Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Cute shoes (well, kind of) for ugly shoe people

Let's talk about shoes. Like any other female, I love shoes, but my shoe collection is not as big as my other accessory collections--in fact, I have more scarves than shoes, even though you don't need scarves to leave the house. (Well, maybe in New England in the winter you do.) Why? I have awful feet. They're wide, if not double-wide, like little mobile homes, and they have high arches and insteps, so while I may covet cute shoes in the abstract, these are out:

These are "Something Blue" Manolo Blahniks, and they're more expensive than my wedding dress. I can live without those anyway. I also walk a lot, a couple miles a day on average, and I supinate, so the outside heel of my shoes always wears out first. Thus I need shoes with thick soles that I can comfortably walk in for a long time. So these are out too (and unlike Blahniks, I would really love to wear these--of course, they also cost about as much as my wedding dress):

Ah, Lanvins, you are lovely but your soles are about a millimeter thick. Also you cost a lot, and that's before heel taps.

So I wear ugly shoes. Here are some of my favorites:

These are a few seasons old, but I LOVE these Keen St. Barts slides. I have issues with flip-flops, too, by the way (can't stand having the thong between my toes), so these are great because they don't have the thong, they're slides, they're waterproof, and the blue is really pretty. Also, the toe guards are great for people who tend to walk into things a lot. And like all Keens, they're super comfy--just buy half a size up. Their Newport and Venice styles have ankle straps, which is nice for longer walks. I have my eye on these purple ones. (I'm obsessed with purple lately. I'm not into pink, but my love for purple proves I really am a girl.)

I have a black pair of Keen Seattles (discontinued now, I think, but how could I resist those?) that I wear in cooler weather. But they are a few years old and starting to look not so black. So for this fall I got a pair of Privo Jerries.

I was biased against Clarks for a long time (Privo is a subdivision of Clarks) because I went to a wedding in England conveniently located near a huge Clarks outlet, and when I went there I could hardly find anything that worked for me--just a pair of boots I later got rid of because they weren't really that comfortable. But Privos seem to work for me, although I wish they did extra-wide sizes. I really like these so far.

Other brands I like include Rockport, Walking Cradles, Merrell (although they don't do enough wide sizes), and Hush Puppies. Danskos are okay, but I seem to be squarely in between sizes 37 and 38, and I also find my ankles wobble in them a lot (did I mention I have weak ankles?), although gosh those are an easy way to gain an extra couple of inches of height.

And what about these guys?

I am like the only Schwab who does not regularly wear Crocs (this includes my daughter). I do have a pair, but I love my Keens best. But why all the haterade for Crocs? They are great for ugly-shoe-needing people (Justin wears them because he has problem feet too, although mostly the opposite problems of mine), and they come in all kinds of fun colors, and they're comfortable and durable and...what's wrong with that? Seriously? When I hate shoes it's because they hurt my feet (and my whole body depends on my feet!), not because they're fugly. Hating ugly shoes is a luxury for people with normal feet. Crocs make a lot of people's feet happy. Don't hate.


Deanna said...

I love my Mary Jane Sketchers (in dark brown). They are the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned, and are even a little wider than a normal shoe, which is good, because my feet have expanded with pregnancy. I wore those shoes, sans socks, all through Disneyland and was not sore once. LOVE THEM. A close second are my Teva tennis shoes, which I got for a steal during the REI winter sale last January. I got them for a steal because I ordered myself kids' sized tennis shoes. See? ONE benefit to tiny feet! Plus then Alexandra and I have matching tennis shoes.

Eric said...

I do understand that they're comfortable, have great anti-microbial footbeds, and come in really interesting colors. There's just something that makes them subconsciously disgusting.
Maybe I've watched "What Not to Wear," too much.
They seem to promote shuffling more than walking, too... they appear to give the foot very little support. Even fugly feet can be fitted in a proper shoe and be happy.

On the flip-side, I do love my Keen H2s and I wore them throughout our Disneyland trip last year.

Besides all that, because folks treat them like shoes rather than sandals, there have been a rash of injuries, especially to children involving escalators, over the last few years.

Not to worry, the company may be going tets up before long.

Juliet said...

You know, I've heard a lot of people cite Crocs' supposed indestructibility as a reason the company's going belly-up, but Justin managed to wear out his Crocs in a little over a year. So there! I got him a replacement pair but it looks like that might be his last. Auletta will need new sandals next summer, but I'll probably get her Keens--oh my gosh, those will be so cute.

Deanna, the nice thing about having odd-sized feet (especially cute small feet) is that it's easier to get good deals on shoes, isn't it? I'm like a 6.5 to 7.5 depending on brand and width, and there really isn't much left for me by the time shoes get discounted because it's a very common size.