So, last week I went to see Teleman, a band I’ve liked since their first album ‘Breakfast’ came out in 2014 (which had some good songs, such as the excellent 23 Floors Up and Skeleton Dance, but the rest of the album didn’t do that much for me).
They have a new album ‘Brilliant Sanity’ that’s just come out, and I am really enjoying it. I LOVE the darker Fall in Time and the wonderful synthy Düsseldorf (the video has the band turning the nerd levels up to 11):
After the Converse Chuck Taylor II last time, I wasn’t really sure what to wear to this gig. I did think about embracing the nerd-core vibe and wearing a pair of brogues, but then I remembered about the fact I have arthritis and stopped being silly. I have very comfortable shoes that don’t look great, but I don’t really want to walk round Camden in hiking shoes. I also have really supportive, great-looking shoes that are really expensive, and I’m not going to get them wrecked by someone chucking weak beer all over them.
A few days before the gig I was having this ‘what to wear quandary’ conversation with my friend and fellow gig attendee (and Converse aficionado) Naomi, when an email from Kurt Geiger popped into my inbox. It was then I remembered some rather excellent shoes I had seen in Kurt Geiger and joked that I should buy these flatforms:
Now, I am about 170 cm, so not exactly short, but I always seem stuck behind the tall person during a gig, and these would sort that right out! In all seriousness, however, these are kind of cool. I love the bow on the top, it’s very Joshua Sanders but without the price-tag. However, really, I can’t walk in these shoes, my ankle lacks stability and a 5 cm sole really doesn’t help that at all, and my feet need to be able to flex, or the ankle has to do all the work. In any case, they’re far too expensive for me to wear to a gig. Also, if someone wearing these were standing in front of me at a gig, I’d want to push them off their literal pedestal. I respect my fellow music lovers and like to avoid getting punched as much as possible: Lucky shoes were ruled out.
I had a feeling I should properly checkout the flatform though; 5 cm is too much for me, but reasoned that a smaller flatform might give me a useful height boost at the gig, the question was whether it would be too much work for my ankle. A question that needed an answer! I set myself a £25 limit to spend, which ruled out leather and, as I don’t do plastic shoes, meant I was looking for textile. In the end I found these from Asos (glitter!):
The shoes themselves are obnoxiously glittery, they’re definitely not a classy shoe, but they are a lot of fun. I can’t take the insole out to show you, but they are just completely flat on the inside. Despite the chunky sole, they are not too heavy (heaviness was a big concern with these) but they don’t have a lot of flex. During the gig, I had the usual complaints from the potato-ankle about wearing too-flat shoes, especially as I was having an arthritis flare up on the day. But to be honest, they weren’t too bad. The gig was really good, and the extra bit of height allowed me to take some good pictures:
It was on the way home, however, that I started to feel the ache; a few hours in and walking up and down steps on the underground, and the weight of them was beginning to take its toll:
But it wasn’t until I had to walk home from my train station that I really noticed my ankle was struggling. I live at the top of a steep hill — my station is at the bottom of it. The flatform sole is quite rigid and, to walk up the hill, my ankle had to work REALLY hard to compensate for the lack of flex in the foot region, so hard that I had to side-step some of the way, which only happens when my ankle is at its worst. The next morning, my ankle made sure I knew it was still unhappy, which, coupled with the incessant damp and cold of London this April, gave me a tough, sore day.
So, my verdict: if you are short and live right next to a gig venue, these are the shoes for you (maybe you could get away with them in you lived somewhere very flat) because they are pretty awesome, but otherwise, sadly, they are really hard work, especially if your arthritis is flaring up, which is a pity because I liked being really tall at a gig for once. Flatforms and arthritis just don’t mix.