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12 August 2008 @ 11:20 pm
Shoe recs needed  
The world is depressing, I am turning to shopping in a bid to up my girlie cred. But I need help. I was raised by men and lesbians. From a grooming perspective, this is akin to being raised by wolves.

I have manky feet. To begin with, they're duck feet. Little heels and broad chimpanzee-like toes from a childhood of frequent barefootness. And then there's the mangling. After ballet as a young lass my toes are horrid. Which was bad enough in itself, but then I shattered one of my feet in a huge cycling accident, so now my already high instep is even higher on one side thanks to the rebuild.

All of this means that I find it very hard to find comfy shoes that fit. And possibly even look good. I can live with look ordinary if the comfort factor is high enough, as I can distract people from my shoes without too much effort. But I desperately need some more brands to choose from.

Currently my shoe wardrobe is Birkenstocks, Doc Martens, ethical Converse rip-offs, Brooks trainers and riding boots. It is the shoe wardrobe of a sexually unfussy teenager who spends her weekends at Pony Club, Goth Club or anti-apartheid rallies. I was that teenager, but a lot of my flist wasn't born then.

So, you lot shop like fiends. Any recommendations? Size 36 or 37, wide fitting preferred, fit a high instep, can be walked in for long distances by even the gimpiest, some connection to looking like a grown-up woman shoe appreciated. And able to be resoled, because I will walk through them before the uppers go.

Many thanks for any suggestions!

Still avoiding the Olympics, but a dear friend had a very worthwhile rant to me today when the Australian broadcaster cut the last 20 minutes of the women's hockey, a sport in which the Australian team is one of the top three in the world and a game in which they were winning, to show the men's water polo team losing. "Because god forbid women's sport be taken seriously! Unless it's an Aussie swimmer!" she ranted. And the male water polo players weren't even hot.

PS Happy Birthday EEYORE! (I have the memory of an idiot fish)
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calanthe_fics on August 12th, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
Okay, slightly on the dykeish yet comfy scale is Wolky, a Dutch (I think) manufacturer of interestingly clunky shoes. I have Zen in black, and I also like Ballotta.

I also like Think! shoes, although the ones I have are obviously out of season, as I can't find them. Also here.

No need to worry though. I have found you the perfect pair! No more tying laces, just zip that velcro, fire up the zimmer frame, and off you go.

:D



Edited at 2008-08-12 01:54 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 12th, 2008 01:57 pm (UTC)
I could work that, pass me the Bedazzler! (I love the fact they advertise it as High Street Fashion. Snort!)

I'd forgotten about Wolky. Hmmmmmm ... nice ...
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(Anonymous) on August 12th, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)
Shoes in Addie
Since you are arriving in Adelaide around midday Friday I can take you to the Birkenstock store in Hahndorf so you can have a look there. I don't know how you go wearing the Diana Ferrari brand of shoes but they have a Factory Outlet store not far from the Airport and they range in size from 5-10 (Australian sizing).

I haven't been to this place but there is a shop not far from where I live that I think does custom shoes, don't know what the prices are like though.

Cheers

Anne
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 12th, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Shoes in Addie
You're still up! I've been not calling you because I remembered at 10, not 8 as I meant to. Are you still still up?
Re: Shoes in Addie - (Anonymous) on August 12th, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Rosfoi_nefaste on August 12th, 2008 01:57 pm (UTC)
I have no idea if you can get them in your area... but Dansko is a brand that I've had really good luck with. Reasonably cute, and incredibly comfortable.

Good luck!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 12th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC)
They do look good! Thanks!
maggiemarguerite_26 on August 12th, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC)
I think naturalizer's are only in the US and Canada, but I like that they will size your foot for width as well as your length.

Sorry, I'm not much of a shoe person. I tend to buy a pretty new pair, then wear my trainers everywhere. :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 12th, 2008 02:26 pm (UTC)
I have seen them, but the soles never seem thick enough. I don't drive, so I walk everywhere and it's diabolical on shoe leather ...
Eeyeeyore9990 on August 12th, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you, darling! I have no idea if I have it, but if in the millions of hours of Olympic programming we have recorded, I happen to come across the end of the women's hockey, I'll happily see about uploading it for you.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 12th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
Nah, it's my friend Nat who cares. I'm boycotting!
parallel parking prodigyempress_jae on August 12th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
just to cover my ignorance...36-37 would be what? 7.5 in american?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 12th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC)
Err ... probably? Maybe 6 or 7? 4 or 5-ish UK depending on the width (3 in one case, which was embarrassing).
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(no subject) - blamebrampton on August 12th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
painless_jpainless_j on August 12th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
My latest find: Trippen. Really funky, REALLY comfy. It's the first ever shoes with 5 cm heels I've been able to wear -- no pain, no discomfort, soft like gloves. And they fit my high instep! Which happens, like, never :)

This site sells some of Trippen shoes.

These are mine. Seriously, I couldn't believe a pair of funky shoes could be so comfy. I spent the layout round-the-clock in them and never noticed I wasn't wearing slippers.

Only IMO, one needs trying shoes on when buying them.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 12th, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC)
Ooh! They ARE lovely!

It's getting to the point where I am prepared to travel with almost empty suitcases and come home with shoes that fit. There is more to life than Birkenstocks!
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beatnikspinster on August 12th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
Vegan shoes. Some are stylie. They stock many different brands, so if you find something you like you can google it and find a local retailer.
http://www.mooshoes.com/
beatnikspinster on August 13th, 2008 12:22 pm (UTC)
Following up with (possibly) unethical recs:


Fluevog has a good fit and good quality. They last and last. And they have tons of funky looks to choose from. Some styles are better for wide feet then others.

And for deals with the devil, completely unwearable shoes that are a joy to look at. Luichiny: a drag queen's best friend. Or the were in the 90s. Now they seem more staid. I have many pairs of Luichinys from the 90s, when they were crazy and I had good knees. *sigh*
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maya231maya231 on August 12th, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC)
I can live with look ordinary if the comfort factor is high enough, as I can distract people from my shoes without too much effort. *nods*

Ecco, Dansko, Earth Shoes, and Naot might have some good options. Some are cuter than others. My most comfortable everyday shoes are Ecco at the moment. (I have a high arch (instep) and widish feet.) Here's a search result showing some shoes from those four brands http://www.sierratradingpost.com/Search/CallSearchEngine.aspx?genders=34&brand=4011,5090,5115,25090 (hey a purple suede loafer in your size even. that is, if you're needing a purple suede loafer...)

Also Camper looks cute & comfy, but I haven't actually worn any.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks, dear! I've tried Ecco before, they have LOVELY uppers, but they have really thin soles for someone who walks as much as I do. If they were a little easier to resole, I;d probably have five or six pairs! Might try the Danskos, some of those styles look very cute.

I nearly bought a purple jacket today, it could have been an ensemble ;-)

(Campers have the same problem as Eccos for me, and a slightly narrower last at the toe)
Jessikastjessikast on August 12th, 2008 06:37 pm (UTC)
There is a New Zealand brand called Minx that I recommend. (And their website says they have stockists in Australia, yay!)

Their heels can be kind of crazy, but in their galleries list, look for the shoes that are called "No Nonsense. Colourful, fun with a hint of ballerina these pumps are great for everyday."

They have this kind of design philosophy where they make awesome cute shoes designed for a woman who, like, walks to work every day. I wore a pair of their Mary Jane style for about a year when I was working part-time in Dymocks, and they were fine. Their boots are made in Europe and tend to be smaller than the shoes, which are really good fits and actually go up to my size, which I adore.

Edited at 2008-08-12 06:37 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2008 12:52 pm (UTC)
They are DEEPLY cute, though I think I will have to wait until I am next in NZ to look at them, the Sydney store hat stocks them is for large sizes, Boo! But yes, good looks and good philosophy! Thank you!
Azure Jane Lunaticazurelunatic on August 12th, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
I adore http://sasshoes.com/ -- although they have the Birkenstock problem.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC)
They look extremely comfortable, though! But yeah, I need something a bit girly. Or a hot, rich girlfriend. No, J would be cranky (probably).
silent hallucinationalex_s9 on August 12th, 2008 10:04 pm (UTC)
Campers! They produce magnificent shoes.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2008 01:12 pm (UTC)
They DO. Alas, they tend to be a little narrow at the toe. But I'll have alook at this year's range since they change their lasts semi-regularly.
Dedicated Escape Artist: peppermint pattyjadzialove on August 13th, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)
I can offer nothing helpful -- I have the opposite problem, as my feet are nearly flat, and being of the lesbian persuasion, my footwear tends to reflect that in its comfort-over-cuteness factor. (I do love my Dansko clogs -- size 37, actually -- and think they are cute) I can relate to the manky feet business, though: I'm missing a bone in both feet (the same bone), so my toes look bizarre. Symmetrical, but bizarre.

Despite that, I applaud your efforts in fighting the negativity of the world with shoes. Wouldn't it be wonderful if governments did it that way too?

World peace through wedge heels...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC)
You freaky footed thing, you! How COOL!

Yes, I have some clogs, even a wooden pair that I wear about with thick socks. I need some girly heels. Apparently I will have to go to Europe or Melbourne. I can do that!

I will send Vlad Putin some shopping tips.
Jiapajiapa on August 13th, 2008 02:39 am (UTC)
I'm very picky about my shoes' comfort. Aesthetics are a nice bonus, but comfort is first priority.

Try Ecco shoes. I have some sandals by SAS which are mega comfortable.

For dress shoes, I've found Munroe and Arche shoes hurt less than most. *wry grin*

Good luck in your shoe hunt!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2008 01:13 pm (UTC)
I came THIS CLOSE to buying a pair of Munroes today, alas, none in my size! Damnation. And none in the Italian brand that's similar. I suspect that it will be easier for me to do a shoemaking course eventually ... Thank you!
pingridpingrid on August 13th, 2008 10:22 am (UTC)
I don't have any good recs, unfortunately, since my usual trick is to buy cool, uncomfortable shoes in a size too large and put orthopaedic insoles in them. I assume you've tried the same?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2008 10:43 am (UTC)
Um ... no. RAISED BY WOLVES, I tell you! That had never occurred to me. I went to one of the shops that allegedly stocked one of the above European brands today, that was a fib, but I only escaped without buying a $900 silk coat by telling myself that was a week's hotel bill. It was SO NICE. Alistair Trung designs, OMG! Can;t find a website, but this photographer has a gallery of AT designs: http://www.gd-designgroup.com.au/gallery/alistair_trung/alistair-trung_15.htm
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