Sunday, 7 April 2013

Shoe-shopping sucks, Carrie Bradshaw can bite me.

This post is for the women who don't care about shoes. This post is for the women who cannot walk in heels. This post is for women who see shoe-shopping as a hideous chore rather an orgasm-inducing joy, as seen on Sex and the City. And this post is for women who have crap feet like mine (see the picture, yes they really are my feet...) and no amount of surgery, physiotherapy, bribery or alcohol will make owning six-inch Jimmy Choos possible.

Like most women, I like to make an attempt at looking presentable when I leave the house. I don't think I am some sort of anti-feminist turncoat if I wear make-up or fishnet stockings (they create the illusion that I might have calves, cut me some freakin' slack...). But fashion doesn't rule my life and shopping for shoes is only done when absolutely essential.

When I need shoes, they are usually ballet flats from Sainsburys that cost a tenner, trainers or sandals. I have a pair of boots I bought to wear to Detroit four years ago that I have just had resoled because they are so damn comfortable. This is less traumatic than buying a new pair. Also, I cannot buy shoes online. I am the woman you will find rocking back and forth in the corner of the shoe shop unable to stop crying because nothing fits properly. With two club feet, one with a missing bone for good measure, you need to stand, walk, run, jump and dance in shoes without wincing before a purchase can be made.

Which brings me to today's debacle.

I must buy silver shoes to wear to be a bridesmaid in September. Yes, I know that is months away but with two club feet that have been surgically rebuilt 13 times, this is not something I should leave to the last minute. I happened to be in Oxford Street today so while I was there, I ducked into a few shoe stores. I wasn't planning on buying anything, I thought I'd just see what's out there.

Good grief. What madness is going on in women's shoe departments? There were plenty of cute flats and brogues, of which I completely approve, but I'd like something a tad dressier for bridesmaid duties. I need something in silver. With just a little heel, nothing towering, just enough to make me look a teeny bit taller than my five feet and one inch of rantiness. And a strap around the ankle would be nice to stop me walking out of the shoes as I walk up the aisle.

Did I find anything remotely relevant? Like hell.

Exhibit A: Plastic flip-flops for 30 quid. They were Ted Baker plastic flip-flops. I don't care. In my native Australia, they are called thongs, they're made of rubber and you used to buy them for a couple of bucks in supermarkets before Havianas happened.

Exhibit B: The horrendous return of cork wedges. People who were clearly born in the 90s were picking these up and seriously considering them without a trace of irony. They look like noticeboards. Can these children not see this?

Exhibit C: An especally vile pair in that boring beige colour Kate Middleton enjoys so much. But they had a platform-type thing under the foot that melded into the heel so it was a big, nasty chunk of Band-Aid coloured awfulness. They looked like the rejects from an artificial limb factory.

Exhibit D: Perspex heels. I have no more words here.

Exhibit E: Ker-razy colours. Now, I am not so shoe-illiterate that I don't appreciate a friskily coloured shoe. While red is as adventurous as I ever get, I understand that a shoe in yellow, lime green, orange or puce is amusing. But in between Josephine and her Technicolor Dream Shoes, can we have maybe a few more pairs in colours like black. I know. What a novel idea.

Exhibit F: Insanely high heels everywhere. If shoes weren't flat, they were sky-high. There is no middle ground here. If, like me, you resemble a newborn foal while trying to walk in heels, this limits your choices. Apparently, kitten heels have gone out of fashion. I do not care if kitten heels are naff. I want them back in shops now.

Alarmingly, however, the only person I have seen wearing kitten heels of late is Home Secretary, Theresa May. Oh Christ, I am now channelling Theresa May when I go shoe-shopping. Help me...


  1. Oh god, I feel your pain. I hate buying shoes (and clothes for that matter). I went through a phase of wearing skyscraper heels but now am back to flats and boots and trying to buy new ones is awful.

    All the boots are so skinny I can barely get them over my ankles even though my legs are actually kind of normal sized and the flats are so flimsy that they wear out after two months of walking less than a mile to the tube. The fat-calved fallback of Duo are just too mumsy.

  2. As your mother I totally agree with everything you have written.
    I see so many females trying to walk in hideous shoes but they will be slaves to fashion.
    Podiatrists, knee, ankle and hip surgeons have a guaranteed income forever due to the damage caused by stupid shoes.

  3. It's not just women who have problems buying shoes! I think I have fairly normal feet but any attempt to buy shoes is a nightmare outing - last year I spent three hours in a large shopping centre and couldn't find a pair that I could even get my feet into! The current trend for long pointy men's shoes is a nightmare... For years in the UK, I used to wear espadrilles because they were comfortable but I suspect they may have caused longterm damage. In fact, the only pair of shoes I've ever had as an adult that were supremely comfortable were a pair of bright red brigies that I bought from an Oxfam shop as a student! Maybe the Dutch have something and we should all be in clogs...