What not to wear, but sod it, wear them anyway

It’s a rare moment in Shoeslifeblog towers that I sit back and think to myself, ‘well, I seem to have enough shoes at the moment, I do not wish to buy anything right now’. However, recently, that’s how I have been feeling, and I think the reason for this is that, although there are many beautiful shoes around at the moment, they’re not particularly good for dodgy feet. They mainly fall into these categories:

  • backless loafers
  • backless slides and mules
  • ballet pumps
  • strappy sandals that wrap round your ankle

The first two are everywhere, and in so many tempting designs, like these lobster shoes from Kurt Geiger. These would look great with a casual t-shirt and pair of jeans. Oh, how I have been tempted:

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KG otter loafers: £130

The problem with backless shoes is that in order to not kick them off when you walk, you have to arch your feet, and this movement will exacerbate any bone issues you may have in the foot. I do wear backless birkenstocks in the summer, but I’ve come to realise that there are better shoes out there for walking, but the moulded, rigid foot-bed on birkenstocks does a lot to keep your feet supported and prevent arching, so if they work for you, stick with them. Free People have this lovely metallic pair I’ve been eyeing up but there are much cheaper ones available on the birkenstock website and other outlets:

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Arizona Birkenstocks: £118

An alternative to the backless loafer is, of course, the non-backless, and I do like the lightening bolt and lobster design on these from Mango, but let’s be honest, they’re not as nice as the Kurt Geiger ones (though half the price, they look it):

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Mango loafers: £59.99

Also from Mango, I really like, but have no intention of buying because I know I will be kicking them off all over the pavement, these pompom slides:

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Mango pompom slides: £49.99

They won’t break the bank and really go with the boho–pompom trend that shows no sign of going away. Even if you don’t feel comfortable in a floaty dress made of fabric wisps and embroidery (my boobs can’t do this sort of dress, having a bra ruins the effect), your feet can get in on the boho act:

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Freepeople boho dress: £88. My boobs are laughing…

Ballet pumps are the next big no-no. People assume that, because they’re flat they must be good for people who can’t wear heels. However, if you can’t wear heels because your foot bones are not quite right, ballet shoes are not your friend because they’re so unsupportive. Any kind of pavement-pounding distance means your joints have to be really stable to avoid any over- or under-pronation. The soles are also very thin because of the lack of shock-absorption in the sole and so the cartilage in your joints has to take all the shock (and if you don’t have the cartilage, the bone is taking that shock). They do, however, look very simple and pretty, and they go with anything, so if you know you’re not doing a lot of moving about, or you’re on grass they’re not a terrible idea. Zara has some nice ballet pumps at the moment, I love the interchangeable ribbons (if you can find out how to try them on; this is a real bugbear I have with Zara. Am I supposed to sit on the floor? I can’t just stand on one leg, I will fall over):

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Zara leather ballet pumps: £29.99

And Asos always has a good selection. I like these Charlotte Olympia copies inspired ballet pumps:

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Asos Lexa ballet pumpsLexa ballet pumps: £25

The opposite problem to having backless shoes is having too much back. It’s not that I can’t have shoes that go around the ankle, but when it’s the only thing keeping the shoe on your feet it puts a lot of strain on the ankle joint. So, these beautiful Boden sandals, that are just so pretty it hurts, are off-limits to me (Boden shoes not being that comfortable to start with, they are narrow):

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Boden tassel sandal: £85

And likewise these Kurt Geiger shoes, that look like they have celebratory bunting:

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KG Raphy: £65

The most supportive shape is to have straps across the shoe too,  like on these beautifully simple Cara sandals:

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Apedi cara: £80

But the caveat is that the straps around the ankle can’t be too tight, in order to give some movement. This is harder with shoes like espadriles or laced ballet shoes, where the ribbon is supposed to criss-cross up the leg rather than pool around the ankle:

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Zara espadrilles: £45.99
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Mango velvet sandals: £19.99

It’s not that any of these shoes are off-limits or will damage your feet, you just have to be aware that you might not find them as comfortable as people without foot problems. I certainly have been disappointed by people raving about the comfort factor of a pair of shoes, only to find them lacking support and hurting my feet. I think you have to factor that in the price, because you’re not going to enjoy wearing them as much (though for the Mango velvet sandals, at £20 these are a bargain!).

 

 

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Pink and red

Most people hate January, which I understand, but for me February is the worst. The only good thing about it is that it’s short. January is at least filled with good intentions, but February is the back end of winter that just seems to keep its frosted fingers tightly gripped. I’m bored with winter. I’m bored with boots. I’m bored with sludgey colours. All I seem to wear is black, grey and navy on repeat (apart from the days I break ranks and throw on my pink skirt, which I regret when I am standing bare-legged in a sleety playground).

So, I’ve really inspired by these colours from Zara: bright fuchsias and reds together; it’s clashing and bright and wonderful

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Zara fuchsia trousers: £39.99

Unfortunately, Zara trousers don’t fit my body shape. I find them too big on the waist and too tight on the hip. These red ones were also on my to try-on-and-be-disappointed list:

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Zara chino: £29.99

Similarly, these from Next are the wrong shape for me (I don’t fit cigarette trousers very well as my thighs are not cigarettey), but they were really nice fabric and perfect length (and they come in long and petite):

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Next cigarette trousers: £30

I have taken to checking the few places I know I can get good trouser action (Banana Republic mostly, which is never exactly trail blazing) every few hours to see whether they have uploaded some red or pink beauties… the answer is no. I don’t understand how hard it can be to find red trousers, Monsieur Henri de Pantalon Rouge has a whole blog dedicated to posh boys wearing them.

So, my lamenting naturally takes me to admiring shoes (it doesn’t matter what shape your thighs are for shoes), and Topshop has some beautiful colourful loafers. Nicely flat and with nice matte (and therefore grippy) soles for anyone with stability issues (physical stability that is, but the colour also helps my February-induced emotional stability):

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Topshop karter loafer: £65

And although not the bright fuchsia that is making me so happy, I do like the pretty pale pink too:

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Topshop karter loafer: £62

The Topshop shoes that are really making me happy, however, are these:

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Topshop gina V-cut flare block heel: £56

Yes, I know, I can’t wear these, they are too high, but they are the most anti-February shoe ever! Fuchsia leopard shoes with a nod to the 80s just begging to be taken to a party with a pair of jeans. I just wish they were a bit lower. So I am just going to stare at these and smile every time my search for the perfect pair of red trousers and fuchsia jumper combo leads me to another dead-end: shoe therapy indeed.

TFI Black Friday

Black Friday is almost here again, the day when prices are slashed and you’re wondering how you could live without a 24-pack of Sharpies now they have 75% off. Thus I think you have to be careful not to go mental and buy everything that seems like a bargain, or else you can end up spending a lot of money.

So, I’m only going to be tempted by things I have had my eye on anyway (at least that’s the plan). I have had my eye very much on these loafers from Rogue shoes (a company I’ve admired before):

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Rogue loafers in Cosmic Black: £165

They’re so pretty! I love the metallic splashes and the chunky heel. I’ve never been a big fan of loafers, I prefer to lace up, but these are so lovely, I can imagine wearing these to work, and with jeans at the weekend. They are also perfect party shoes! I love them.

However, there is a problem… they also come in red:

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Rogues loafers in Cosmic Red: £165

Which to choose?! The black would go with more things, but the red is awesome (I love red shoes) and maybe I don’t need to buy more black shoes. They also come in a gold and mint green colourway, which is nice but green doesn’t really go with my wardrobe.

They are also quite expensive (but not poor value — I love my Rogue shoes, and they are worth every penny), but thanks to Black Friday you can get 20% off full price styles with the code: BLACKFRIDAY, saving £33! Woo! Suddenly, they are within the realms of ownable!

Incidentally, while we are covering bargains, these are not eligible for the Black Friday discount but are already a total bargain in the sale:

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Pomme gris: £99 (reduced from £185)

I love the pompoms, they are super cute! These would also make excellent party shoes for the festive season!

There will be lots of Black Friday deals on, I know Converse are doing a 20% off tomorrow with the code THANKS20, but if there’s anything else I find particularly interesting I will try to blog it.

 

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Skint-mas

Christmas is coming, and my bank balance isn’t getting fat. This time of year is always expensive, and not just because of Christmas — I have a lot of family birthdays around now, but also people need to invest in winter clothes at this time of year. Maybe a new coat, maybe some more jumpers or warm boots. Winter things are thicker, larger, woollier, and as such I always find myself trying to be a little more frugal.

My old pair of brogues are wearing out, and I although I want to save up for a really lovely pair of Grenson shoes, I feel they may fall apart before that happens.

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LUST! Grenson Martha: £205

So, I wanted to set myself a pre-Christmas shoe challenge: could I find a decent pair of leather shoes that I could wear to work, non-sale (so other people could easily find their size), for under £50? Well, I think I have.

OK, so these guys are no Marthas, but the ASOS Mai leather brogues are an attractive shoe and a total steal at £35:

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ASOS Mai: £35

They also come in black, grey and my other favourite, tan:

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ASOS Mai: £35

Although these are more expensive, I am also very taken with these loafers, the burgundy is a lovely colour:

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ASOS Manning: £50

I also really like these loafers from M&S, they are almost verging on boring school-shoes, but the orange rim around the comfortable-looking sole saves them:

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M&S loafers: £45

I usually get my brogues from Clarks, but these year I have not been that impressed with the selection. I talked about these gold ones a few months ago, and I was expecting more brogues to come out so I could do a feature, but that just hasn’t happened… the gold ones get an honourable mention, as they definitely could be partied in, but the rest of them are just a bit boring. At £60, they would certainly make me think twice at this time of year:

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Clarks Hamble Oak gold: £60

So, I final shout out to some trainers, because I can’t help myself. I try to look at smart shoes, but get drawn by the dark, casual, not-giving-a-**** side. These are leopard, leather and really nice, and probably my favourite out of all of the shoes here:

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M&S leather lace-up trainers: £49.50

Hopefully, that can tide everyone over until pay-day!