A Shoe Story

June 15, 2010
Every pair of shoes has a story to tell. My history is not that of a shoe obsessed diva. I could have gone there but my feet won’t allow it. I often wonder if my feet have a recessive “duck” gene. Where all the cute shoes taper in, my little duck toes taper out. 
In a fit of pain years ago I made a pledge to myself not to wear shoes that hurt. Now I hunt and hunt and hunt and when I find a pair that fits my little heart goes pitter pat. I buy them and wear them and wear them and wear them and wear them. Because it is so hard to find shoes that fit I have included shoes as part of my “underwear.” In other words, they are the boring blank canvas over which the cute stuff goes. Winter is black shoes, pants, shirt – and a really cool jacket. I have a black pair of clogs for winter, black boots for church, and black sandals for summer. I have cute  black flats for when I know the summer AC will chill my tootsies. I did keep one pair of pointier dressy sandals for emergency situations. Sigh.
It’s not too bad. I make up for the lack of shoe cuteness with funky jackets. 
Oh, and my purple and lime green glasses. 
Photo by Julia Wade
And my artist-made-earring addiction.
My latest favorites – by Blue Bus Studio
But now – I think my life is about to change! I’ve found a brand (NAOT) that fits most of the time. A pair of their clogs made my feet smile for the first time in a long time. They have a removable cork footbed – comfy for walking. Replaceable so even with almost daily wear for the past three years they are still holding up.
But the poor things have been through a lot. They started out a nice subdued olive green. A couple years ago I was teaching at IQF in Houston and decided my feet needed comfy clogs instead of the dressy boots for the day of teaching but the green didn’t match my outfit. No problem. I was teaching a painting class so…. they acquired a nice coat of black textile paint. They lived as black clogs for the next year but even with touch-ups they started looking shabby.
Not any more.
Makeover number three has turned these drab little girls into DIVAS in the first degree!
Curious? Want to see the whole thing? Want to know how to transform your favorite thrift store find or your most comfy ratty pair ever? Come back on the 17th and I’ll show you how.
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  • Reply
    June 16, 2010 at 11:41 am

    I never know what I'll find on your blog! I love it! I too find it difficult to find good shoes. Yesterday I wore my most uncomfortable pairs for a job interview…ouch! I tend to always go back to my crocs, not very stylish, but sooo many colors. (I have a lot of different colors). I can't wait for the tutorial. I never seem to throw out the more "grown-up" shoes and have a couple of old pairs of clogs that would be fun to renew and cover up some old paint drips. Thank you for all of the inspiration!

  • Reply
    Ruth Anne Olson
    June 16, 2010 at 12:00 am

    I, too, have opted for comfort, but I also want style. I attain both by buying good shoes shoes at a local independent shop (but try to buy on sale), Trudy's in Guilford, CT. I have one of the same shoes as you: the one with the spiral. Mine are blue with a black spiral. I never wear them without someone telling me how much they like my shoes. I love them.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    I too love great shoes. I sew many of my clothes to have uniquely fun things to wear, plus I can't afford to buy most of the clothes I like. I love Alabama Chanin, but $400 for a t-shirt is out of my price range, much less $1200 for a skirt. I can make them for a few dollars, but I make up the savings in a few good pairs of shoes. I have one that I HIGHLY recommend: El Naturalista's. they are Spanish, hand made shoes that are so comfortable to wear. Right now, I am having problems with my pelvis rotating out of position and my Dansko's are causing me sciatic pain, so the Naturalista's are what's comfortable to wear. They aren't cheap, but very well made, very comfortable, and fun and funky. You can google them and I found some on sale at Eastern Mountain sports for a good price. I have two pair and love them both. They are kind of cloggy mary jane's. Good luck,
    Also, I am in the fiber transformed group, just joined, so have heard about you through Mary Beth. If you come up, would love to meet you. I have also enjoyed your book. Really fun and helpful. I started working my way through it, but then got caught up in end of school activities and a design class at a local college.


  • Reply
    Jane LaFazio
    June 15, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    ah, you led me along and now I can't wait for your tutorial! waay fun. I only wear black or red shoes, and have yet to paint them..hmm. maybe that's in my future. And cute pic of you and your glasses and Husb?

  • Reply
    June 15, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Those are beautiful!!!

  • Reply
    June 15, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    ah yes – well fitting shoes are expensive. BUT… keep your eyes here. You can find the uglier colors for less on Ebay once you know which style and size fit and then….
    follow the upcoming tutorial and make them unique!

  • Reply
    Diane Wright
    June 15, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    OMG! I could have written this blog! except for the painting clog bit. When mine are painted it's accidentally…maybe in the future they won't. I'm wearing an ancient pair of Keens at the moment that I can't find a replacement for…maybe NAOT's are in my future….I'm off to Zappos.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Ohh! Me too! I keep on commenting that perhaps the reason I can swim so well is because I have wide feet. When I find shoes that fit, I usually buy at least two pairs of them…and often one in every color. No, I don't have a closet full of shoes, that goes to show you how hard they are to fit. Where once I was a shoe diva (before pregnancies) I now detest buying shoes because it is soo heart rending…those very cute shoes which don't fit on MY feet. I just wish NAOTs weren't so danged expensive…you want more than just two pairs!

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