Sunday, March 25, 2012

Kids, Crap and Flats: Tips for Surviving Summer (without looking like a muppet)

I'm totally overdue on an answer to someone looking for shoe advice. If it wasn't for that damn day job and all the daily life tasks I'd have more time for important things like answering shoe questions.

Fellow blogger and fashion conscious mom, Jenna, (author of High Gloss and Sauce) called for shoe help.

"I need something to wear to the beach. Not just any beach, but a long stretch of dirty sand at the city beach plowed with my double stroller and 80 lbs of children/bags/etc. 'Cute' is like the third priority, but clinging to the list."

Perfect for the beach and walking. 
After I read the question a few times and realized that it's not 80 lbs of children's crap, it's 80 lbs including kids, and decided to say something other than to find a less dirty beach, or how can two kids require so much stuff; I instead decided to appreciate the fact that cute is still clinging on (albeit by a thread).

Let's make something clear. There is no rule, written or unwritten that says as soon as you have children you must automatically wear ugly shoes. Maybe that's what they tell you at the hospital, or ingrain in expectant mothers between breaths at Lamaze class, but it's simply not true. I've spent plenty of time with kids, chasing them around parks, through yards, playing catch, football, grabbing collars as skateboards go flying from under them, and I've managed to not waste money on hideous shoes.

I also realize that heels are not always a practical choice for moms, and the beach and heels are pretty much the worst combo ever.

Before I could ever respond to her question, Jenna had invested in a pair of Jambu Women's Odyssey Sport Sandals, which are totally not awful. At least she didn't give into the Teva or Keen suggestions. They may be comfy as hell, but they look ridiculous if you're just wearing them to hang out in.

Beach (and kid) friendly gladiators
Another brilliant idea for those sandy days, long walks and child chasing is Sperry Top-Siders. No, not the heeled ones, the original gangster boat shoes, now available in a variety of colors and prints (including leopard) so you don't have to look like you've just gone sailing. Although with windblown hair, a nice tan and crap-tons of cash, looking like you might own your own yacht isn't a bad look.

Let's also not forget or underestimate the basic ballet flat. They're not only available from either Payless or Tory Burch. Plenty of great brands offer mom-friendly flats that look cute and won't rip apart your feet. Clarks makes some nice ones, as does Aerosoles.

Affordable and practical, paired with fashion and function. Doesn't it make your brain want to explode?

Just writing about flats makes mine feel like it might.

Now granted, this isn't exactly advice I would take myself, but that's because I'm a nut who chases my two-year-old niece around the house in a pair of pony hair heels (she loves to pet them), but everyone has to find out what works for them.

So to Jenna of High Gloss and Sauce, I wish you luck (and more than one pair of shoes). Because chasing children around at the beach, and pushing a double stroller sounds so exhausting I'm ready for a stiff drink just thinking about it.


7 comments:

Jenna Myers Karvunidis said...

I love it Cat! THANKS!!!

And yes the 80 pounds includes the children themselves in the stroller. Although my bag ain't light either!

Thanks again!

jenna Myers Karvunidis said...

PS - I didn't buy the Jambu, I bought these Clarks:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003V8IBBI/ref=oh_o00_s00_i00_details

And these Keens:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003Z4KIEG/ref=oh_o01_s01_i00_details

AND these other Clarks:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003USBTJ0/ref=oh_o02_s00_i00_details

Cat said...

I love that instead of one pair of shoes you got three. A woman after my own heart.

jenna Myers Karvunidis said...

New question - do people wear socks with boat shoes? I watched the videos on Zappos and they show no socks, but they seem so tennis-shoey.

Maybe you could do a post about socks. When to sock? Short or tall? Did colored socks die in the 80's? Is it okay to steal your husband's business socks to wear with black mary janes or should I not be admitting these things in public? *confused*

jenna Myers Karvunidis said...

New question - do people wear socks with boat shoes? I watched the videos on Zappos and they show no socks, but they seem so tennis-shoey.

Maybe you could do a post about socks. When to sock? Short or tall? Did colored socks die in the 80's? Is it okay to steal your husband's business socks to wear with black mary janes or should I not be admitting these things in public? *confused*

Cat said...

Ha!. I'm generally anti-sock for just about everything, but I've seen them done very well. I can certainly address socks and all your burning sock questions in a separate post.

jenna Myers Karvunidis said...

YES!

Fun story - I went to a conference once and a girl was wearing white socks with pumps. And she was not a hipster or insane.