Like a bat out of hell

Not only is Halloween upon us but it’s mid-season sale time too, and we can all indulge our inner goth, which can be hard to pull off if you need ‘sensible’ shoes, as it tends to involve pointy shoes or heavy, clunky boots. Neither of which are good on sore bones. Despite the fact that I am now more sloth than goth, I do like a bit of rock chic… a bit grungey and rough, even if I now feel most gigs go on beyond what I deem as a sensible bedtime.

I therefore really like some of Zadig and Voltaire’s range — not all of it, I think a lot of it is overpriced tat that’s been made very cheaply in china, but the shoes are a good bet — and I had my eye on these boots that just went into the sale:

Zadig and Voltaire boots £166 (from £415)

What a total bargain, and skulls over the back! It would have been rude not to, and I think many people thought the same and they’re now all sold out, but there are, at time of writing, a few of the more-expensive leather (rather than all-nubuck) version here.

Another shop that I occasionally dip into is The Kooples. I do like many of their designs, like Zadig and Voltaire, they often have really good prints, but a lot of it is overpriced and in unforgiving cuts, but I have also found some star pieces and they’re worth watching in the sale. These shoes are in the sale, and I love the studs and iconography:

Kooples loafer: £166.50 (reduced from £238)

Isabel Marant is not a brand I particularly associate with rock chic, but these zebra boots from The Outnet are really cool:

Isabel Marant boots: £258.75 (from £575)

They also come in plain black if the zebra print is a bit much…

These are all, of course, still expensive shoes. On the highstreet, the mid-season sale is mainly embracing old summer stock rather than the studded boots; however ASOS have the Chloe-esque studded western boots at a reasonable price (they’re not leather though):

ASOS truffle boots: £35 (from £56)

and while these are not in the sale, they are a steal at the price, the instafamous Deichmann buckle boots:

Deichmann buckle boot: £34.99


Again they’re not leather, they’re far too cheap to be leather. If this is a deal breaker for you, Office have a leather version:

Office academic buckle boots: £88

Accessorise with your Halloween costume of choice (it’s gone very Harry Potter in ShoesLifeBlog towers this year) and you’re good to go…



How to fix a bad (shoe) relationship

Despite the fact I moan a lot on here about slippery soles on winter footwear and dedicate (too much, frankly) time to seeking out the boots with the best traction, in order that my unstable joints don’t have me on the floor, sometimes you do something stupid, like fall for a bad’un.

I recently ordered these seemingly perfect boots from & Other Stories online, and when they came I was dismayed to find they had been designed with a zero-friction sole (because slipping over is in this season?), but I decided to keep them anyway, because let’s face it, they look awesome, the leather is super soft and comfortable, and I REALLY like them, and let’s be honest, returning stuff bought online is a pain.

OtherStories buckle boots: £155

I really needed a new pair of boots because all my old ones (bar one pair, which aren’t very comfy because the heel is a teensy bit high) have leather soles, and when it’s lashing with rain and I know I’m going to be out, I just don’t want to have that wet-sole feeling with me all day. There are a lot of chunky-heeled boots around this autumn, as I mentioned here, but my arthritis is making its seasonal impact, so I needed comfort, and I also needed a pair of boots that visually kicked ass, because sometimes that’s just what you need to get you through the day, and these boots filled those criteria.

So, the soles on these don’t even have a few indentations for grip, they are super smooth and shiny:


I’m not really sure why the shoe designers do this, maybe they only want perfect legs wearing their shoes, but it’s bloody annoying.

Fortunately, shoes can change quite easily: I decided to keep the boots and have them re-soled locally, and I’m so very glad I did. It wasn’t expensive (about a tenner) and they’re a million times better than before, I’ve worn them on slippery station concourses on rainy days and been super secure. So, footwear manufacturers, up your bloody game! Until they do, find a good cobbler and have them on speed dial, they are heroes without capes.

Incidentally, these boots look amazing with pleated skirts, and I have received so many compliments about this velvet one from M&S (including random people in the street, which is always nice!). The gold colour is great for autumn, but I am also a little enamoured by the red:

M&S velvet pleated skirt: £35

I usually just pop on a navy jumper (Boden cashmere is my go-to favourite) and I’m good to go.

Friday lust loafers

Just a quick post as I seem to be super busy at the moment but I saw these and my heart leapt… now, I am not a big fan of loafers on myself, though I love them on other people. On me they always seem like I am trying to dress smart; other people they seem to be able to pull off the casual loafer look, but I always look a bit wrong.

However, I am quite tempted to buy these shoes and try to nail that loafer chic look that I see on other people. I love the smartness, I love the unusual handkerchief detail: they look a bit Gucci without the price tag:

Uterque loafer: £120

I really like the quality of Uterque’s shoes, and they fit well, but I am not sure I can afford them this month (I am also very temped by the tiger t-shirt, although that is a lot to pay for a t-shirt):

Uterque tiger t-shirt: £68

I might just wait until pay-day and hope they don’t sell out before then…

Built for comfort

It’s always around this time of year (late September, early October) that I get into a massive funk about having arthritis, and I lose inspiration, so I haven’t been posting that much as of late. The reason for this is because at this time, loads of beautiful ankle boots hit the shops, and & Other Stories have a really good selection of reasonably priced chunky-heeled boots that I really like and would normally be racing to buy:

&otherstories patent leather boot: £125
&otherstories pearl suede boot: £125
&otherstories: blue velvet boot: £110
&otherstories silver lurex boot: £95

However, it’s also about this time of year that my arthritis starts playing up, and I think it’s because as the cooler weather hits, I am not so used to warding it off, so I don’t wear socks and I don’t make allowances for it, and most days I wake up stiff, sore and grumpy.  I know that there’s no way I’ll be wearing a heel of that height during this time of year, despite the chunkiness of the heel and how lovely the boots are.

So for ultimate comfort factor, I think the Clarks Trigenic range currently offer the best on the high street, and I really like these Trigenic Lily trainers:

Clarks trigenic Lily: £69

They are a trainer, but their wool upper and minimalist styling are very scandi, and you could wear these with simple but smart monochrome clothes, with some statement earrings or a necklace, and not look like you’re dressing for comfort:

Weekday top: £35.  Weekday trousers: £45. Finery earrings: £19
Mango earrings: £12.99. Whistles jumpsuit: £169
otherstories necklace: £35. Otherstories backpack: £115. Toast cashmere dress: £170

Of course you can also go down the atheleisure route with these shoes too, maybe mix the textures up a bit with a velvet hoodie:

Zara velvet hoodie: £17.99

The shoes are versatile, which is important when you are restricted in what you wear because you often end up wearing the same shoes on a daily basis, and it’s easy to get in a rut and bored with how you look.

If you’re not sore, however, the & Other stories boots are definitely worth a look!