Thursday, August 23, 2007

My life in footwear

Jelly had an interesting post the other day about her favorite shoes. It was so much fun to read and to look at her photos. She suggested that others do a similar post. At first I thought I'd be the wrong person to do this - my favorite footwear is very practical, either lace ups or slippers. But as I started looking around in my closets, I thought I'd do a footwear retrospective. Here goes.

Boring stuff first, my black all purpose lace ups. I would wear these shoes most days except in summer. Obviously I don't wear skirts or dresses very often. Number one consideration for me is that my feet are comfortable. I had enough years of wearing stupid high heels which are bad for your feet and back.
When I'm at home I am usually to be found in the latest incarnation of my beloved red velvet slippers. When I was working I would sometimes celebrate my days off by having a Slipper Day, when I would stay at home the entire day and not put on street shoes. Wearing my slippers all day meant that I was having a real day off.

For the rare occasion when fancier shoes are called for, I wear these low heeled shoes on the right. They are getting old and rather loose now, so I think it's time for me to replace the sheeps wool inserts. These inserts caused a bit of interest the last time I went through a security check at the airport - I think the security guard was wishing she had a pair for herself. They keep your feet cool in summer and warm in winter. The white loafers on the left are winners as they are made in the Indian moccasin style so can be worn without nylons and allow the feet to breathe.

When I can be bothered to put them on, I wear these ancient clogs when I take the wash out to the clothesline. I bought them in Germany in the 1960s when clogs were all the rage.

Up at our bush block I wear gum boots - keeps the mosquitoes away from the ankles, keeps the feet and legs warm as well as dry.

For special event footwear, here are my wedding boots which went beautifully with the ethnic influenced dress my sister made for me.

While I was looking for those boots and panicking that I might have thrown them out, I came across my folk dance shoes, which I had forgotten all about. When I was at uni I spent a lot of time folk dancing. These shoes are from what used to be called Yugoslavia. That was some tough leather to take all that use, but they were comfortable and flexible for dancing.

Still on dance shoes, there were also pointe shoes from my ballet years (between the ages of 26 and 38 - I was always a late starter!). Unfortunately I didn't save a pair, but here's me wearing them.

About 1980 I discovered Italian shoes, specifically Bruno Magli shoes. These were the first of two pairs I bought, on sale for $100. That was a hell of a lot of money for shoes in those days, but they served me well and are timeless. I might just wear them again!

The second pair of Bruno Magli shoes I bought however were not so successful. I loved the look of them in the shop window, lusted after them on a daily basis until I finally gave in and bought them. But they were not so comfortable - read my lips: high heels are not comfortable. I still love the look of them. I'm thinking of displaying them on a timber wall.

Finally, my beloved hiking boots, which have been my faithful walking companions since 1969. I wrote about them in a post in February 2006.

I hope you enjoyed this retrospective. Let me know if you do a similar post. Don't forget to visit Jelly's post, and Tanya has also produced a very interesting footwear display.


John Cowart said...

Book making and ballerina shoes -- Val, you have untold depths.

lindsaylobe said...

Firstly a belated happy birthday. Well maybe you learn a lot about someone by their store of shoes! , what an interesting collection you have! Folk dancing to ballet and expensive styles. I remember marvelling at my father’s old flying boots, large fleecy lined boots that he wore as a bomber pilot in WW2. As a child I marvelled at their warmth!! But did you ever traverse the land in bare feet, as I did as youngster in the country? Evidence is available to suggest shoes began in the period between about 40,000 and 26,000 years ago, as bones of the toes decreased during this period, due to going barefoot results in greater bone growth before this.

Best wishes

Jeanette said...

Hi VAl, Interesting post on your foot wear from slippers to points .you look so relaxed in your chair with your slippers on. I have lots of different styles but like you when im home I only wear slippers. Take care (((HUGS)))

Diane J. said...

I'm actually barefooted right now, which is the norm for me at home, but if my feet get cold I do have slippers, or houseshoes as we call them here more often than slippers.

The pic of you in your ballet attire is beautiful, Val. Were you professional?

I used to be a shoe freak, but not so much these days. I only have a few pair that I wear on a regular basis. I need some more but I'm that rare woman: I hate to shop for shoes.

Hope all is well in your world, Val. :-)

Love and hugs,


JunieRose2005 said...


I enjoyed this post a lot.



Susie said...

Shoes do say so much about one's life.
I love the contrast between you as a beautiful ballerina and the more rugged hiking boots.
I don't hold onto old shoes too much so I'd have to look for pictures to do a post like this. Maybe much later!

T*mmy said...

I so enjoyed reading the post, as well as seeing the picture of you as a beautiful ballerina!!
I'm clipping this post for a favorite today!!

Cris said...

Val! What a beautiful ballerina!!! What a nice post! Ok, I can tell you haven't discovered Brazilian shoes yet! :-)

Rebecca said...

I am obviously going to have to haul out my shoes (which take up the space of two closets) and take some Photos...I cannot wear them anymore since I have broken my leg to often and the heels (you are right) are bad for my back. Your blog has actually inspired me to get rid of them...on the other hand, your blog is double, because you have kept everything...which makes me think I should be keeping these items for memories sake! What to do, what to do???!!!

Kali said...

I enjoyed this topic over at Tanya's, and have done so again here.
Who'd think that shoes are such a fascinating subject (I think they say so much about someone, such a personal thing they are).
Okay, I know this sounds weird ~ and I can't explain why, but seeing you in your ballerina outfit actually brought a tear to my eye.
Thanks so much for sharing!
xo Kali

jellyhead said...

Val, thank you for 'playing'! I loved seeing all your shoes...especially your groovy wedding boots!

Suzanne said...

You see? Once you get started you realize there's more personality in the shoes, then you thought! That was fun! Love the wedding boots! And I have a pair of rubber clogs from when I lived in Belgium. They were perfect to step outside and not worry that the grass was all wet!

catsmum said...

okay another thing we have in common - ballet - except for me it was from age 3 to 16 [ and then I broke my ankle playing netball at school and that was the end of point shoes ]
I wear one of my three pairs of cowboy boots every day that's not too hot to do so and I covet your wedding boots.

Val said...

Well thats another similarity between us - ballet pointe shoes to hiking boots/clogs and a preference for comfort!

Nice idea - I shall do a similar post one day!

Annette said...

Shoes do tell a lot about you. I sold shoes and the things a shoe salesman learns your mother would never want to know.

My favorites are Birkenstocks and Earth Shoes.

How in the world do you keep your shoes lasting that long? Mine wear out in a year or three.


Alice said...

Comfort always comes first, second and every time, although I do like smart too.

Liked most of yours, Val, although I could never cope with the high heels now.

Being home all the time for most of the year it's sneakers (trainers) as I usually wear jeans (haven't worn a dress for years; I don't think I actually own one now). In summer it's usually sandals with shorts. When I go out I usually wear slacks with plain black slip-ons.

I don't know why I didn't do a posting with photos and be done with it.

Sonia said...

Great post, Val! I enjoyed it so much!

Kerri said...

Such a fun subject! That's a great picture of you relaxing in your red velvet slippers. It's a very interesting contrast...ballet sipper(beautiful photo) to hiking boots. I'm glad at least one pair of the expensive Italian shoes were comfortable. Pity about the other pair.
Great post :)
I got a kick out of the comments too, especially the one Alice left :)

Cindy Swanson said...

What a fantastic post! I really enjoyed reading about your favorite footwear. Mine changes according to the seasons. Right now, it's a pair of Clark's sandals that are as comfortable as they are cute. I'll have to give those up as soon as the autumn temps start to cool off.

Really enjoyed your blog...this was my first visit.

Miss Eagle said...

Aaaah! The Bruno Maglis. I remember them fondly.