Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Heel Hell

As you get older some things in life seem to become an ineviatibility. Like the text I got today about bunions.

"I think I have a bunion and I have to go to the podiatrist!"

Taryn Rose shoes that don't make you hate your feet.
This came in from my hair stylist friend who stands day in and day out making the world a more beautiful place one head of hair at a time.

I offered sympathies and told her to rock a pair of combat boots all 1990s instead of giving in to the suggestion of orthopedic shoes. I got some sort of half-hearted response that pretty much told me to go to hell. This all made me wonder, is there such a thing as a "good" heel and are heels really to blame for all the world's bunions?

The Internet is wildly divided on this issue (because it's the most reliable source ever). Apparently narrow shoes cause bunions because they push your big toe in against your other toes, so I guess that could include flats. And as for heels being good for you, there were actually websites that said that was the case. The Daily Mail had a whole article (with no date) that said heels are actually good for your knees.

This should be my next illogical purchase from DSW.
As someone with knee problems and an insane number of high heels, I can safely say this statement is bullshit. They can also make your back hurt, especially if you add a pair of tits to further compress your lower spine. But they can give your legs one hell of a workout and make you look amazing.

A little discomfort is a small price to pay for looking good.

All my research did turn up something really interesting though. An orthopedic surgeon turned shoe designer, Taryn Rose. She makes heels that are supposed to be kind to your feet. They're predictably low, chunky heels and wedges, but not all bad. And honestly I'm not sure how kind they actually are.

So while my poor hair stylist is visiting the podiatrist, I will continue to laugh in the face of age, bunions, arthritis, bad knees, and logic and continue wearing my heels at illogical heights.

I'm sure it will all catch up with me someday and she and I can be hobbled next to one another, drinking martinis and talking about all the great shoes we used to wear. But until then I may as well look good.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Outside and Breaking In

I once had a sales associate at at shoe store tell me that I would ruin the sole of my shoes if I wore them outside.

On the list of dumb shit I've heard in my life, this ranks up there.

Aside from the obvious fact that a main purpose of any kind of footwear is to protect your feet from the elements, I was unaware that there are shoes that have soles not meant for outside.

Sure, there's a billion different materials, accouterments, designs, styles and materials that can make shoes a little more difficult to wear in various outside weather, but to not be able to wear them on concrete seems a little insane.

One of the first ways I break in a new pair of heels is to take them on a stroll around the neighborhood, wear them on my commute to work, or walk the dog around the block in them. It helps the shoe conform to your foot, gives you an idea of where the problem points will be (if any) and tears up the bottom a little so when you are inevitably inside on carpet you don't feel like your feet may slide out from under you at any moment.

So much better after a walk uphill.
I had this issue last week with a new Pair of Nine West shoes I ordered. Black and gray snakeskin Mary Janes. The perfect heels to go with just about anything. The problem was they arrived while I was on a business trip and I wore them when I got back on a rainy day, which means I changed into them at the office.

Too bad I didn't take my own advice.

Suddenly slipping on the floor, trying not to spill a full cup of coffee, wondering how long I have to wait until I can take the long elevator ride back downstairs and scuff my shoes around the cobblestone outside te building.

Then my day exploded and the answer was "never." Instead I spent the afternoon trying not to fall on my ass, improperly breaking in a pair of very stiff shoes. By the end of the day my feet were screaming.

A couple days later I decided to wear them again, this time paired with a aqua blue skirt and black sweater. I wore them out of the house, on the bus, and walked up the hill with them on. By the time I got to the office they were perfect. The bottoms weren't slippery, they were broken in, weren't pulling, and were paired with an even better outfit than the first time I wore them.

See, heels are always better after a good stroll on the concrete and a little breaking in. And with a good outfit.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dinner with Cat and Stressful Shoes

Apparently going out to dinner with me is stressful.

This week I was scheduled to have dinner with a friend. The night before our dinner my friend posted that she was stressing out about which shoes she was supposed to wear to dinner with me.

Really, am I that judgmental?

These are "big girl shoes."
I assured my friend, via Twitter and text messages throughout the day that she could wear whatever shoes she wanted. We hadn't gotten together for months, and if she wanted to wear one gym shoe and one slipper, I still be happy to see her. I would also probably make fun of her, but that's because it would be funny looking.

After work we met up, and true to her word, she was wearing her "big girl shoes."

Normally a statuesque blond, she now towered over six feet tall, making any added height I had totally inconsequential. At my best I can get to 5'8", which is her height in flats.

The "big girl" shoes she was so proud of? A nude patent with a round toe, smartly paired with a iridescent brown pant.

The funny thing being that we were sitting in a restaurant, and I'm pretty sure no one saw our shoes. Plus when she stands up you notice how tall she is, and not necessarily her shoes.

Then again, with me standing next to her, no one notices my shoes either since I just look like a small child standing next to her.  Which is really a shame because they were super cute.

I also want to note that I cropped out the Crocks-covered foot of whatever poor, unfortunate, stylistically void individual happened to be walking by at the moment.

And yes, I guess I really am that judgmental.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Living With One Pair of Heels

Traveling for work as much as I do (which is still a lot less than some people) I have gotten pretty good at packing light. This usually means only bringing one pair of heels (gasp!), plus my gym shoes.

The trip I just got back from was to Miami for three nights, witch turned into four thanks to a snowstorm in Chicago, and the only heels I brought were vanilla patent pumps. They matched the gray pinstripe pants, beige and tan pants, and the black dress with the beige cardigan.

They even go with jeans
What they didn't really go with were the sweaters I bought at Zara on total impulse my first day there, or the shirt from Banana Republic with the giant bow over one shoulder.

By the time I left Miami, I had bought enough clothes to stay in the city another 7 days without repeating an outfit, but the fact that I had been wearing the same heels for days was killing me.

Seriously, I don't know how people only own two or three pairs of shoes.

Only a couple of days and I was going nuts. Sure, I also had my gym shoes but you know I wasn't going to wear those out. And I certainly couldn't wear them while at business functions.

I thought about going out and buying new heels, but there really wasn't time. Maybe next time I should try not to limit myself so much and I should bring another pair of heels.

Black pumps can always go a long way too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Starry-eyed Shopping

Last week I went for snow boots on my lunch. Because I haven't done that 1,000 times before and not found a damn thing.

This time I was particularly determined to find boots. I had scouted ahead, found them online, priced them, and all that good stuff. I decided this trip would be to Aldo, and if all else failed, I'd go to Nordstrom after work.
So I walked through the cold and snow of Michigan Avenue and realized that Aldo was much further than I thought it was, and by the time I arrived my shoes were a mess, my pants were wet and I was again cursing winter and determined to find snow boots.
I love these more than snow boots

I went in focused. I found what I was looking for, asked to see it, and then while I was waiting I start perusing the sale racks.
This is such an amazing time of year for sales.

By the time they arrived with the boots for me to try on, I had an armload of heels to try on.
I don't even need to explain that the boots didn't fit right and I passed on them. Instead I ended up looking at a million pairs of heels.
Seriously, they have a great sale going on right now....

Of course within 20 minutes I've decided I hate all their boots, non of them are going to work, and instead I need a pair of black pumps with silver stars on them.

Biggest snow boot fail in history.
But these are the first pumps with stars on them that I have. That should totally count for something.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Canceling Silver

A couple days ago I got a shipping confirmation on a pair of sandals I ordered.

Yeah! New shoes. They were silver sandals with a wooden heel from Qupid. Very last season, but I figured they were on super sale and I needed something to replace my silver sandals, which probably should have been disposed of last summer.

Then yesterday I got another email:

These are not my new silver sandals.
I'm contacting you with regards to your recent order number XXXX.

Unfortunately the Saydie Silver shoes you purchased were out of stock when our warehouse tried to ship them to you and we will not be restocking them. Unfortunately this means that we are not going to be able to fulfill this part of your order.

I have cancelled this part of your order and requested a refund be issued to your card. Please allow 5-7 business days for this to clear.

Our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Kindest regards,
Thanks Bridget. So if you're canceling my order, what the hell am I being sent? I received the shipping confirmation for something arriving at my house on Wednesday via UPS. Is this some sort of cruel joke? And how is it possible that I was able to order the shoes, be charged for the shoes, get shipped something (not shoes?) and now you tell me they're out of stock. 
I can't decide if I'm more annoyed that I don't know what the hell I'm being sent, or if it's because I have to keep looking for silver sandals. 
Maybe I can manage to get one more summer out of the ones I already own. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Shoe Blasphemy

I am about to commit shoe-lover blasphemy. I have an opinion that goes against everything you've been told by bloggers all over.

I don't care for ShoeMint.

I'll give you a moment to clutch your pearls and call me some horrible names before proceeding with my argument.

Wedge booties I've been wearing for months.
First, let me say that I don't own any ShoeMint shoes, and I know nothing of their construction. They're probably great. I generally like Steve Madden and I have plenty of his heels.

In all honesty I had great hopes for ShoeMint. Steve Madden is great. Shoe clubs are cute, and I kind of love the idea of a celebrity collaboration. I let all my readers know, bought into the hype, and waited with bated breath for the big launch.

At which point I then made a face and went, "That's it?"

Almost everything was freakishly close to stuff I already own. A pair of teetering Mary Jane stilettos, lace up wedge booties I didn't like, and wedge booties that are like every other wedge bootie out this season. So I waited, hoping they would release something more exciting, which they didn't. By the time I finally decided to begrudgingly order the Pauline wedge booties in Wine (because I already own a pair of black wedge ankle boots), they were sold out of my size. Then January's showroom was released and I again made a face at my underwhelming and very beige showroom full of stuff I can find anywhere.

Steve Madden, you can totally do better.

Suede and patent sky-high heels
Maybe this is Rachel Bilson's fault. I admit to never seeing anything she's been in (except for possibly that episode of Buffy) and knowing little to nothing about her, but I'm not generally overwhelmed or impressed by anything I see her in. Did I miss the moment in time "style icons" look like they shop exclusively at Gap unless they're on the red carpet?

StyleMint collaborated with the Olsen Twins for a line. I don't generally care for their style, but they are known for their clothes, and I respect them for their fashion choices. Homeless chic is totally a look because of them.

BeautyMint teamed up with Jessica Simpson for skincare, and she does have good skin (and already has a successful line of shoes), so again, this makes sense. So when they rolled around to shoes did they just grab a name out of a hat? Look for some cute young actress who has feet?

I can think of a billion collaborations that would have been way more exciting, and all those people have feet too.

How about Steve Madden with Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj or even the Olsen Twins again? Hell, I'll have a couple phone calls and emails with Steve and we can knock out some great heels that don't look like something I bought at Aldo three years ago. I promise.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Giving Winter the Boot

I totally lied about getting winter boots today.

I'd wear them, but not in snow.
Well, I didn't lie. I just didn't get around to it. And once I looked at the weather forecast in Chicago for the next 10 days and saw that today is the coldest day we're having for a little while, I decided I can hold off on spending obscene amounts of money on hideous things for just a little bit longer.

Maybe in the meantime I can find something cute. Which is really my problem. I struggle to find something cute that also serves any kind of function at all other than to adorn your feet with fabulousness.

@GlamB0t asked me on Twitter what are cute boots that are warm and can withstand snow and rain. After thinking and thinking (and struggling with this myself), I have come to the conclusion that the answer is they don't exist.

Sure, there's the Hunter heeled rain boot, which isn't awful, and you can add a liner to it for the instant snow boot, but that heel will send you right on your ass when there's an inch of ice on the ground that has been covered in snow.

Now we're on to something flat (already not that cute). There's real Hunters with the furry inserts, which many people swear by, but I can't get over the "I'm six-years-old" look of galoshes. Let's be serious, there's nothing glam about rubber boots.

Make it stop!
Moving on through the list of warm and flat, there's always Moon Boots, which I totally thought were a joke until I saw them in Nordstrom. Nope, they're real, uglier than when we were a kid, and look like they were designed by someone who loved Rainbow Brite and LSD (at the same time).

We're just wiping UGGs off the list right now since they're expensive, hideous and not even waterproof. And I don't care if they're comfy and warm. So are my slippers, but you'll never see me wearing those in public.

At least there's fur. 
Back to function, Sorel also makes a snow boot that looks pretty functional, is waterproof, comes in a variety of prints and colors, and some have faux fur (which is always a plus). But there's that word...functional. I shudder at the thought.

So here I am in another Chicago winter (which can be a total bitch) without snow boots. I have a coat, hat, gloves, 4,000 scarves (thanks Mom), and they're all cute. Which is exactly why they don't get paired with boots made of plastic, plaid and doll parts, and my hunt for boots continues into another year.

Hopefully I can manage to put it all off for another few months, ride out the winter again, and not manage to lose any toes. Besides, the weather's already warming up this week.