Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Shoe Shopping

For the most part, I'm not much of a "shoe person". My taste in shoes leans boring and practical. Often, when I try to experiment with something even a bit more interesting, I end up not wearing them much because of some issue. (Everlane Modern Points that never break in, I'm looking at you!)

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I bought three pairs of shoes in 2017, but two (the Sam Edelman Tristan pumps and the Cole Haan Tali bow flats) were shoes that I generally only wear for more formal court occasions or for interviews, i.e. the most boring shoes ever. The third were a pair of "The Skinny" Fitflops to replace a three year old pair that were peeling at the soles, i.e. another pair of boring (but super comfortable) shoes. I bought more in 2016, but the successful purchases that year also fell squarely into the "boring" category. There was a backup pair of Sam Edelman Petty booties from a sale, which I only belatedly realized were a stiffer, less comfortable new tumbled leather rather than the original softer leather I was used to (the texture difference may be visible just from clicking between the two on Zappos). I've still managed to put the newer pair to use with black tights and my suits, and I still wear my old pair on bad weather days, or when I'll be in thicker socks. There was also a pair of perforated leather Vans, which weren't exciting, but were comfortable and practical. 

More recently though, and this is part of why my efforts to rein in my "joy"-driven shopping of the past few months may not be apparent until April at the earliest, I seem to be craving more interesting, fun shoes. To the extent that I indulge (and I have, a bit), I hope I end up with ones that prove fun and practical, and that I will actually wear. By now, I certainly know my own shoe preferences and needs quite well: ballet flats wear out incredibly quickly because of how I walk ad how much I walk so best not to get too extravagant; most heels prove to be a no-go and 3'' is about my maximum heel height; I'm rarely inclined to endure a painful breaking in period so if it takes more than a day or two, it may never happen (I'm talking about the Everlane Modern Points again); so on, so forth. So I should be capable of making smart shoe shopping decisions for myself. 

I had thought I would try a shoe that's more on the practical side, probably black leather loafers, most likely the Sam Edelman Liors as an attempt to get the general look of the famous Gucci loafers. I've been reluctant, however, because the first pair I tried (a near-identical, partially sold out Sam Edelman style, the Loraine), when I could only get a half size up from my usual, was both a bit too long and a hair too narrow, enough that the shoes might stretch to accommodate my foot, but would be uncomfortable in the process. This didn't bode well for how my actual size would fit. In the meantime, I've been distracted from the black leather loafer idea by two things that are quite different, more fun, but also far less practical.

First, I had mentioned my on-again, off-again interest in the M.Gemi Felize if it ever came back in a solid-color leather. Separately, I also had a long-ago interest in a pair of gold glitter flats, thanks in large part to a pair that my sister owned and that she bought while traveling abroad (so I couldn't copy her). Those interests managed to come together when I saw a recent release of the M.Gemi Felize in a gold shimmer leather. I'd never owned a pair of driving moccasins before with those little rubber stoppers as a sole, so I have no idea if those are generally durable or practical. The gold shimmer effect is also new to me and of unknown durability. I've had the shoes for such a short time that it's hard to say if I've been terribly foolish in getting them, though they've done well on the two days I've worn them out so far, including to walk between home and the office. 

Second, and much more suddenly and impractically, Soludos makes a pair of llama-decorated slip-on sneakers (recently restocked in a full size range). It's even made of velvet (a fabric I normally have no interest in). It's completely inconsistent with my usual taste in shoes, especially the ones that I actually wear. And yet, I confess... I really kind of want them. I'm going to wait at least a week or two before making an order, to see if my sudden passionate desire for them passes, because wow, they're quite a departure from my usual when it comes to shoes!

Are you a shoe person? Are driving moccasins actually very fragile shoes? (Hopefully not, because I've worn the M.Gemi shoes out already, and there's no returning them.) 

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