A small shoe-disaster befell me earlier this week. We've gone from summer to (mid) fall very quickly. Sandals are so done. Y'all know that I revamped my summer shoe collection in light of foot miseries that have befallen me in the last year or two.* Well, apparently I haven't updated my fall shoe collection. Because, till Tuesday, I had but one pair of shoes that fits and doesn't cause me pain when walking long distances, and those are ancient Diesel leather sneakers.
Now that I cannot walk distances in shoes with hard bottoms (need padding for my collagen-diminished feet) and heels that are higher than the most conservative of one-inch, I don't even have a pair of fall boots that fit the bill.
This is a problem cuz I go to fancy meetings that require professional attire. And I can't wear sneakers to walk to work with said professional outfits. (That's just wrong.) Sure, I can put on work shoes when I arrive, but I spend half my time walking and I'm not going to do it looking comfortable.
If you think it's bad finding comfortable summer sandals, those which provide chic support, let me assure you that fall shoe-shopping is infinitely worse. Once you can't wear those 2 inch T straps or tall boots with a stacked heel, the options are dreadful. Dreadful. Actually, the options are basically variations on leather runners.
I went to no less than 30 shoe stores on Monday and Tuesday with the aim of finding a truly comfortable, elegant shoe with a bit of elevation (for shape) that will work with pants, skirts and dresses. I don't like black shoes. They're monolithic and they bring everything down. So some sort of neutral (that doesn't jump out) was also one of my requirements. Um, if you're prepared to spend 600 bucks (and I am not inflating this price), my list is achievable. In the 150 - 200 dollar range, I found one pair.
Please allow this to sink in. I found one pair amongst thousands of shoes available in my huge city with 8 shoe stores (of every description) on any given block.
So I bought it.
The brand is German: Remonte. The company makes a bunch of truly hideous shoes, and a few nice ones. This was by far the nicest, if my online research is anything to go by. I got this pair at a store that's so old-school, it doesn't even have a name. As my daughter would say, it's a bit sketch.
I will tell you that they could be slightly softer in the sole (though I am breaking in and I have added a padded insert), and I do wish the small heel didn't propel my foot forward onto my (decreasingly plump and gorgeous) toe base region. But the upper is soft, the line is gorgeous (for pants or skirts) and these shoes produce no chafing of any sort. For a serious walker, these qualities are key. Oh, and given that they're made of leather in 3 neutral colours, this shoe goes with absolutely everything.
So, what do you think? How do you manage to look great while you walk long distances (and I don't think that accepting runners as great-looking footwear counts, sorry :-))? What are the best shoes you've ever had from a style-meets-function perspective? I want to know.
* For what it's worth, the pain I'm experiencing is related to unhappy nerve clusters at the base of my toes. After years of taking my young feet for granted, and walking miles a day in moderate heels, now I must be able to spread my foot wide in every shoe or I experience a dreadful, searing pain. The attainment of natural foot-width is not easily accomplished in a shoe with any height because the nature of a heel is to propel the toes towards the front of the shoe. Furthermore, any shoe with an attractive narrow line at the toe is likely to produce an ergonomic scenario in which the foot has very little room to spread.