MetaShoes August 31, 2018 12:19 PM   Subscribe

End of another long week filled with awful politics/news. Let's talk about something else instead. Tell me about your shoes. They can be the ones you're wearing (feel free to share photos), or maybe there's a story about an old pair that you'd like to tell us about. Or maybe you want to brag about that fancy pair that you wear when you go out dancing, or maybe you want to talk about the comfortable crocs you slip into at the end of the day. Sandals, slippers, running, or casual, whatever kind you have, your shoes brought you here, so let's talk.
posted by Fizz to MetaFilter-Related at 12:19 PM (90 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

This is me.
posted by Fizz at 12:21 PM on August 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:37 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm wearing vegan Birkenstock clogs.

They're made with Birko-flor, which resembles suede better than jackfruit carnitas, but not as well as tree-nut cheese.
posted by box at 12:39 PM on August 31, 2018 [6 favorites]

My younger cat likes to stick her toy mouse into my slippers and then fish it out again. Recently, she got her paw stuck inside the slipper and was trying to sneak off and hide her shame. It was quite the sight watching her try to nonchalantly saunter off wearing one huge slipper. After I freed her, I told her I would buy her some cat-sized slippers, but she just gave me the stink-eye.

She has changed her tactics to dragging my slippers under the bed if I leave them on the floor.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:42 PM on August 31, 2018 [10 favorites]

Also, after nearly falling on my ass multiple times while walking on slippery Victorian streets, I looked for and found these excellent non-slip soles.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:43 PM on August 31, 2018

I'm wearing these and they're pretty damn awesome. Comfy, stylish, and I have them in both colors.
posted by deezil at 12:54 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have Keens! They're like the only shoes that have ever consistently fit me comfortably, and they fall apart after a few seasons of use at most. They're planned obsolescence shoes; they never last. So I refuse to buy them new. Sam Vimes would understand.

I live in Portland, which is shoe-making central, so there's a never-ending supply of second-hand shoes, and some of those are Keens. This most recent pair's sole was falling off, but it must have been an older design or something, because I finally removed the outer sole, which was partially worn through, and had been glued and reglued and reglued, and underneath is another perfectly good sole! I'll have to restitch the toe, and then these shoes will be good for another 1-2 seasons! Hurray!

Maybe someday I'll find something like Keens but designed to last. Or learn what makes them so comfortable and then make them myself.
posted by aniola at 12:55 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

deezil, I like those. They're sharp.
posted by Fizz at 12:55 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

My favorite pair of shoes are a dressy wedge with a thong sandal support for my toes. They're on their last legs, and I can't find them in black anymore, just navy and beige, and it's legitimately bothering me. I can't wear slides anymore, and most sandals pinch my little toe. Still, though, I want nice-looking sandals to wear, since y'know, Florida, and most wedges are just too much heel. These were perfect for work, and comfy enough to walk in after work for short errands, and just... sigh. The best work shoe.

That said, I woke up this morning and dreamed longingly for boot season. Leggings tucked into tall boots with a sweater dress are my thing, and I wear it all winter (ish, because Florida), long. I've loved knee-high boots ever since I was young, and now I own... far... too... many... than one from Florida could reasonably need. But boots.
posted by PearlRose at 12:55 PM on August 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have fussy feet so I don’t generally think about shoes more than I have to - shop hard, then forget them until I have to.

That being said I bought these recently and have been enjoying the heck outta them.
posted by mce at 12:58 PM on August 31, 2018

I think I own 30 pair of shoes... It's kind of a problem. These are my current favorites. I haven't been on a skateboard in 25 years, but I still love the skate shoes and those currently dominate my shoe collection.
posted by Jacob G at 1:11 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

Shoes! These are my oldest 'vogs (1989ish), my newest (2018)
posted by crush at 1:15 PM on August 31, 2018

Because I am a slave to my movie geekery, and I'm playing bartender for my theater tonight and need something in elegant black, I'm sporting my formal sneakers; The Secret Weapon.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 1:15 PM on August 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

Jacob G, I'm jealous of those shoes and also that site is bomb, I plan on shopping this site later, so thanks for that. :)
posted by Fizz at 1:18 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

Shoes are expensive, so I tend to run my sneakers to the ground (I feel like this may still be acceptable since I'm in my 20s). Lately I've been thrifting lightly-used shoes, so I got a pair of Doc Martens for $30 and a pair of Rainbows for $15. Maybe it's grody?, but as long as they don't smell, I'm good.
posted by typify at 1:21 PM on August 31, 2018

These are my near-daily go-to. Unfortunately, they have lousy soles for Canadian winters or slippery terrain in general. I prefer Blundstone soles, but they don't make them like they used to so I've given up on them.
posted by matthewfells at 1:28 PM on August 31, 2018

My lovely cat, Phoebe, does NOT approve when I stuff my socks into my sneakers after taking them off. She’ll sit there making very loud, distressed meows at them, and will then remove the socks and carry them upstairs in her little mouth, continuing to meow all the way.
She does not do this when my shoes are not stuffed with socks.
Cats are so great!
posted by bookmammal at 1:29 PM on August 31, 2018 [9 favorites]

Fizz, also highly recommend and for skate aesthetic...
posted by Jacob G at 1:29 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have chronic illness and problematic feet. “You need an orthotic,” said the not-helpful podiatrist. Dude! Like...which one? I still don’t know. Can’t follow mce’s link anywhere but the top of the page, but they expressed my shoe shopping experience very well: “shop hard, then forget them until I have to.”

And now my New Balance have started to pinch, so I have to remember them. They didn’t pinch last week, so I suspect it’s my body finding new ways to weird.I own relatively few pairs of shoes. I have been very happy to divert discretionary income toward books and art supplies though! Always a silver lining.

I have an artist friend who for some time made a decent living painting what can only be considered formal portraits of shoes.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 1:56 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have a shoes-off house. My apartment has one door, this is simple, all the shoes are there. The place I stay in the summer has... several more doors, and I'm also barefoot a lot. My biggest shoe challenge is figuring out which door my favorite shoes are sitting near. For summer I have basically three pairs of sneakers, my one pair of Birks (my "dress up" shoes), and three pairs of some sort of flip-flops. Summer to me is often an itchy overheated humid mess but I do enjoy getting to be barefoot all the time.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:01 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

One of my favorite things about summer is that I don't have to wear shoes much of the time. And a very cool, slightly shoe-related thing I learned this year is that the nail salons will paint a design on your toenails if you ask. Usually things like flowers, vines, leaves, but they can be pretty elaborate, and they look great. This last time I got flowers with tiny, tiny paste jewels in the centers. It's really fun.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:03 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have an ancient pair of Berkies that must have a million miles on them, and they look it! They're way beyond doing a re-sole (again) but how can I get rid of them? Berks are sooo worth the the money, but I just can't swing another pair at this time.

One of the things they don't warn you about when you're younger is that your feet will spread out like a duck's when you turn 50, and buying shoes will be a PITA. The skin also turns into alligator hide if you don't use industrial strength moisturizer all. the. time.
posted by BlueHorse at 2:07 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I spend a lot of time barefoot! And I'm typically barefoot in my house and in the yard. Infrequent guests wear shoes, and that's fine, but good friends tend to go barefoot with me.

I've had several versions of these Minnetonkas, which I've been wearing for the past three years since it became difficult to wear tie shoes or boots or anything requiring bending down. They're all soft inside, and they feel soft and flexible just like walking barefoot, and they are technically slippers but they pass for casual shoes, as far as I'm concerned. I've walked in rain and through light snow with them. I wear them all summer, even, because my feet are always freezing! I like the gray-blue color on this one.

When I head to medical treatments, I often wear these red Minnetonkas. They're quite obviously slippers. They started falling apart within a couple of months, though, so unfortunately they don't seem as well made as the other styles. But the red is so cheerful! I might get them again and see if the next pair holds up a little better.
posted by mochapickle at 2:14 PM on August 31, 2018

It seems like everything I buy these days has to be red, and shoes are no exception. I'm currently depending on these bad boys to get me around for more than a month, so they'd better stay comfy. Which is more than can be said for my red New Balance. About 2 months in and suddenly they've gone a bit too firm for my liking.

My shoemaker friend though, his designs are just incredible. The prices too, alas.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 2:24 PM on August 31, 2018

Also, these. I don't think I'll ever be able to top this pair. 😁
posted by Fizz at 2:25 PM on August 31, 2018 [3 favorites]

Laundry day at my house
posted by donnagirl at 2:34 PM on August 31, 2018 [3 favorites]

I work in a lab and in agricultural settings, so I have to wear closed toed, fairly rugged shoes and I'm tired of it. I don't even wear my cute sneakers (more or less these) because that is guaranteed to be the day I have surprise fieldwork and forget to change shoes.

I also discovered a week ago and confirmed yesterday that my hiking boots are no longer waterproof, beaten into an early grave by walking through piles of prunings. Probably time for work to buy me some decent Wellies vs. the best-fitting ones I found in the closet when I started.
posted by momus_window at 2:41 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I don't think that as an adult I've ever regularly worn anything but Vans. For most of my twenties I would buy a single pair, wear them for a year until they were ratty enough they weren't really work or anything nice appropriate, and then buy a new pair. More recently I've taken to buying several pairs at once and mixing it up, which is pretty fun.

I'm currently swapping among these, these, these, and these.
posted by Caduceus at 2:54 PM on August 31, 2018

Well, I’m glad you asked! Last winter I bought a pair of Steve Madden Chelsea boots that were sneaker-comfy right out of the box. I wore them all the time and I got so many compliments! Alas, after only a month they began to fall apart. Like, the sole came unstuck from the upper, even. (I know, right?!) I posted a grievously disappointed review online, and come to find out, that model was evidently made out of Kleenex. I then bought another pair of similar—but more expensive—boots, and they are most definitely not made for walking and they hurt my feet and I haven’t gotten even one lousy compliment!
posted by scratch at 3:38 PM on August 31, 2018

As soon as I got my new job I bought myself these Air Force Ones that are fit for a khaleesi. They are my very favorite shoes.

(Nike also makes them in gold, but I already have these. They are my second favorite shoes.)

Also this week I bought a pair of winter boots (on clearance for $25!) because I found out that I can't bring a second pair of shoes to work this winter and I have to walk outside for about a mile from my parking spot to my desk.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:42 PM on August 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

For almost anything I do I wear walking sandals from Ecco or Clarks. If I must have closed toes, its asics sneaks or doc martins. I have one fancy pair of sneakers from Ecco which I wear lightly. After all my ankle surgeries my shoe options are highly limited, these are what works for me. The problem is- after doing 4 hours of work interview at the place I might get hired at- turns out my asics trail runners may not be so good for a lot of standing. Even with the superfeet. My bad foot arch was aching. So back to the shoe store for me *sob*. I hate shopping. I hate my feet. I hate shoes.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 4:28 PM on August 31, 2018 [3 favorites]

My shoes were supposed to start teaching Kindergarten on Tuesday. Instead, they have carried me over 50 miles of picket lines in the last 4 days. It should never have come to this, but 6 districts in my county are on strike, with seemingly no end in sight. While we just want to get back into the classroom, we also want to be treated as professionals and paid as such. Today, after picketing at our buildings in the morning, the entire district, all 1700+ teachers, plus hundreds of supportive parents and community members, gathered along the roads leading to the district offices to cheer, chant, sing and honk. It was the most powerful, overwhelming act I've ever been a part of. My body is so very sore, and I am sad that I am not doing the job I love. But my heart is full and my spirit and resolve are stronger than ever. (My shoes, however, could use some help!!)
posted by Cloudberry Sky at 4:34 PM on August 31, 2018 [24 favorites]

After wanting Blundstones for many years I finally got a pair for Father’s Day in June. Trying them on wasn’t much fun because I was recovering from surgery on a broken ankle. Then it immediately got warm, and while some people can doubtless make them work with shorts I was not convinced that I could, so they’re still sitting in the box. The first day that it’s cool enough to wear long pants to work, and ankle fully healed, I’m really looking forward to wearing them. Almost certainly the most expensive pair of footwear I’ve ever had, but I was amazed how comfortable they were in the short time I had them on in the store.
posted by valleys at 4:50 PM on August 31, 2018

A friend visited a while ago. He picked me up after work the next day and drove to a diner for a meal out. Before getting out of car he said he had to do something first... then proceeded to open the car door and take off one boot. I'm kinda doing a "?" and then he hands me a cat toy..... and explains that he couldn figue out why his boot was so uncomfortable....
posted by mightshould at 5:20 PM on August 31, 2018 [12 favorites]

I just got a new pair of rock climbing shoes after wearing out the sole of my old ones, which I will probably have re-soled and use for outdoor climbing, since they are otherwise in fine shape.

I also recently got a new pair of approach shoes (shoes you wear to walk to a climbing area and in between climbs). The men’s version of the ones I wanted only came in boring black or grey, so I got a women’s pair in a fetching green color. I’m pretty happy with them.
posted by jedicus at 5:25 PM on August 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

My main shoes these days are Merrell Trail Glove 4s, and I love 'em. They are suuuper comfy and light. I can walk up to a 40° roof in them if the shingles are in good condition. I've worn them on multi-day backpacking trips over all kinds of terrain. If they get wet, they dry out—and they're comfy even when wet. In the summer they're super breathable and cool. They are relatively inexpensive.

I'm actually on my second pair, because they're my work shoes and my work involves a lot of scrambling about on rooftops which tends to ruin absolutely everything. They're durable, though—I wore the soles of my first pair smooth, and the roof still hadn't eaten all the way through the uppers (although they were looking pretty tattered). That's all I can ask for from a pair of roof shoes. The fact that they're also excellent hiking shoes is an incredible bonus.

I really don't know what I'll do when the weather becomes too cold and wet for them. It's going to be pretty sad. These are by far the best work shoes I've yet discovered (the only ones I've bought twice) and I'll be bummed when the snow hits and they're not suitable anymore. I'll probably reach out to some of the other site visit specialists at my work and see what they're wearing.

When I'm not wearing my Trail Gloves, I tend to wear Olukai Ohana flip-flops which I also love. They look good, are very comfy, are waterproof, and you can hike a couple miles in 'em in a pinch. They're my pool shoes, my beach shoes, my slippers, my casual out-to-dinner shoes, and my camp shoes. For when barefoot trail runners just aren't comfortable enough.

It's really all about the socks, though.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:26 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


If you want a pair of socks that will wear like iron, absorb sweat, never stink, AND you can wear them with cute ballet flats and the like ALL YEAR ROUND?

Smartwool's Secret Sleuth socks are the HOLY GRAIL of no-show socks and worth every last penny.

I have 12 pairs in rotation, some of them are 5+ years old and are only just starting to wear out. I love them. I love wool socks, and I especially love Smartwool socks, even if I mostly buy them if I can find them on clearance.
posted by elsietheeel at 5:33 PM on August 31, 2018 [5 favorites]

Hey momus, if you're after a good pair of wellies for fieldwork I Have Opinions.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:48 PM on August 31, 2018

After years of hearing my boss talk about his preferred brand of workboots and how the stores are really helpful and won’t let you walk out with something that doesn’t fit, I went to our local outpost. Turns out that the guys at the local outpost treat women customers differently than men customers. I walked in wearing my work clothing including a busted up pair of work boots and they still tried to direct me to the decorative women’s shoes. Then they tossed me boxes of shoes to try on, mainly didn’t have anything in my size and didn’t provide their vaunted customer service in making sure I got a good fit. I ended up buying a pair because I needed boots and they seemed ok. And then the company sent me a Happy Father’s Day email (and no Happy Mother’s Day email) and I wrote them a terse note about being a bit more thoughtful about this sort of thing.

It was almost as much fun as shopping for work overalls while pregnant.

Meanwhile I prefer to use running shoes at work for as much of the year as possible - yes, I know that isn’t a safety conscious thing - so there are two new pairs of some sort of ASICS that I’ll alternate until they fall apart or stink so bad that I won’t be able to leave them in the hallway.

I’ve been enjoying buying shoes for the kid: toddler hightop Vans are excellent.
posted by sciencegeek at 6:01 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

The weather is still warm, which means either SAS sandals or Naturalizers--casual and dress versions, depending on whether I'm walking or teaching, and low or flat heels. Once the weather cools off, I'll walk around either in Reebok Princess shoes (the only make that doesn't cause me to fall over in screaming agony--something about how higher-topped shoes press against a nerve?) or snow boots, and wear various knee-high boots to class (again, low heels). My choice of boots is pretty much dependent on "um, does this fit," as opposed to brands.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:11 PM on August 31, 2018

I own three pairs of shoes. One pair is (and has been going back probably 20 years) Danner Quarry reinforced toe boots. I just keep buying the new version when I need it, which is every 3-5 years. I prefer to wear boots most of the time because I have a weird thing with my ankles and they twist easily. I just got a new pair about a month ago, the new version of the Danner Quarry which has been updated since my last purchase 3 years ago. *continues to wax eloquent about his boots until late into the night*

My second pair is Teepee Creepers slippers, which I generally wear around the house. And take them with me when I travel because hotel rooms need slippers too.

The third pair is some really crappy Chuck Taylor low-rise knock-offs I bought at Walmart several years ago to use a shoes to do city league curling in. They're basically splitting apart now, but they have been good for more than a few years.

My boots, though. I want to sing the praises of Danner Quarry boots. They moved the production back to Portland many years ago, they've been refining the design since then, and they've come up with a genuine winner of a workbook.

As someone to wears workbooks to go dance for hours and also 40 hours a week on concrete warehouse floors and rarely finds his feet sore... Danner Quarry boots. Seriously.
posted by hippybear at 6:48 PM on August 31, 2018 [4 favorites]

I am also in the hate shoe shopping and will only do it under protest category. I have narrow feet and need orthotics, so finding shoes that don't slip at the heel is really difficult. My favorites are a pair of these, but they're starting to look a bit ratty. I'll wait for a sale to buy another pair though.
posted by Kris10_b at 7:01 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

These red clogs, which I refer to as my pope shoes, are my favorites. Red actually works as a neutral pretty well. They come in a version with backs as well. I have really narrow heels so most of my shoes are backless; I wear mules, clogs, slides, etc. and, when necessary, hiking boots or vibrams. Never sneakers of any kind. But the best shoes are no shoes!
posted by carmicha at 7:02 PM on August 31, 2018 [4 favorites]

I hate shopping. I hate my feet. I hate shoes.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis

Well, of course!
posted by BlueHorse at 7:27 PM on August 31, 2018 [4 favorites]

My cats are trying to kill me and left my stove kickplate (which is not actually attached to my stove) angled into my kitchen, and I ran into it and severely bruised one of my toes (I thought it was broken, but I seem to be able to bend it and the bruise is improving, so maybe not). The only pairs of shoes that I am able to wear with my poor hurty toe are my hiking shoes and a pair of wedge-heel gladiator sandals with a cork footbed. The hiking shoes are not fancy enough for work and the wedges are too fancy for what I normally wear -- especially right now, as my legs are still healing from a massive case of poison oak and are still too beaten up to wear anything other than jeans -- so I'm kind of having shoe issues right now. I had a lovely pair of flexible, comfy, dressy-ish shoes that I was wearing for everyday but the built-in insoles got all weird and started bruising my heel, and I can't deal with bruised heel AND bruised toe so I can't wear those anymore. I need new shoes.
posted by lazuli at 8:41 PM on August 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

Tommy the Cat loves humans' shoes, and also human feet. Both fun to sniff and good to chomp. When I went to the shelter to meet him for the first time I sat down cross-legged on the floor and his first move was to try to cart off the sneakers I was wearing by getting the lace firmly in his teeth and walking away.

I wear a U.S. Women's size 11 (U.S. Men's 8 1/2-9, UK 9, European 42). So it generally hasn't been easy or cheap to find shoes I want, in my size, at a price I can afford. I've done a lot of shoe repair because it's sometimes turns out easier than trying to find replacements. The hardest style to find is something feminine, modest, and business-to-casual that I can wear every day. It's much easier, and our local used clothing and consignment shops, to find fanlbulous, impractical size 11 shoes, like hot pink sequined strappy sandals with a 4" heel. I'm gotten the feeling I'm gettingng a lot of drag queens' castoffs.

A couple of weeks ago, I did make a pretty good score. There was a pair of black 2"-heel character shoes, looked like new out of the box, size 11, for $1.00. Yoink!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:18 PM on August 31, 2018 [5 favorites]

I did wear these mile-high crazyboots for Halloween one year. I felt like a tall, willowy tree-like alien. And they forced my walk into a bigger, slower sway than used to. (Like the iron broadsword I carried in Julius Caesar made me walk like John Wayne.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:30 PM on August 31, 2018 [5 favorites]

I have giraffe slippers (shown here with Oscar-cat, who thinks they are fun toys), because adulthood is having the freedom to wear cutesy slippers. They almost got confiscated by guard at the psych hospital, who thought they were stuffed animals, but they managed to pass through and I got endless compliments on them for the entire time I was inpatient.
posted by ActionPopulated at 10:33 PM on August 31, 2018 [6 favorites]

I am currently not wearing shoes but I have an addiction to ariat boots and have found like 7 pairs second hand and I love them and can't wait til the weather starts to cool down so I can wear something other than sandals.
posted by Grandysaur at 10:57 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I mostly wear boots, but I do have these shoes, and they are even more glorious in person. I also tie them at the back for a more streamlined look.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:03 AM on September 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

One of the things I learned when I got married was that men whose idea of formal is a polo shirt and chinos can still be shoe nuts. I have pretty much the bare minimum of shoes for a four-season climate--summer sandals, winter lined boots, spring/fall ballet flats, running sneakers, fancy concert sandals, one pair each. My husband has at least three times that many, maybe more. They don't, like, all have specific different functions, they're just assorted variations on Shoes He Likes. I can sort of understand it, I'm that way with pens and earrings among other things, but it cracks me up because with clothes (in my head, but not his, roughly the same category as shoes) his general stance is "clean and situation-appropriate and otherwise who cares".
posted by huimangm at 1:39 AM on September 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I love my stripper heels. They're not actually hard to walk in compared to "normal" heels. Fit issues aside, the angle of the arch is largest factor in whether the heels will make your feet hurt. For stripper heels, even though the overall effect on your height is six, eight, ten inches, the platform is high enough that the angle is reasonable.

Sometimes I take off my shoes in the champagne room if the customer suggests that I do. I'm not talking about fetishes, which is a separate thing. These are just customers who say, "Your feet must hurt being in those heels for hours! You can take your shoes off if you want."

I'm always very careful about this, and I never do it unless the customer offers. This is because of (1) safety re: broken glass (you never know how many champagne glasses have been accidentally shattered in the champagne room before you got there), (2) hygiene and grossness (my feet can get sweaty and gross because this is a job with a lot of physical labor), and (3) intimacy.

It must sound ridiculous to civilians: losing the clothes is transactional but losing the heels is intimate. Yet for this particular job, my uniform in the champagne room includes my heels, not my clothes. Without my shoes, I feel weirdly vulnerable.

I think that's why some of the customers offer me to the option: to see if I will be vulnerable and shed my uniform. They know that I'm a stripper but they want this moment to be about more than that; they want to believe that stripper-y-ness aside, I really like them. So they're trying to strip away the stripper-y-ness. And in that room, after I've already stripped away my clothes, the only thing left to strip away is the heels.
posted by Peppermint Snowflake at 2:27 AM on September 1, 2018 [15 favorites]

Peppermint Snowflake: It must sound ridiculous to civilians: losing the clothes is transactional but losing the heels is intimate.

Not with the way you've explained it here; that actually makes a lot of sense.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:05 AM on September 1, 2018

Summertime means sandals, while winter means felt clogs (aspirational pair) and too many boots. Add colorful socks and Dr Martens if I am feeling particularly silly.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:25 AM on September 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I used to live in platform heels, but I have high arches and cranky knees that I ask a lot of and so this summer, I've been spending more time in sneakers and less time in sandals and heels than I would have liked. Also, I've got a lot more shoes that I used to. I used to be a pair of sneakers, pair of sandals, pair of "dress shoes" kind of gal, but my wife is a shoehead (and a lot more clothing and fashion oriented than me in general), and has finally convinced me that shoes wear better and your feet wear better if you rotate your shoes, and she's right. I'm really glad that we have the means to do so.

One thing that made my middle aged heart happy was the Chuck Taylor II, with Nike insoles, which meant that my high arches COULD WEAR CHUCKS AGAIN. I bought one pair, fell in love, went back to get more, and... of course, they'd been discontinued.

So my current sneaker crush is Inkkas. They ran a 50% off clearance sale this summer, so I got some lovely shoes for $20 a pair, including some white ones with stars that are way more garish than I ever wear and I love them and they make me happy.

It is eventually going to cool off around here (we hope, we hope), and then my annual hunt for boots will start. Along with the high arches, I have really thick muscular calves, and looking for boots (so I can do the cute leggings-dress-boot thing) always leads to tears. Last year I found one pair from Naturalizer of ankle booties that I wore into the ground. This year I remain hopeful that my knee boots are out there (at a price I'm willing to pay, though that goes up with time).
posted by joycehealy at 6:23 AM on September 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've recently discovered the joys of running shoes, not for running (bad knees, bad back) but for how wonderfully cushy they are. But those aren't my shoes. My shoes are in a book case masquerading as a locker in a staff room in Tokyo. I bought a pair of no-slip kitchen shoes, I wore them all of a day because the supposedly no-slip sole becomes the slipperiest thing in all of existence when it meets that utterly uncommon element in a kitchen: water. Yes, wet floors somehow render no-slip shoes pointless, and after several near falls, those shoes went away. Needing something tough, with a solid toe and good traction, I grabbed the ugliest Columbia hiking shoes I had, all the way in the back of the closet. The leather has toughened under constant kitchen conditions. Not near steel toed level, but I've had cans land on my foot and bounce off. Hot oil, boiling hot pizza sauce, boiling water, all of these have landed on my shoes, I have never felt a thing. They are unrelentingly filthy. The laces are crusted with splashes of sauce, dustings of Parmesan, several varieties of flour. The soles, sadly, are beginning to reject three years of near daily wear. The tread feels as soft as a babies butt, chunks of it are beginning to pull away. I've recently been testing the effects of crazy glue on the soles, results are promising, but I know it's just a delaying tactic. Sooner, much sooner than later, I will need new shoes. Until the last possible moment, however, I will happily plant my feet, turn, squat, stand again, over and over, knowing that these shoes are doing their level best to make sure I do so without slipping. I will continue to spill, or have things spilled upon them that, in less trustworthy footwear, would likely cause me great harm. These are good shoes, and when they are gone, I will miss them.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:37 AM on September 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Two of my dear friends got married yesterday and these are the shoes I wore to the wedding. I made it through the set-up, ceremony, and 2 hours of reception in the heels, but it was an outdoor wedding and it rained all evening, so at some point the mud under the tent became too much and I switched to my adventure sandals. Such sweet relief!
posted by coppermoss at 6:53 AM on September 1, 2018

I don't want to talk about my shoes. I want to talk about my socks.

I'm apparently difficult to buy gifts for, but my wife's uncle and his partner got me a six-pair-pack of silly socks a couple Christmases ago, and they collectively became my favorite article of clothing in an instant. Now I only wear silly or fun socks. Recently I graduated into toe socks, which is a whole other level. (This is one area where I'm very grateful for the Internet: I'm a size 13 men's, and most brick-and-mortar shops that sell fun socks don't sell them in my size.)

Anyway, I was just visiting folks in Seattle, my hometown, where socks-with-sandals are generally accepted by polite society (sometimes enthusiastically, sometimes grudgingly), so I got to show off my socks more than usual. My toddler got in on the fun too.
posted by duffell at 7:29 AM on September 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

So opportune! Two shoe updates.

1) So my loyal shoe companions for the last few years have been Toms knockoffs/espadrilles/whatever they are called - they are perfect for the weather here and light and no one has time to tie shoes now that it's the nineties. And I found some incredibly hard-wearing and durable and washable and quick-drying ones made by what appears to be a Japanese brand called Wakai while on holiday in Indonesia, but it turns out they're like shoe ~vaporware~ and the brand only exists because it was invented by some megaconglomerate group in Indonesia and has no connection to Japan! At all! And of course, the shoes are impossible to find elsewhere. And now I am considering a trip to Indonesia at Chinese New Year to pick up a few more pairs, which is crazy. CRAZY. But I love them.

2) Earlier this week I was in Bangkok and got some boat shoes made! The company is called London Brown and they have a wee microshop that is wedged right in the centre of Siam Square and the two sheros who dealt with me and my annoying questions wrote up my order form in English! It is incredibly, cheaper for me to have shoes custom-made and fly to/from Bangkok than it is to buy off-the-rack ones here in Hong Kong. Gah.
posted by mdonley at 7:51 AM on September 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


I bought a few new kicks this year. Retro blue leather vans. Some patriotic blue and red reeboks and bright red and white pony sneakers. The last two were inspired by my current Shaolin Fantastic obsession (thanks to the green for suggesting I watch The Get Down). I also bought myself a pair of chemical resistant rain boots and cheapo workboots off amazon which make me just about as happy as my bright shiny sneakers.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:44 AM on September 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Earlier this year, I realized I had enough points at work to buy a single Louboutin, a fact I texted to the mister while he was on a business trip. The next day, he hit a royal flush on a video poker machine while watching the Bruins game. When he came home, he handed me the money I needed for the other Louboutin. So I cashed out my work points for Neiman Marcus gift cards and acquired myself a bright red pair of beautiful shoes at zero cost to me. (The entire shoe is the same color as the sole.)

I get really emotionally attached to my shoes and will wear them until they fall apart. It took me years to finally throw away a beloved pair of shoes where I had tried to reattach the soles with gorilla glue in a desperate attempt to make them wearable again. My poor mom STILL keeps an eye out for another pair of the platform jelly shoes I got when I was 14, was still wearing at 19 even though they were literal shreds of plastic loosely held together on a broken base, and didn't throw out until I was 24. So now I buy shoes that won't fall apart so quickly. Which is all to say, she says with affection and a grin, that if our DSA members saw my shoe collection, I think they might eat me.
posted by Ruki at 10:11 AM on September 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sorry Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer. I should know better than to try phone c&p. This should work better
posted by mce at 10:54 AM on September 1, 2018

Years ago, a fashion blog I followed featured some cool tanker boots she had bought second hand. I fell in love pretty much instantly. And then got my heart broken when I found out they literally don't exist in the UK in a woman's size, and my only option was to order a men's pair, from the US, that was still one size too big. Bah. AND THEN, a couple years after that, I was walking past a shoe place and saw them. Dr Martens boots, in a tanker-boot style. I bought a pair immediately and they're my absolute favourite boots.

Then I bought three more pairs on ebay, just in case. Now I rotate them. I constantly fear that they will all wear out and I will be without my holy grail of boots.

I own some other pairs of boots for fancier occasions, but literally only wear shoes for exercise or with formalwear. I love boots. Mmmmm boots.
posted by stillnocturnal at 12:37 PM on September 1, 2018

ROTHY’S OMG. Best flats ever ever ever. Let me tell you how much I love wearing orange shoes at work.
posted by lydhre at 1:23 PM on September 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I love wearing orange shoes at work.

I have bright orange laces and I get so many compliments. Bright colours are fun, I'm fully in support of more people wearing brighter colours!!?
posted by Fizz at 2:23 PM on September 1, 2018

I’ve been running consistently (well, sorta, read on) for five+ years now and I’ve always worn shoes that correct pronation (“stability” shoes) because that’s what the sales rep at the local running shoe store advised after watching me run a bit and walk.

So over the years I dealt with nagging knee and Achilles’ tendon injuries, which would force me to reduce weekly mileage and occasionally take a 6-8 week break from running altogether. I just accounted it to age and poor technique.

Fast forward to six months ago and I visit a new local runner’s shoe store (we’ve moved a couple times since that first pair of stability shoes), where they put you on a treadmill and take a video of your stride and after that you walk barefoot over a sensor that measures the force on every part of your sole. After all that the sales rep looked quizzically and announced I didn’t need stability shoes: I needed neutral shoes.

So we made the switch and within a month those nagging injuries cleared up. I’m gradually increasing mileage and seeing cardio and pace improvements following a heart rate based training plan. All because I’m finally wearing the right shoes.

I love these shoes. And that store.
posted by notyou at 4:33 PM on September 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

I prefer bare feet and now wear a wide because if you don't bind your feet, they get used to freedom. Women's shoes often don't come in wide, but I can wear kids' sizes in Keens; they're still well made, a bit wider, and cheaper.

I have arthritis in my feet and can only tolerate shoes that are flexible. I now wear Merrill-type loafers in winter and Keen sandals in summer and for dancing. I have a pair of born boots that can't last much longer, flat, soft leather, they fit perfectly and are so comfortable; I'll try Keen boots, or similar, but it will be a sad day when they fall apart.

When I have shoes that can be polished, I do polish them. They look good and last longer. <- proof of geezerhood, right there.
posted by theora55 at 7:28 PM on September 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

I know I've mentioned a few times on here that my feet are both big (10.5 more or less these days) and wide. No, wider than that. Nope, wider. Finding a W is hard, and finding a WW is rare, and my people are the reviewers on Zappos that mention hammer toes, bunions, and other terrible foot things even though I technically don't have any of them. Recently I've been trying to buy quality instead of stuff that mostly fits and won't chew my heels up too badly, which has resulted in the purchase of a pair of Tieks (very cute, not out-of-the-box perfect, may need some sort of slim orthotic because I walk on cement and stone a lot at work) and a pair of Aravons (cute enough, seem to actually fit since they're a real WW, have not worn them long enough to really know). Meanwhile, I tend to live in a pair of structured Crocs flip flops, and the possibility of losing that option has made me really upset.

I saw a pair of Inkkas that I want very badly but given I recently tried on a pair of the classic checkboard vans in an 11 womens (9 mens I think) and they weren't wide enough, I'm going to assume they won't fit. Sigh.
posted by PussKillian at 8:30 PM on September 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I am working at PAX West all weekend and I wore a pair of Merrell boots today that I know give me blisters, but I accidentally put my blister-preventing moleskin too high up on my heel and am now hobbling horribly, with two more days left to go. (I also have almost no voice left, but hopefully copious amounts of tea with honey tonight is fixing it.) I have a really hard time finding shoes, as evidenced by much of my Ask post history.
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:11 PM on September 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have been wearing the same pair of Merrels to work every day for the last 4-5 years. When I started thinking about my fall outfits, I knew those shoes had to go. They probably should have gone last year. So, my friend and I went shoe shopping today. I can often successfully order online, but I wanted to try them on in person this time. I lucked out and found two pairs of Clarks so I'm not wearing the same pair every day. They have a bit of style to them while still being comfortable. My favorite part of the day? Getting to touch some unshod baby toes belonging to babies with their parents in the crowd (yes, I always ask first and it's always appreciated).
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 9:31 PM on September 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

Gotta start thinking about winter boots soon.

Winter before last, I got a big gash in my beloved Army surplus "Mickey boots" from a loose nail on a wooden driveway border. They had been the warmest, driest things these New York feet had ever felt. I slogged through last winter with a combination of plastic bags around my feet and staying indoors.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:05 PM on September 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Reeboks are supposed to be comfortable, right? I bought a pair about a year ago, but because I go barefoot inside and often wear flipflops outside, I hadn't worn them much at all. Then I went to WorldCon and walked a lot on concrete until my ankles swelled up. The Reeboks, a slip-on style, have arch supports that are not in the same place that my arches are, so they hurt. And I got a blister on one heel. This may be because I have long (size 11 US) narrow feet and even narrower heel. So these shoes are going away. I think I need shoes without any arch support at all; after all, I have very nice arches that function just fine when I'm barefoot--why do they need support.

A pair I've had for over ten years is a Spanish knit shoe, also a slip-on. Very comfortable, indeed. However, there's no structure at all so uneven ground underfoot can be tricky.

And now I need to find a pair of ankle boots, waterproof, that I can leave mostly unzipped so I can slide in them and walk from the house to my she-shed and back in the rain/snow. Doesn't have to be fancy or expensive; just something to schlep in. I have a pair of rubber calf-high wellie style but they're not so easy to slide into/out of.
posted by MovableBookLady at 12:24 AM on September 2, 2018

Somewhere in the closet I have a pair of 14 hole Doc's that some nice girl gave me while I was homeless. I sorta wonder if they can be revived after spending 20 years tossed in a corner.

Now it's mostly a pair of slip-on Vans (grey and black checkerboard), and a pair of slide-in sandals for mailbox/laundry/etc. Oh, and a pair of grey Chuck's when I feel fancy enough to lace up shoes.
posted by zengargoyle at 10:10 AM on September 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

I fell in love with a pair of Vans Old Skools at the friendly local shoe store. They look non-athletic enough that I feel like they are a cut above running shoes, and I get a lot of compliments on them. And most importantly, they fit my weird feet.

Then I discovered you can get them in basically every color you can imagine. So now I have black ones, green ones, blue ones, and my original gray-with-maroon-stripe ones, which now have a hole in them, sadly.
posted by BrashTech at 11:03 AM on September 2, 2018

zengargoyle, I have a pair of 25 year old 8 holes and a 20 year old pair of 20 holes and I wore them both last year for the first time in about 15 years. It feels weird at first, at least it did for me, like my feet had forgotten how to wear Docs, but it's definitely doable.
posted by Ruki at 11:04 AM on September 2, 2018

My Chucks take forever to break in but I think I'm buying these for the long haul now because as lightweight sneakers go, I have been shocked how good a match they are for my feet, like once I have the shoes broken in I wear them without socks all summer and it's practically like being barefoot and I love them. I still wear socks if I'm going to be doing a ton of walking because they'll still rub eventually and I don't want to be sockless if I'm going to be sweating a bunch, but for day-to-day they've been fine. I got my first pair on kind of a lark a few years ago; I've been through a few since then, I started out always getting gray but have recently discovered that somehow seafoam green also goes with basically everything I wear.

I sometimes feel like I ought to own at least one pair of proper grownup shoes, but have not accomplished this recently.
posted by Sequence at 5:17 PM on September 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

Allbirds are cute and comfy but do not live up to their merino wool no-stink promise. That's all I have to say.
posted by HotToddy at 5:28 PM on September 2, 2018

As an unrepentant post-punk, post-goth, along with being extraordinarily clumsy and easily distracted, I live perpetually in Doc Martens.
posted by lemon_icing at 7:12 PM on September 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

My feet have decided that they will react to any shoes except Birkenstocks with rage and agony. Thus, I wear Birkenstocks everywhere, every day. Don't know what I'm gonna do when it gets cold and snowy!
posted by sarcasticah at 8:45 PM on September 2, 2018

And now I need to find a pair of ankle boots, waterproof, that I can leave mostly unzipped so I can slide in them and walk from the house to my she-shed and back in the rain/snow.
posted by MovableBookLady

MBL, my bestie lives in her waterproof Ariat paddock boots around the farm.
posted by workerant at 7:01 AM on September 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

I didn’t need stability shoes: I needed neutral shoes.

I've been told so many contradictory things about my gait over the years that I've given up on anything but my own experience. Now I rotate through four pairs of Merrell Trail Glove 3s (the fourth bought in a panic when they were discounted after the Trail Glove 4s came out) and I never have ankle problems anymore, my knees are better, and I only get shin splints if I seriously overwork myself. All four pairs are wearing out and at some point I'm going to have to switch to the Trail Glove 4s and hope they haven't ruined a good thing. I'm holding out, though.
posted by fedward at 8:28 AM on September 3, 2018

So when I was a lithe young college student, I had super-narrow feet. No, really, super narrow. My shoe size was 9 AA; one of my feet was even verging on being AAA. This is not an easy size to come by.

At some point in my acting conservatory we were to be given tap dance training; this required the purchase of tap dance shoes, of course. Our teacher said that the best option would be to visit a dance studio and ask to have taps put on "character shoes", since this was a cheaper option with a wider variety of sizes. I still was dubious, and went to visit a Capezio's near my dorm.

I waved down a clerk and quietly told them that I had come in search of character shoes to be fitted with taps - "but I'm a little uneasy because I have a pretty unusual shoe size."

"Oh, don't worry about it," the clerk said breezily. "We get all kinds of actresses in here, their feet are all different sizes, Capezio's makes a whole range, I'm sure we'll be able to take care of you. What size shoe are you?"

"Um....I'm 9-AA."

I still said this last bit quietly. But - in my memory, every single other clerk in the store somehow overheard, stopped what they were doing, and turned to look at me and my mutant feet in shock. Like, people were popping their heads out of doors and from down behind aisles to gawk at me. I was pretty much expecting that I would be an outlier, so I just thought it funny - and when the shoes (which they had to special-order) finally came in, I told the others in my studio that "I freaked out the staff of a Capezio's just getting these!"

My mother recently found the tap shoes in a box of my old crap and sent them to me. They're a little small on me now, so I think my feet have mercifully spread a bit; they're more like single A-width now. ....These days, instead, my biggest shoe-shopping headache is finding something with no heel, arch support, and stable enough to support a left ankle that's prone to wobbling (I'm currently writing this with my foot resting on a pillow and cradled in an ice pack after having sprained it on a hike this weekend).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:09 PM on September 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have a pair of motorcycle boots. Steel toe and shank. I bought them around 1980. They are beat to shit but still fit.

The night I bought them I was wearing them in Greenwich Village. A group of teenagers were walking toward me. One of them kicked me in the foot. Accident? Later I saw a gouge in the toe of one boot. A clean cut showing metal. Back then kids would embed single edge razor blades in their sneakers. Then kick people. Seriously. If I hadn't been wearing steel toed boots I probably would have been badly injured. But I was more pissed off that my brand new boots were damaged.
posted by Splunge at 3:44 PM on September 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

Saucony Jazz Originals all day.
I walk and bike quite a bit, and these are cushiony as heck.
I'm jealous of the funkier colorways that are exclusive to the Womens and Kids lines — but I've recently adopted a gray / black / blue capsule wardrobe anyway, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by D.Billy at 8:08 PM on September 3, 2018

duffel, I'm a crazy sock collector/wearer, too
My sister just gave me an early birthday present of blue ankle socks emblazoned with tiny fried eggs.

And if I do take that tap class I've been toying with the idea of, I'll definitely see if the local cobbler can tapify my older character shoes!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:19 PM on September 3, 2018

Let's see: when it's hot? High-top Chucks all the way. Not picky about color, although I really want a retina-searing pair one of these years (I've a beige pair on my feet right now).

If it's < 90F and > 32F, Rockport Bayley Venetians. Minor break-in period, then utterly comfortable slip-on loafers.

< 32F, or somewhere where Chucks or the loafers are contraindicated? LL Bean Cresta Hiking Boots.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 11:26 AM on September 4, 2018

Fifty two-year-old male person here. Today, in my home town we received an unusually long period of heavy rain, so I was happy to dust off and wear my Blundstone boots. This area is very warm in the summer, so I only wear these boots when it's wet and/or cold. These boots feel very substantial and secure to me, and I can see them lasting a good long time. I had to buy them slightly big to accommodate my wide feet and high instep, but a pair of Superfeet insoles was all it took to make them comfy.

I am trying hard to find casual, non-boot shoes that meet BIFL (buy it for life) standards. The challenge is that I have wide feet and a high instep, which has made it difficult to find quality shoes that fit well. In the past year alone I have had to return seven pairs of new shoes, and these included Ecco and Dansko. I just can't pay for a shoe if it's tight or binds when I try it on.

The one best pair of BIFL shoes I have are Birkenstock Londons. I bought these shoes in 2007, and mostly live in them during the summer months. I had them resoled late last year and will wear them until the leather disintegrates, then I'll buy another pair. To that end, I am considering a pair of Birkenstock Cincinnati leather shoes, which, although they are expensive, may fit as well as the Londons. But for some reason, they are not available to try on in person anywhere nearby.
posted by the matching mole at 12:47 PM on September 4, 2018

I just picked up my first pair of checkerboard Vans recently. So yeah, I'd say my second adolescence is coming along nicely.

I picked up a pair of these sick numbers in red on my last trip to the outlet mall. Now I'm looking for the right occasion to wear if the Hot Topic people build a store around my sleeping body some night.

Alien Ant Farm ass shoes
posted by MrBadExample at 7:45 PM on September 5, 2018

Most of the time I wear Asics - I think they're the Nimbuses or the GT-1000 or something - in all black. This is my second year wearing Asics, and I'm pretty happy. My feet are technically size 8 EE (I end up wearing sizes 9-10) and I cannot wear ballet flats or loafers or anything cute, it seems. Most flats are too narrow, have no room for my high arches, or otherwise make my feet look massively swollen and disgusting. I was actually thinking of doing an AskMe about this, but here I am.

When I went to buy them (there is an Asics store in the Mall of America) I explain to the shoe person that I was going out of town and needed to get the shoes right away. They do not have my exact size in the style I'm wearing (ok, fine) but brings out a half-size larger in a different style. This works just fine. They are the color that I want and they are not uncomfortable or overlarge - I walk around in them to be sure. However, the shoe person does not want to sell me the shoes even though I tell them they are comfortable and the color I want. She would rather I leave with nothing and buy my exact size online, which will either be delivered to my home or the store within the next week and a half. I say no, I'm not going to do that. Here is my card in my hand; may I pay for these now? They grudgingly serve me.

it has been about 9 months now, and you can tell they need to be replaced. Their shape is not so nice any more, and there are holes in the mesh where my big toe has come up, though again, they are not tight or constricting at all. I definitely want to get Asics again. And I probably will buy them online, if only to avoid yet another difficult shopping experience.
posted by koucha at 12:58 PM on September 14, 2018

@sarcasticah My mother does this. In the winter time she simply wears socks/thicker socks. She never complains about being cold or wet.
posted by koucha at 1:00 PM on September 14, 2018

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