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02 September 2010

aaarrrgh this is a shoe-shopping rant!! [More:]

I hate shoe shopping, I really do. Even more than pants shopping, if that's possible, because hey, I can always just say "fuck pants" and wear a skirt or dress instead. Sadly I can't go to work barefoot, and the halcyon days of pedicures and strappy sandals are rapidly coming to an end in my region.

My beloved, stylish, comfy, fifteen-year-old ankle boots that served me well for so many falls and winters, and went with every suit and pair of slacks in my closet, have finally gone to the Great Shoe Closet in the Sky. I find out now that they are potentially irreplaceable.

All I want is a stylish, plainish set of ankle boots with a 2-3", sturdy heel and a sole that's got enough grip to keep me from busting my ass in the parking lot. Preferably dark brown or black. I'm not opposed to chunky soles or platforms **IF** they're of the sort that could work with somewhat casual office wear, but still go with a skirt if need be. The problem is, that's not in style now.

What's in style now, sadly, is those BABOON TESTICLE UGLY stacked taper heel / suede scrunchy rejects-from-a-mid-80's-Ringwald-flick monstrosities. Jesus wept, I mean, I never wore the miserable things when they were vogue the first time around... and I was an idiot teenager then! I would almost (almost, if you held a gun to my head) wear Uggs instead; I mean, they'd still be hideous but at least I'd be able to walk in them.

Or else there's those ucky "sensible" things that make you look like the lunch lady. Riding-style boots maybe, tho I'd prefer a bit of heel. Lunch lady shoes? not so much.

Then there's the size thing. I have feet that are just wide enough that they don't fit in the most common B width unless I size up, then my heels slip. I'd like to find something in C, but they're rare, and even rarer still in cute ankle boots.

Last but not least, when I found something on Zappo's site I actually DID like, it was $800. EIGHT HUNDRED BUCKS ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? Who pays that much for shoes, seriously? That could feed an entire third world family for a year, possibly longer!

I'm not destitute, and I'm willing to pay for good quality stuff, but that's just bullshit.

grrr. TPS, you got any ideas?
Whelk, I'm looking at you, too. I know you have an opinion on this topic; you have an opinion on anything and everything related to fabulous.
posted by lonefrontranger 02 September | 12:13
Haha! I'm touched to be thought of. I, too, find shoe shopping a real PITA. I've been admiring the Sofft brand for fall shoes.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 02 September | 12:22
I would just like to thank you for BABOON TESTICLE UGLY. A great phrase that I plan to use.

Sorry, no boot advice.
posted by Kangaroo 02 September | 12:25
those look hot teeps.
posted by Firas 02 September | 12:25
I love shoe shopping! I love the Sofft site, TPS. That new "Fable" style is great.

How do I get a job naming shoes? Or wigs. Why do shoes and wigs have names? Anybody?
posted by rainbaby 02 September | 12:30
Dadblabbit, now I'm shoe shopping :D The ones I like on Sofft (Forum, in black patent leather) weren't in stock, so I'm checking out I like their search feature, it's thorough.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 02 September | 12:31
Now I'm digging on these- would be cute with opaque black tights and skirts for fall, no? It's all wishing at this point, though- we've spent enough this month.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 02 September | 12:33
Oops! I liked the "Forum" ones, that's what I was talking about. See? "Fable" is a great name for a shoe, I have a gift for this stuff.
posted by rainbaby 02 September | 12:40
I admit I like a sportier look but do any of these appeal?
posted by bearwife 02 September | 12:41
DSW's website has a whole ankle boot category which may make searching easier.
posted by leesh 02 September | 12:43
I have to look for shoes too and i can't find anything that isn't at least five hundred dollars with too high a heel for every day. I'm also thinking of something in an ankle boot but any closed type shoe would work. Any suggestions on where to look are appreciated.
posted by ethylene 02 September | 12:47
Oh wait they do have "Fable" too. See how excited I get! SHOES!

I'm with you on the pants, though, LFR. Don't ge me started about the pants.

Ok, I'mma be quiet now.
posted by rainbaby 02 September | 12:48
Thanks Teeps, those are pretty spiffy... naturally my size isn't available in black in the style I want, and the heel's a bit high, but that's probably not the end of the world, and they've other cute stuff too.

... of course now that I know that sort of style exists, I shall scour the internet trying to find my size in black.
posted by lonefrontranger 02 September | 12:51
I have another suggestion, with a 3 1/2 inch heel, but not available in black.
posted by bearwife 02 September | 12:52
Although I'm a guy, I, too, hate shoe shopping. Mainly due to the size thing. I've learned it's pointless to pick out the shoes I like and then ask if they have them in my size, because almost always, they don't.

Instead I ask "What do you have in a 13?"

The answer will usually be along the lines of "We have these. Do you want them?"

And usually, the answer is "No, I don't", at which point I just have to go to another store.
posted by FishBike 02 September | 12:57
bearwife, those first ones are a little crunchy for my usual mode, even considering that I live in Boulder. The second ones would be great if they only came in black.

If it helps, think along the lines of urban-goth-chic-gone-corporate, if that style even exists.

some of those mary janes on the Sofft site are appealing, but MJs, while adorable, don't have quite enough coverage for Colorado winters I'm afraid.

Those Fitzwells are cute, TPS, but I really would prefer to avoid tapered heels; not only do they make my calves look EVEN HUGER, they also tend to be ankle busters on icy sidewalks.

Louis heels, sadly, are so far out of vogue as to be practically from Mars right now.
posted by lonefrontranger 02 September | 12:58
Last year it was so cold, I just couldn't deal. I got a pair of Ugg Boots. But! But! They make a "fashion" line, and they are not all ugly, if you will - some of them are cute. So may I recommend these?
posted by Medieval Maven 02 September | 13:00
FishBike, you are not the only dude I know with a shoe shopping rant. the mister has a very persnickity preference in the sorts of casual-yet-stylish work oxfords that no one seems to carry except the really upscale brand houses, at like, $400 a pop :P
posted by lonefrontranger 02 September | 13:02
Or, Borns -

posted by Medieval Maven 02 September | 13:07
Ah, maybe I am beginning to figure out what you want. (Maybe not!) And I found the second choice in black and dark brown! Do any of these look good? I dug them up here.
posted by bearwife 02 September | 13:10
Your description of the 80s ankle boots made me laugh. In general, I really hate teeter-tottery shoes. Because I actually walk. Fast. And far.

Last year I splurged on these which will probably last me a very long time. They are so comfy and so warm. They're really deep-ass-winter boots, though, not work-friendly.
posted by Miko 02 September | 13:16
bearwife - the ones on your second link look okay, but it's that tapered heel thing again. Also, suede is pretty much out due to slush and wet and also it doesn't look quite dressy enough to go with a suit if need be.

The Born Verucas are really, really close. I guess what I'm looking for is not so much a boot as more a kind of aggro dress pump with coverage and a sturdy heel. The thing I like about the Soffts is they come in slightly wider sizes too.

bah... I'm so picky. It's one of those things where I know what I want. You guys are fantastic tho... now I can stalk the internets to see if what I really want actually exists.
posted by lonefrontranger 02 September | 13:28
LFR, now we have to see a pic of your shoes when you find them. The last link in my last comment may help as the selection shown is huge.
posted by bearwife 02 September | 13:34
wow bearwife, that "visual search" feature on the site is really helpful, thanks!

on a semi-related note... WTF is up with all this peep toe bullshit on the fall/winter shoes this season? srsly, you've got to be fucking kidding me. Gotta be from our clueless friends in L.A.

posted by lonefrontranger 02 September | 13:57
I too hate shoe shopping because I take a UK size 4.5 in a wide fit and 99% of shoe shops in England don't sell half-sizes, let alone wide fit. So that leaves me with Marks & Spencer or Clarks. M&S shoes are not that comfortable, and Clarks are so expensive. I usually buy at least one pair of shoes when I'm in NYC because I can always get something to fit me, usually in Skechers or DSW, both in Union Square.

As for boots, Ariat are fabulous - not the really cowboyish ones, but the ankle boots and shoes are great.
posted by Senyar 02 September | 14:10
LFR, I love those Born Verucas. They are beautiful.

Here are some more options:

Clarks diamond trust Not available in wide.

These would look great with pants And would pass with some skirts. They are also available in wide.

Sanzia Tella bootie. Available in wide. Pretty heel, not too high.

Franco Sarto Stage. Comes in wide.

Aerosoles Besotted. Louis-like heel

Perhaps too lunch lady, but appealing.
posted by LoriFLA 02 September | 14:23
14 B here. I scoff at your tales of shoe-shopping woe. Here, watch me: "SCOFF!"

I have worn the exact same brand and style of shoe to work every day for the last 8 years, getting a new pair every 6 months or so and demoting the last pair down the work-weekend-lawnmowing-painting/welding-Goodwill continuum. I walk about 3 miles round trip every day, so comfort is a huge criterion. At least I'm in IT, so standards are relaxed enough for a black leather not-quite-tennis-shoe to suffice.

It's been a while since I've made a Goodwill run, so I have 8 or so pairs of the same shoes, in various states of disrepair. Come visit, and I'll show you.

So sad.
posted by mrmoonpie 02 September | 14:25
Those sofft shoes are awesome. I may have to revisit next time I need a new pair of shoes.

I am comfort all the way. All of my shoes are either Clarks or Naturalizer.
posted by gaspode 02 September | 14:35
I'm sorry I looked back in. I'm in love with at least three (3rd, 4th and 5th) of LoriFLA's suggestions. Fighting the urge now to buy still more shoes online.
posted by bearwife 02 September | 14:37
I'm just noticing that my first link has the weird heel. LFR, you might want to search for "oxford pumps". Also, Rockport shoes are great in my opinion. Cole Haan, too, but a bit pricey. Rockports almost always have tread.
posted by LoriFLA 02 September | 14:45
Also, LoriFla's 4th link is to shoes that have a zipper on the back heel, which looks odd (and makes the side decorative zipper a bit strange.) Thank goodness I'm now down to loving just two of these suggestions.
posted by bearwife 02 September | 14:49
Right? Must resist. Must.
posted by toastedbeagle 02 September | 14:49
I need boots too but recently had the revelation that while I'm not per se a "shoe girl" I do like well-made, comfortable shoes enough to spend a lIttle more on them. I used to just buy whatever was on sale at one of those strip-mall shoe outlets. Last year i discovered Merrels, and this year I discovered Keens. Dang, those are some nice shoes! And when the zombies attack, I will be able to outrun my office-mates who wear those wobbly high heels.
posted by TochterAusElysium 02 September | 14:59
Just looking at most of what y'all have posted makes my knees and hips hurt. I would like a pair or two of the Clarks desert boots at the Eddie Bauer link, tho'.
posted by deborah 02 September | 16:13
LoriFLA, you're a genius, those Aerosoles are exactly what I wanted!

for all the guys out there who have shoe rants, trust me I hear you. I think your problem is likely the opposite of our problem tho... your choices are highly limited, and ours are overwhelmingly vast.

PSA to the general shoe-designing public at large:

posted by lonefrontranger 02 September | 17:19
LFR, I will think of you when mine arrive . . . yes, I bought shoes, and it is all LoriFla's fault. You are also totally right about boots with peep toes!

Tochter, I loved your comment, especially as my hubby and I finally watched Zombieland (most fun!) this past Saturday, and I like the shoes from both those companies, but must wear less practical work shoes for my court-oriented job. I.e., I am easy zombie prey.
posted by bearwife 03 September | 11:37
Glad you found some shoes, bearwife and LFR. I am tempted as well. I must stay strong.

You know those peep toe booties? People wear them with shorts and harem pants. I'm not brave enough to wear them but I've seen them worn this way.

I have a pair of Aerosole booties that I've had for years. They are comfy, have rubber sole and have held up very well.
posted by LoriFLA 03 September | 11:55
Oh good catch. Those Aerosoles look perfect. Not that I have any intention of buying MORE BOOTS.
posted by tangerine 03 September | 15:19
I feel your pain, I'm a size 6.5 WW (that's EXTRA wide) in US sizes, I can't wear heels, and I am super picky about shoes. I have even considered having my shoes hand made... but try and find a cobbler these days!
posted by evilcupcakes 03 September | 21:26
I guess it doesn't make you all feel any better that I walked into a shop this afternoon to look for new running shoes and walked out 10 minutes later with a pair that fit perfectly and were discounted by $30?
posted by dg 04 September | 04:36
Recommendations for books on managing people? || It's time for another Welcome New Users thread!!!