes, worthy a complete closet overhaul.


Miz S said...

I wish I could wear sexy heels but I just can't. I'm a running shoes-or-sandals kind of gal.

Amy said...

All told, I might own 10-15 pairs of shoes. But seriously, I wear 3 pair and that's it. Sneaks, my dog-walking slip ons or my black buckle shoes. That's it. Period. End of shoe discussion. I just can't do shoes.

Gina said...

We tend to like the same ugly shoes, I guess. If you have foot issues, you need Berks. I have three pair, and they are the best freaking shoes in the world. The only shoes that never, ever make my feet hurt, no matter what, Amen. (You know my stupid foot issues. I have Docs, Keens, Tevas, and Danskos, but the Berks are #1!) You don't have to pay $100 for them, if you watch for sales. I have two pair from the Berk store in Wexford, and I think they were both in the $40-$60 range, because they were on clearance.

Come to the dark side, my friend! Join us for a party in every step! :-)

Sarah Louise said...

okay, first, I cannot stop laughing from Gina's comment. I've been to the Wexford Birk store and taken brochures, but I'm not ready for that kind of committment...

And in other news, I just remembered that I dreamed that I bought a pair of heels and wore them!

On men, I love wingtips.

BabelBabe said...

I forgot to post my black buckle shoes. Primo calls them my Pilgrim shoes. I bought them at a Bass outlet for forty bucks ten years ago, and wear them constantly in the winter.

BabelBabe said...

oh, and Joke? They were comfy, too. They just felt too froufrou for me.

weirdbunny said...

It seems that all america is wearing crocs, but I haven't seen them over here anywhere. I ought to get some, be ahead over here in the fashion stakes for once!

MsCellania said...

Weirdbunny, if you are a 38 Euro (7.5 US) I will MAIL you my crocs! I keep sneaking into them, and bad for my feet they are!

And Gina - I. Re.Fuse. to buy Berks. I live in the Land of Berks -- Nirvanaville, Colorado. I was so grateful when Keens came around and made my foot issues Go Away. And they are SO NOT Berks. Come to the Darkest Side - Buy Keens!

I would say we oughtta do a Show N Tell Shoes In The Closet, but Joke would go apeshit trying to unbag his entire collection.

This is a great collection of comments. You find out alot about a person by how they're shod.

Anonymous said...

Lazy Cow, Pea Soup has IDENTICAL ones!

And BB, if you like Birkies but don't want to make that kind of financial commitment, go for the generic copies. Target do lots of Birkie rip offs, and our city market does too.

(Suse, blogging in cognito from work)

Lazy cow said...

Suse, how pathetic am I that I could recall your shoes from about six months ago? In my defence, I LOVED them and coveted them and searched for them everywhere. Only to see, thousands of kms from Melb SOMEONE else has them.
Sorry, BB, just ignore me and I'll go away.

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Elliott Broidy said...

Oh my goodness. Quite the collection!