|Fabric and snakeskin platforms, 1944|
I have a very particular taste when it comes to shoes- I always know exactly what style I want. I also need shoes that are comfortable and don’t make my bad heel flare up. Unfortunately this means that I almost never find shoes I want to buy. I do have a lot of shoes, but I have recently culled six pair and more will probably go soon. And most of my remaining shoes are party shoes, so even if I love them and they are comfortable, they just aren’t practical for everyday. At the moment I wear winter boots suitable to the snowy and icy Swedish winter, but spring is coming and when it comes to shoes for everyday use, I just don’t have much. I have a pair of black T-strap pumps and a pair of buttoned brown ones. Both pairs are about six years old and are now rather shabby. I love these shoes and it shows. So what my shoe wardrobe badly need are one pair of black and one pair of brown shoes, suitable for an ordinary day, but still nice looking.
|1930's style black velvet oxfords|
I have talked about dance shoes before; I often buy them because they are very comfortable and often look like the 30’s-40’s style that I like. Aris Allen, for example, has several designs that are copies of old shoes. I recently bought these to wear at work which I’m very pleased with.Comfy, pretty, but in extremely unpractical velvet. The work well indoors, but I suspect that the velvet will wear very quickly if used outside.
What, exactly do I want then? Well, a pair of black t-straps is quite easy- dance shoes often come in that design. But I also want a pair of brown oxfords. With a 6-7 cm, elegant, but not thin heel and not too pointy toes. Basically these, but alas, they resides in a museum, not in my friendly neighborhood shoe store, so no can do.
My taste in shoes is also really conservative. What I wanted in shoes when I was 18 are the same today. If my taste hasn’t changed in 25 years, well, it doesn’t seem likely that it will change soon. So J wondered why I didn’t check out shoes a bit pricier than I usually go for. More expensive, yes, but probably also better quality. So I have, but I still haven’t found anything I like.
But, a couple of years ago I bought a pair of 18th century style shoes from Harr. It’s a company in Germany that makes shoes for the theatre, so you can find styles from any era there. You can also do some changes in the design you want, like toe and heel shape as well as heel height. And colour and material as well. You also send them the measurements and outline of your foot. I have a friend who is a cobbler so I ordered my pair though the store she works in and she helped me with that.
|My very blue shoes|
They were a little stiff when I first got them and took a little time to get used to but leather adapt to your shape and now they are actually the most comfortable shoes I own. They are also very well made. So, why not order shoes, very nearly custom-made, in exactly the design and colours I want, from them? Indeed, why not. Their 20th century collection has several styles I like. These, these and these, for example.
They are not cheap shoes, prices start at €100 and I paid €300 for my 18th century ones, but even if €300 is a hefty sum to give out all at once, if the quality if good, then it isn’t so expensive in the long run. If my rather inexpensive current favourites have kept for six years and I think the quality of Harr’s shoes is a lot better, then then six years of wear will mean €50/year. I would need to budget my shoe shopping better, but almost every time I have bought shoes on a whim I have ended up disappointed. Most of the shoes I have given away had been worn once or twice so even if they weren’t expensive shoes, the cost per wear got rather high in the end.
A pair of brown oxfords from Harr seems to be the most likely shoe purchase I will do this spring. Or possibly year, but they would be exactly as I want them.