another shoe post: the old order changeth. Or not.

I recently disposed of an embarrassingly large number of pairs of shoes that no longer fit - either my feet or my life or both - and then picked up a few pairs of cute but comfortable things, since barefoot is not an option. It went like this:

First task: disposal. Many of the shoes were clearly garbage, so no problem. Out! However quite a few are still wearable, although they could be best described as "suitable for running errands on a rainy day when everyone you know is out of town." One pair of such is ample for me, and the rest were put into individual clear plastic bags, and pair by pair, quietly dropped into trash bins around town where they might be grabbed by some desperate soul who's having a bad winter. Kind of random, but thrift shops turn their noses up at this kind of stuff, so at least this way the shoes are no longer in my closet. Oh, and I took 2 pairs in to be repaired and "refreshed." I've had terrible luck with resoling, I find it expensive and the shoes never feel quite the same, but fixing heels and toe tips has worked for me.

This left me with a few pairs of "special occasion" shoes - ditched one, kept bronze metallic strappy sandals which go with just about everything, kept cute little wine-colored suede slingbacks with unsueded dots which are too cute to pitch right now but really only go with a few long skirts.

I remain astounded by how I can waste so much money and energy on shoes, and still want more. Just in case those glass slippers chip or crack while I'm waiting for the next gala, I kept my Chies.

I kept some Madewell buys from a few seasons ago (anyone else fall hard for the Sidewalk Wedge?), I kept a pair of Clergerie nude calf mid-heel pumps... I tossed 3 - yes, 3! - pairs of practically new J.Crew shoes, each pair worn once, each pair clutched in my hands while I rode back upstairs, barefoot, in the elevator. Hard to believe that my 4th grade teacher told my parents I was a "fast learner!" I didn't put the JCs in the streetside trash bin. Just because someone's down on their luck doesn't mean their feet should hurt, too.

I decided that future shoe purchases would be cold calculated decisions rooted in need, practicality, and comfort.

and then these happened along, reduced, plus another % off, and they met all my criteria. I ordered both colors, wanted to see which would be more practical. Sessun at Madewell. Comfortable, nice wedge, lovely suede, leather lined, beautifully made.  Baaad move, I've decided to keep both, since I now have room in the shoe closet. On the bright side, they feel like they'll last for years, and I treat dark green as a basic.

I foresee terrible times ahead.

36 comments:

  1. Oh Fred, shoes are the bane of my experience - love em, but keep screwing up- they fit in store (I think), but then I realize I can't walk in them for more than a blog. I am really picky, and giving things away, and throwing things out. But I dream of comfy, pretty shoes! I like these, and may try a pair!

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    1. Hi, WMM, that's why I'm determined to find a few brands that work for me, and stick to them. Less is more. So far I've identified Amalfi by Rangoni (they make WIDTHS!), Chie Mihara (took some back&forth-ing of returns to find my size), and a few of the Madewells. And Tod's for wedge sneakers. May have to rethink this barefoot business.

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    2. Fred - if I may be so nosy - how were your Chie sizes compared to your regular sizes? Can you recommend a spot to try them on in Manhattan? I have one pair of Amalfis and I love them - widths! Whatever happened to them!!!

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    3. Both Saks 5th and Lord & Taylor have selections. L&T is always having good promotions & sales, and both stores have visitor desks where you can get a fistful of coupons. There's also a store called Coclico in Noho, and there's Erica Tanov. Selections vary, as they say. Once you know how the different styles fit, you can order! Our friend xoxo has found nice Chies at Gravity Pope, which we don't have down here.

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    4. I find that I usually take the larger of my two regular shoe sizes in most Chies.

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  2. Dark green is totally a basic. This post is so funny. I have ditched many pairs of J.Crew shoes lately, too. Yet I just bought a new pair of the Viv flats... but they are comfortable, so I guess it's ok.

    Madewell rocks, and I love the dark green shoes you picked. I am lusting after the middletown boots which have been sitting there with the only pair left in my size for about two weeks now, but I have not been able to pull the trigger. But the heel - it's just so sensible! I need them.

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    1. How did I miss those boots! They're wonderful! That is, they look wonderful. Have you had them home for a try-on?

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    2. No... no Madewell within a 300 mile radius. It will be a big gamble. I just love the heel... it is perfection... and the cycle begins again.

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  3. I have never tried anything from Madewell-- we have no store--but I like those shoes. Are they more like an oxford or a sneaker? At least you now have foot wear for those times ahead.

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    1. They're oxfords, there's even some perforated trim on the front (wingtips?)!

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  4. Those shoes are very nice indeed. Sessun is a French brand isn't it! No wonder you love them. Dark green is completely a good idea!
    I've just chucked several pairs of JCrew shoes. I'm sticking with my Chie's though I am planning to try out Tory Burch, I hear she makes a comfortable shoe.

    Fred you always crack me up!

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    1. Hi, Dani, this may be my last shoe purchase for a while, I thought I'd learned a little more resistance.

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  5. i just got a pair of cece flats in dark green last week for 49... and two other pairs of shoes from nordies this weekend. quality shoes are a great investment!

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  6. I'm sure you'll be very happy together - I love the look of them. Great colour choices.

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    1. Hi, Sulky, they're smiling at me as I type. And I, of course, am purring,

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  7. I like those shoes and appreciate the review. It is always a challenge to find good looking, practical and comfortable. I'm glad these are working for you!

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  8. Thanks, Julie, about the only thing I can't do in them is tapdance (rubber soles).

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  9. Oh my, I had a bad shoe experience today--my left foot went numb after standing to teach all morning. It was not great, and I spent the rest of the day sitting shoeless in my office, and drove home with the left shoe off as well. Those shoes hit the "give away" bin the second I limped through the door. So I definitely need to be more careful with what I buy...as "granny chic" as they often are, this never happens with my Aerosoles or Naturalizers.

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  10. Oh, Danielle, how perfectly horrible! Is your foot all right?

    So does this mean that there are times when barefoot is an option?

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    1. Well stocking-feet (tights-feet?) was the only option yesterday. I briefly considered going Cinderella-stepsister and cutting off one of my toes to make it fit but decided in the long run, better to just leave them off.

      My foot seems fine today. I am mentally more sensitive now to shoe pain because of my dad's hammertoes and my mom's pending bunion surgery. Bad feet run in my family (no pun intended)...trying to escape either of those things for as long as possible.

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  11. Funny about the JC shoes because I stayed away from them for the longest time because they destroyed my feet! I've edged my way back into a few pairs of JC shoes recently though and either their shoes have gotten less narrow or my toe are becoming increasingly numb to toe-smashed-high-heel pain.

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    1. i saw some JC shoes in-store today, Lisa, and they were sooo. cute. Sigh.

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  12. I find this delightfully sensible:).

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  13. Dark green is my very favorite basic. Oddly enough, I am in the minority, because I have had good luck with J Crew shoes. I know you can not wear flats, but I find the Cece flats fit me well and I can walk in them all day in comfort. I, like you require a leather lining, and the Cece, on sale, can be had at a reasonable price. I don't think a continuing collection of wearable, comfortable, attractive shoes is frivolous. I am always mildly surprised when I am standing next to someone at a sale shoe rack, and they are grasping an armful of high, high heels. One day I am going to stumble upon that secret society of women that actually wear those on a daily basis. I foresee only felicitous times ahead for you with those fun shoes.

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    1. Hi, KnitYarns, by that standard I'm developing a nice and non-frivolous collection.

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  14. I did exactly the same thing last year. Ditched all those cute shoes, that I had to take another pair of shoes with me when I wore them because they hurt for various reasons. I am like KnitYarns I live in flats, mostly J Crew ballet flats and their old 'Made in Italy" flip-flops. In the winter it's boots, I have had such luck with J Crew boots, flat, kitten heel, high heel they all are so comfortable.

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    1. JRSConifer, you just reminded me of early traveling days when I carried a special bag every day, in addition to purse, to hold the shoes I'd need to change into when - not if, when - my feet became unbearable. There was a whole routine of ordering coffee at a sidewalk cafeė, thus guaranteeing invisibility, dropping new shoes under table, slithering feet out of torture shoes and packing them away, and then just before leaving slithering into new shoes. I look back and laugh now, but I really did this.

      Boots - whole different challenge. I seem to have gained weight on the tops of my feet.

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  15. I love shoes and definitely have more pairs than I need, but I have had pretty good luck with not buying uncomfortable shoes. Generally I only buy shoes from shoe brands, rather than shoes from clothing retailers, and I think that has helped me a lot (I've never bought a pair of J. Crew shoes so I am not really familiar with the issues attached to them but see said issues pop up frequently on the internet). I know they don't work for everyone, but I have had quite good luck in terms of both wearbility and durability with Nine West and Seychelles. I used to wear a wider variety of brands, but as the years pass, I find I inreasingly return to these as I rarely have bad surprises with them. I did recently buy a pair of Miz Mooz knee-high button boots and was pleasantly surprised at how well they worked. On the weekend I tend to wear flat or wedge riding boots, but I do wear high heels to work every day.

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    1. you make a good point about buying from companies that specialize in shoes, Michelle, I can even wear 3 or 3 1/2 inch heels in Chies or Amalfis, for instance. The last that Nine West uses for most styles doesn't work for me, which is too bad, because I love a lot of their styles and there are several Nine West stores near me.

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  16. You have written the definitive post on shoes. They always fit. Actually they don't. I've realised after many years that my knees roll in and so do my feet and all my sandals, not matter how posh, break. (I went through three pairs of the same Cole sandals before the shop ass. pointed out this might be the case. Before I would go into stores indignantly) Now I just quietly know that I should be wearing the Nun's shoes - but I don't. My gold YSLs (btw which are the most comfortable going out shoes you can buy, a great brand) are the ones I always reach for. I love that green - a total neutral and the pinky - a total neutral. (Is anything a colour now - I think NOT!)

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    1. I had the same problem with "rolling in" and solved it for some but not all of my shoes with these.

      I've loved "nude" heels ever since I saw them on some way cool soccer-girlfriends in Berlin, years ago, long before Duchess Kate and her Bennetts It was a hard non-color to find back then.

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  18. I liked these Madewells when I first saw them. I think they will last a long time. They make good shoes.

    Today I walked into Winners (same co. that owns TJMaxx) and found a pair of walking shoes also with wedges by DKNY for a steal. I needed a comfy pair to run around SanFran next week and I couldn't believe my luck.

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    1. Wow, Rose, isn't it great when that happens!
      I must be walking differently in wedges, the other day someone asked me if I'd lost weight!

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