I have been talking about buying myself a pair of Grenson shoes for a long time, but had never quite gotten round to talking the plunge. Although they are really beautiful, they’re also really expensive and to be honest, I couldn’t quite justify buying myself a pair of super-fantastic brogues, when Clarks do a reasonable brogue for a fraction of the price. Sometimes, because money is not an infinite resource (unless you’re a government trying to buy your way into staying in power), ‘that’ll do’ has to take precedence until a combination of factors force you to go the extra mile. This summer, I passed the Grenson event horizon, and the factors that pushed me over was a damn fine sale and the comedian Susan Calman.
Susan Calman was touring this summer (and there are tour dates in the autumn), and I had seen her a few times on television. However, last year I randomly got tickets to be in the audience for a panel show she was on, and she was naturally very funny with an eye for the ridiculous (and quite competitive, which I admire!)
So when a friend asked me whether I wanted to go and see Calman’s stand-up show, I jumped at the chance. The first thing I really liked about Susan Calman is how nice she is. I have been to lots of comedy shows before and my first rule is to never sit on the front row, because you will get picked on, and secondly, never ever be late, because you will be destroyed by that acerbic wit you admire so much. Susan Calman actually told us to be nice to latecomers, because you know it’s actually perfectly reasonable for a journey not to go as planned, and she had a section in her show actually encouraging us to be kind. She was very funny and didn’t have to resort to being horrible to people. Yay!
The second thing I really liked about her was her honesty. On the day of her show, the UK Conservative government had made a deal with the Northern Irish DUP, a party that holds some, to my mind, abhorrent views, not least that homosexuality was an ‘abomination’. Given that Susan Calman is gay, she got genuinely very upset about it, and she talked about it in her show, bringing her close to tears. If I knew talking about something would make me cry in front of a large audience of people I didn’t know, I would not dream of talking about it. So I have a massive amount of respect for her, she’s very brave.
The third thing I noticed about Susan Calman was that she was wearing some lovely yellow shoes, even from the back row from where I was sitting. I had a hunch they might be Grensons, and was thinking about them all of the following day (you know when you get a crush on shoes? No? Just me is it?) so I got my friend to ask her on twitter and the confirmation came about the same time that the Grenson sale started… coincidence? Yes, but a happy one, and I got to shopping.
While Susan Calman’s amazing shoes were not in the sale, I think these are most like them in terms of style:
Many of the brogue styles were not available in my size; however, Grenson do a nice line in trainers, and I really loved these blue suede shoes:
They come in a wider F fitting, which is good for arthritis; however, being narrow of foot I went for these shoes, which have a D fitting — a little bit derby, a little bit trainer, all lovely:
I have had these shoes for a few weeks now, but I have been unable to wear them because it’s been so hot, but fortunately the good old British weather did what it does best, and promptly went cold and rainy for no reason.
These shoes are REALLY comfortable. I went to London in them without breaking them in, and there was no rubbing, discomfort or blistering, and they look really nice.
I have a lot of very girly, 50s-style skirts, and these boyish shoes are the perfect contrast:
So there we are, Grenson shoes are definitely worth splashing out on, and you should definitely see Susan Calman if you have the opportunity, not least because you may find some shoe inspiration.