When I posted a list of my shoes yesterday, I felt not unlike an alcoholic must feel at an AA meeting when she discloses her weekly drinking habits. Hi, I’m Cristina, and I’m a shoe addict.
I can’t say I’m totally ashamed that I owned so many shoes, but the thought of giving in to so much consumerism is nagging me. In other words, you know, I’d be all right with only, say, 50 pairs, if you know what I mean
I seem to favor some shoe brands over others, such as Taryn Rose, Espace, or Clergerie.
I do have 4 or 5 pairs of those because of a combination of three factors:
1) COMFORT: they tend to be more comfortable than other brands
2) STYLE: they tend to be stylish AT THE SAME TIME as comfortable
3) SALE SERENDIPITY: I happened to find them at particularly advantageous sale prices at the very moment I was rebuilding my shoe wardrobe in order to accommodate my newly acquired foot affliction (plantar fasciitis/ heel spur).
By far, the most comfortable shoes I own, apart from a pair of Icon sneakers and my Born boots, are Taryn Rose shoes. Although, apparently, she’s taking the brand toward more of a fashion-feel than a comfort-based philosophy (thus losing a lot of her initial clientele), the shoes I have are old school Taryn Rose, in the sense that comfort is the primary player. In all honesty, some of her shoes do look stodgy, but the ones I have are really cute, feminine, and quite stylish; of course, on top of everything, they are lightweight, well-made, and supremely comfortable. (Let’s just say that she understands the notion of arch support better than any other fashion shoemaker out there). My 3 inch heel Taryn Rose pumps are the only high heels that I can wear for an extended time without the excruciating pain that develops in the ball of the foot after a while. Well worth the $115 I paid for them, which was at the time 70% off. In fact, I could only afford to buy Taryn Rose shoes when they were 70% off or more in my size, which happened once on Zappos, once on Nordstroms.com, and twice on eBay. So, if you have the opportunity to get a pair, and can afford it, I would not hesitate. My Taryn Rose shoes are among my best investments.
With the Clergerie and Espace (which is really still part of Studio Clergerie, only cheaper–where Clergerie shoes retail for over $400, Espace hover in the $200 area)–it was a combination of loving the style, loving the comfort, and loving the price. Zappos had some really great deal for these brands for a while (I mean, $20 for a $200 sandal in my size? why, I can’t let that slip away!). Due to Zappos’ super-friendly return policies, it was really easy for me to try some brands and decide I really like the fit. These two brands just clicked–the style was to my taste, the quality was superb, the fit was excellent, the comfort the same, and Zappos kept it interesting with great sale prices.
Other shoe brands that are known for their comfort are not, unfortunately, known for their style. I could only stomach one pair of red Mephisto flats–because they looked decent and the price was rock-bottom ($40 for a $240 shoe). I like them, but not as much as my red Espace flats!
These days I NEVER, ever, pay full price for a pair of shoes. I like to be stylish, but I have little desire to be trendy, so I don’t rush to get the fall collection of some designer the moment it’s out. After all, these shoes are expensive and I fully plan on getting the most wear out of them–even seasons from now, when they’ve long ceased to be novelty. In most instances, unless I’m really desperate for a pair out of necessity, I’m willing to hold off for the prices to come down (even though there’s always the risk that they run out of stock). But my patience is usually rewarded–this way I could get, for example, the green beaded Clergerie slides pictured here for about $50 as opposed to over $300. Now, that’s a bargain, don’t you think?