in which i become a style critic

We were back in NY last weekend, and in a fit of apartment-to-wedding-to-different-apartment hopping I lost my favorite sweatshirt, favorite jacket& a pair of sneakers, and somehow wound up going upstate to see our outdoorsy friends with a bag full of fancy dresses and high heels. I barely ever even wear high heels, much less have 3 pairs of them on my person at one time.  But there I was, at the Beacon train station, with a satchel of formalwear.  We all wanted to go for a hike right away, so I had to settle for my Toms*, which while not heels, are decidedly not made for hiking in the stony hills of the Hudson Valley.

I have this obsession with appropriate footwear.  The shoes must fit the task.
No super tappy high heels for Sunday morning diner or at school.
No running shoes ... for anything, really.  besides running. (Sneakers, fine. But not running shoes. Please don't make me get into the semantics here...)
Fieldwork boots for fieldwork.
Hiking boots for hiking.
Flip-flops and flats for very nearly everything, but not totally everything, and not when it is even remotely cold out. 

And so, it is with great ambivalence, that I have purchased my first pair of Chacos.  
Sport sandals + Me had previously = a strong desire to do a clog dance.
But I have been racking up the number of occasions where a pair of sport sandals would have been more comfortable, and/or more practical than the shoe at hand. 
Everything from climbing into a canoe in a strong current with flip-flops gripped between my toes, to fording a stream during fieldwork in wet boots, to just kind of wanting to go hiking in the humid STL summer without having to wear socks.... 

So I acquiesced to the sport sandal, and here is what I think so far:

1. They look & feel like I have ping-pong paddles strapped to my feet.  Ping-pong paddles with arch support.

2. Said arch-support is much more comfortable & better for my back than my 3 year old Reefs.

3. These shoes do nothing for the look of my hobbit feet.  In fact, they make them look more hobbitish.  But maybe i'll get used to it?

4. What everyone says is true: they are comfortable.  comfortable, but kind of funny looking.  

And then I was walking through the park and a big stick got jammed in the webbing and I was bleeding all over.  I think the shoes were getting back at me for thinking unkind thoughts about them.  So, I will wear them for sport-sandal appropriate activities.  The sport-sandal niche has been filled.

*Toms may not be made for hiking, but they are made for making you feel a) like you are wearing your slippers around all day and b) like you are a secret ninja.  Wait, that's redundant I think.  Anyway, secret slipper ninjas rejoice.  I've had mine for years and they are just now beginning to wear out. I love them.


Kristy3m said...

The only thing i feel strongly about in shoes is that my big toe should NOT be separated from the rest of my foot by said shoe.

It gets lonely.

Anonymous said...

Highly entertaining post, madam. I am now fighting to urge to go out and buy two pairs of new shoes: Toms and sports sandals. What do you recommend for biking?

gigirose said...

oooh, good question. it depends on whether you have toe clips or not. but in general, for non-toe clipped pedals, Vans & other such sneakers work just fine for biking, if you ask me. My Sauconys do the trick, but get a bit smashed in my toe clips.