Thursday, October 24, 2013

If the Shoe Fits, Get It!

I mentioned in the last post that I had a shoe story coming. Yep.

For a gift a couple weeks ago I got some of the cutest  boots ever. Just too cute. See?

Bad pic. The boots are not gold, but dark tan.

Problem is, the heels are about 4 1/2 inches high and I felt like I was drunk and on stilts. I could walk in them but only if I kept shooting my arms out for balance and wasn't required to move in anything like a straight line. On the plus side, my sister had the best laugh she's had since our recent family tragedy. She laughed so hard I thought she was going to vomit. I admit I was a little comical, but didn't think I was all that funny.

Those gorgeous boots went back to Burlington. Since I felt bad having to return a gift, I decided to do an exchange. I mean, it is winter now and I do need boots, right? This way, I was spending no money of my own. Thing is, I can no longer get away with wearing just any kind of footwear. Back in the day, I could cram my feet into any kind of shoe or boot and strut my butt off. I hit 45 and my feet got all snobby about what's comfortable. Then, at 50, Sarc hit me and my whole body got an attitude. Until a few months ago, I got nervous if the soles on my tennis shoes were too thick. Currently, I need something made well and most likely not of man-made materials.  I can finally do heels again - if they aren't outrageous.

Just like the man I want: warm, cute, safe.
I have no idea why classic looks don't stay in fashion for the average consumer. So many of the shoes and boots I saw at the stores around my town looked like they belonged in specialty catalogs for someone dancing off a pole or just trying to spice up their sex life - or maybe just for folks with really awful tastes. And with no fear of heights. This is Anchorage. In Alaska.  We have a lot of ice and snow for most of the year. I'm not really out to impress anyone but myself. I saw too many styles that made no sense at this point in my life.
Cute, cute, cute. But insane!

"You better work, girl."

Where's the rest of it???

"Then I'm going to tie you up..."

I look at some of those shoes and wish I'd lived a little faster when I was younger! Hah.

Guess what? Most shoes, cheap, mid- or high-priced, are made of materials labeled as "man-made," plastic/pvc or "faux-" something. I went through both Burlington stores before I found 3 pairs of boots that qualified as leather, well-made, and (in my book) cute. I even had to put back a super-sweet pair of designer-named boots because I saw that, despite the steep price, the man-made label kicked them off my list. Damn.

I ended up with... Vera Wang, baby. On sale for less than the shoes I got as a gift. Score. And, seriously, it matters not too much to me that the boots are by V.W.; I just love that they are leather, cute and comfy. Triple score. The label does indicate good quality. I like that. The ones I got are called "Emmanuel" and very similar to these, except the top buckle is higher up on mine. Sturdy, cute and very durable.

No matter who's on the label, these are Alaska-worthy.
Anyway, since I came out a little ahead of the game (and I had a little PFD left from bills), I went ahead and gifted myself with this pair of Fergie boots. I'm now officially a fan of the footwear line. So damn cute that when I'm strutting around in them, I forget I still have over 20 pounds to lose! Except for one thing, I actually like them better than the V.W.s

"Giddy-up" +J.D. Hughes & Marla would be proud!

Freaking cute!

Of course, that's not the end of this story. (This is me we're talking about.) Girl met boots and they fell in love, but didn't exactly live happily ever after.

My Fergies and I needed a little post-purchase adjustment period. Literally. I fell instantly in love with these boots, but the store only had one pair left. In size 7 1/2. I used to fit that size. Back before my freaking "growth spurt." I'm not sure if I am a full size 8 or not, but I had to shoe-horn the hell out of the Fergies until I could walk without pimping, crimping and making all kinds of crazy faces. It's all good now.

By the way, just in case you didn't know, there are ways to get a tight pair of (leather) shoes/boots to fit better:

  • With a couple pairs of socks on each foot, cram into the footwear and run warm dryer over the tight area while wriggling your foot around. (I could barely get my bare foot in my boots, so I crammed in some old towels instead.)
  • Stuff the footwear with damp towels or paper and let sit overnight. (I didn't want to use this method because I was afraid of my lighter-colored leather being affected. I suppose you can just work with dry materials and let sit for a couple days.)
  • Use a shoe-horn to gradually stretch out the footwear. When you can wear the shoes or boots without being in too much pain, walk around the house in them until you break them in.
Such a pain in the butt, huh? I don't care. I kept the other couple pairs of shoes and boots I own and just pretty much tossed out my other old  dressier type footwear. I'm going to be wearing the soles off the few pairs of shoes and boots I still own. Quality is still preferable to quantity.