When I started having problems with my feet – to the point that I went to consult a podiatrist about possible bunions! – I stumbled upon Kirsten @ Barking Dog Shoes. She and her site was a valuable source for women in my similar predicament, and I immediately subscribed to her blog so I’d get updates of her shoe reviews.
But then, my podiatrist informed me that I wasn’t a bunionectomy candidate – far from it, in fact; I just had wide feet – and I latched onto this placebo pronouncement like a drowning diva clutching her favorite Ferragamos. I convinced myself that pain was relative, continued to shove my protesting tootsies into 6 inches of hell, and justified my potentially disastrous choice with this bit of info, the results of which told me I could handle 5-6 inches of height anyway. I also started deleting Kirsten’s posts without reading them, thinking them irrelevant anymore.
And then I turned 40. I found myself drawn to newer silhouettes that didn’t require sky-high heels. I began what is now a pretty extensive oxford shoe collection. I vowed to buy Chucks in all the colors of the rainbow so I’d have more choices. My foldable travel flats became my best friends. And I started to pay closer attention once again to Kirsten’s reviews.
What troubled me, however, is the lack of cuteness and variety in these sensible shoes. They all looked a bit granola or orthopedic to me (and I use these terms objectively as those utilized by the general public and not as a slur to the manufacturers, designers or consumers of said shoes. Hey, I went to UCBerkely; I used to own Birkenstocks!)
I also worried about how much these shoes were running, even the sandals! Seems the price of comfort starts at the triple-digit mark. After last week’s pain-riddled realization, though, I may just be willing to fork over some serious moolah and consider footwear as investments from now on rather than disposable accessories.
I present to you, then, my 5 most probable options from Kirsten’s most recent reviews. I say “most probable options” because these are shoes I’d be willing to own based on looks, if not price points. This doesn’t mean I’m gonna; just means I’m thinking on it. But kudos to Kirsten for doing all the legwork for me. She even provides multiple shopping links for the anti-brick-and-mortar shopping like me.
2. Clark’s Caslynn Lizzie – I might just be seduced by the color? Or is it really as cute as I think?
3. OTBT Gearheart – This is the most “granola” of the bunch, but I think the laser-cut perforations make it more festival flair rather than hippie ho-hum.
4. Khrio Gabby – I’m intrigued by the heel and the stitching on the vamp. And don’t you think that color is to die for?
5. Hotter Donna (the linked review is for the loafer, but I think it might be pertinent to the Donna as well since it’s by the same manufacturer) – This is less a sandal and more a shoe, of course, but I had to include it because of my current obsession with vintage-y looks.
What say you, my friends? Would you take the plunge? Shoes as investments over shoes as accessories? Or is there a middle ground?
Oh, yeah! And before I have to surrender my Geek card for not remembering…