The sensible shoe. Why is it always in the singular? Maybe it is to reduce the chance that they may breed…
To me the sensible shoe is a stout brogue, a Birkenstock or those weird things we had to wear to school – if you are as old as me you’ll remember them. We called them puddlecatchers as the front was neatly gathered so that in the wet they did actually did gather puddles. A design classic of our times. There is no joy in the purchase of a sensible shoe – why go for dull practicality when fab and sparkly does the job just as well?
I now live in a city that is a bastion of sensible footwear – not sure why but is could have something to do with it having appallingly wobbly pavements with lots of heel shaped gaps and uneven surfaces. Although walking considerably distances on vertiginous heels on steep slopes never stopped a good night out in Newcastle!
Today I was mostly perusing people’s feet. Yes I probably did look a little odd but I wore very dark sunglasses and sat in a cafe pretending to read the paper and imagining I was in the Spooks sensible shoe squad. I saw a depressing number of sock/sandal combos, a disturbing tendency to pair a ‘cute’ ankle sock and flat lace up (should be left in the 80s), lots of last years flip-flops (no – they don’t last forever – they wear out and should be replaced!) and even people in Crocs…
Now I make no apology for saying this but Crocs are the ugliest shoe in the world – in fact they don’t deserve the name shoes. I’m told they are wonderful, the main benefits being that it doesn’t matter if they fit and you can put them in the washing machine. Still not getting it – I have never felt the slightest urge to wash my shoes with Persil!
Although I do confess I have recently wondered about the benefits of a sensible-ish shoe. Much as I love my heels there are occasions when I need to walk slightly further or faster than proper shoes allow. Added to this that I am the next best thing to a dwarf and the need for footwear that doesn’t leave me frantically scuttling along behind people of normal height is becoming more urgent. You can only ask people to slow down twice before they start speaking to you VERY SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY as if they are taking out an annoyingly dawdling toddler.
And – of course – this obviously means buying shoes!
So I now have Imelda-style sensible shoes. A pair of zebra striped and pink trimmed plimsolls (not sure how comfortable they’ll be but – hey – they are flat) and black studded FitFlops. Having studied the FitFlop marketing blurb I see that for this extortionate price I will effortlessly gain buns of steel by the autumn. Or I can sue – right?
And – last but not least the absolute piece de resistance – a platform sole wedge!! Extra height but the equivalent of a low(ish) heel. Perfect – if not positively inspirational.