Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Dreamed a Dream of Shoes Gone By

Some of you may remember a post from when I was back in Nigeria about a pair of shoes I had that broke and I sewed back together.  You might also recall that these shoes were bought out of necessity, without much possibility for consideration, to replace the broken pair on my feet at the time.  The shoe fairy was smiling on me when I bought those shoes; they turned out to be one of the best pairs ever.

Well, those shoes made it home from Nigeria, but they didn’t make it to California.  Not whole anyway. my original busted babies cropped On our way home from New York City back in April, Mzzzz Jones and I found ourselves in the unfortunate circumstance of needing to run through JFK airport to catch our already boarding plane.  Run… run… run… snap.  By the time I got on the plane, I was breathless, sweaty, and wearing two broken shoes.  Ever since then, I’ve been searching for the perfect replacement to my beige, all-purpose, most comfortable shoes.  It’s been a long search.

Attempt #1

I first attempted to replace my glorious, beige, all-purpose, most-comfortable shoes with something from my own collection.  A pair of white and whicker platform sandals from Vickies.  Many problems.  The white ribbons were supposed to wrap around the legs like ballet shoes.  They always fell down.  The front ribbons that went over the toes were in an awkward position, my pinky toes stuck out, off the shoe.  And the full, wide platform is not as nice as a wedge for walking on rough surfaces.  I soon found that not only were these not good replacements for my fabulous, glorious, beige, all-purpose, most-comfortable shoes, they were also not great for shoes at all.  In the end, these were one of the 40-some pairs I didn’t take to Cali.

Attempt #2

black cork wedges cropped I found these ditties at a shoe store in Nashville.  Purchased with a gift card given to me by a good friend as a birthday present.  (I got two pairs w/ that card, but now I can’t recall the other pair.  These were a deal in the clearance section.)

At first I thought they were going to be it.  Wedges.  Decent angle.  Black and brown, so fairly versatile.  Comfortable enough.  They were good at first.  Then I started to come across problems.

The slip on style offers the ease of the original, fabulous, glorious,beige, all-purpose, most-comfortable shoes, but without any sort of ankle strap, the shoes are prone to falling off and certainly will not do for climbing trees.  The falling off is escalated by the fact that one shoe fits well and the other fits rather loosely.  The shoe has black and brown, but it really only works as a black shoe.  Additionally, because of the style, it only works as a black casual shoe, not dressy as well.  The more I wore them, the more I also found the angle to be wanting.

The combination of one loose shoe, slippage in the shoes and the lower angle made the shoes uncomfortable for long distances.  Remember, I used to wear those wonderful, original, fabulous, glorious, beige, all-purpose, most-comfortable shoes for my 2 mile walk to and from work in Nigeria.  If I can’t walk 2 miles in the shoes, they won’t suffice as replacements.

The shoes are still decent, and I do wear them for lower-level physical activities in outfits with a black base.  So they’re still useful.

Attempt #3

bright flowers cropped Realizing I needed something with more of a strap to keep on the shoes, I next tried these.  I most often wished for my amazing, wonderful, original, fabulous, glorious, beige, all-purpose, most comfortable shoes when wearing the long white skirt I made from my grandmother’s curtains.  These shoes were purchased (from Alloy I believe) with that skirt’s outfits in mind.  The white and colors worked for that.  My biggest problem with the black shoes had been the lack of ankle strap.  These have an ankle strap.  They also have a nice wedge heel with a good angle.

They hurt when walking more than a few blocks.  The front of the shoe is narrow and the fabric is stiff, so instead of stretching, it digs into my hungry toe (the piggie that didn’t have any roast beef), leaving a not-so-beautiful indent and some red chubbiness.

I wear them for short walks, like to the hardware store, and for events with little expected physical exertion.  I hope to stretch them out.  Yet, even if I do, the bright colors limit their outfit possibilities.  Like the black shoes before them, they are good shoes and have their purpose, but they are not replacements for my beautiful, amazing, wonderful, original, fabulous, glorious, beige, all-purpose, most comfortable shoes. Sadness.

Attempt #4

brown slingbacks cropped On the most recent of my many trips home this summer, Munchkinhed and I got permission from Mommy to go to the clearance sale at the local shoe shop.  I found these beauties and thought that between my black shoes and these, I had won the battle to replace my Brazilian, beautiful, amazing, wonderful, original, fabulous, glorious, beige, all-purpose shoes.

These shoes are brown.  That should work for any outfits for which the black shoes don’t work.  They’re wedges, and I really like the cut-out design in them.  They are comfortable, too.  Good angle on the incline.  And there’s straps.  Great!  I got them and wore them around a bit at home.

It wasn’t until I was attempting to walk more than around the house that I realized my tragic mistake.  These shoes are slingbacks.  The buckle on the strap and top of the foot wrap style had tricked me.  I can’t wear slingbacks; the straps fall off my heels.  I still wear these shoes though.  Luckily, they stay on even when the strap falls down.  But they cannot serve as replacements, not even when combined with my black sandals because that slipping slingback only allows for short-distance walks.  Cabija

Attempt #5

newest shoes cropped Now, I know theses shoes can’t be a final replacement, but they’re the closest I’ve gotten.  I got them this two days ago from Alloy.  They have a stiletto heel, which is nothing to a wedge.  Wedges can walk over sewer grates and sidewalk cracks with nary a thought.  In stilettos, I must be very conscious of where I put my feet and ensure I only put weight on the ball of my feet whenever necessary.

The height of the heel is very good, around 4 1/2” or 5”.  The angle isn’t bad, though not perfect as there is a small platform under the toes.  This platform is actually a bigger problem for climbing trees and walking on non-paved surfaces as it is inflexible and prevents gripping the surface with the foot.

However, and most importantly, the shoes are beige and they have a T-strap.  The T-strap design and the style of the front makes these shoes appropriate for dressy or casual wear.  Yes, these certainly are the closest I’ve come to replacing those magnificent, Brazilian, beautiful, amazing, wonderful, original, fabulous, glorious, beige, all-purpose shoes.

My Dream

Maybe someday I’ll find the perfect pair - Beige, T-strap, 4” or 5” wedges, with no front platform, (and in my price range) – and I’ll be back to climbing trees and running and being comfortable.  Until then, my new beige stilettos, brown sling-backs, bright flowers and black slip-ons are going to have to do.  Four pairs of shoes to replace one.  Life would be easier (and cheaper) if a girl could just find the same pair of shoes twice in her life…


MaryRuth said...

Have you tried the cobbler yet? Yep, they are still around and you may find they can help you fix your shoes.
I get my (don;t laugh) Birkenstocks re-soled (but they have to go to a special place) and Ecco shoes have a shoe refurbishing program too. I know what you mean when your favorite pair goes south. Good luck with finding a replacement.

goldenrail said...

MR: I had a cobbler in the City, right near work. I took 3 or 4 pairs of heels in to get new lifts. The last time I took a pair there, the lady said they were going on vacation. A few days later, when I went to pick them up, the sign outside was gone. Within a week, everything inside was gone, too.
I am now searching for a new cobbler.
However, those beige sandals are probably past fixing, other than by some more of my hodge-podge stitching.

Jeannie said...

did you lose your shoes when they went out o business?

goldenrail said...

No Mommy, I picked up my shoes when only the sign was missing, not everything inside.