06 April 2010

Frivolous

All this introspection and emotion these past few weeks is starting to feel overdone. I commented to someone today that reading my blog gives a very skewed impression of my thoughts and general mental state. I can see how readers would be left with the idea that I wallow in my grief 24/7, unable to think about anything but what I've lost.

SO NOT TRUE.

But it is true that when I have those thoughts, I come here to work them out. And lately, for myriad reasons, those thoughts have come up a lot. Work and personal stress and joy. Significant calendar dates. The random, unpredictable cycle of my own thought processes. Parenting.

This post is to reassure readers that I think about plenty of other things besides my own navel. Plus, I need some help, and blog readers have typically been great with the help in my times of need, small and large.

Here's what I need right now: new shoes.

I usually wear Danskos, as has been previously documented. I have black ones, red ones, Mary Jane ones, sandals. They are . . . practical. Sturdy. Suitable for many occasions. But I'm getting kind of sick of them and I don't know what to do. Everything I look at seems to be either too tall or too strappy or too old-lady or too trendy.

I want a pair of shoes that I can wear with jeans or skirts, stylish enough to give me a little flair, comfortable enough to walk all over campus and beyond. I live in the casual and wet Pacific Northwest, so nothing terribly avant-garde or that can't stand a little rain. I'm a totally average shoe size (7.5, or Euro 38), regular width foot, super easy to fit. I just have no idea what to get.

Ideas? I'm totally open on style and color. Heel is OK as long as I can still walk a fair amount before they get uncomfortable or I trip and kill myself. Help me out. Please.

57 comments:

Janice said...

My favorite shoes are Ecco. The are comfortable enough to wear walking all over the place and they have some really cute styles.

Anonymous said...

Check out the brand Clarks. They are very walkable and comfortable but are also stylish. They also work well in the NW (Seattle girl here!)

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

I have been having similar shoe quandries. That damn twin pregnancy made my feet a half size bigger and none of my cute shoes fit anymore. Not that I have cause to wear cute shoes but I'm just sayin'...

Anyway, I do like Ecco a lot!

K said...

i'm hardly a designer snob (trust me, not at all) but i do believe in investing in certain items. it sounds like you're going for an all-purpose type of shoe here, so it probably would be worth investing in a good quality shoe that you can use both all day and forever. go to a good brand shoe store like aldo (my lord, even the 4 inch heels are comfortable) and find a really nice pair of flats or a low heel. you won't be disappointed, those shoes are ridiculously well made, and end of season clearance sales are awesome.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the Clarks suggestion. Also check out Simple.

Jen said...

I was loving Danskos until I found out that my wobbly ankle (that I didn't know I had) did not love them. After a serious sprain partly thanks to the shoes (which I've never admitted to anyone out of pride) I have switched to Keens. Comfortable, supportive, lots of designs and podiatrist approved.

cara said...

Check out the sofft brand. A little pricey but the most comfortable heels ever!

django's mommy said...

Keens do have some cute casual styles. I also have a Merrill Mary Jane with a slight heel that I LOVE! I can walk in them for hours, even with the low heel. I don't think they are any more expensive than Danskos.

http://www.zappos.com/merrell-petunia-espresso-leather

M said...

How about a nice wedge style shoe? They're usually more stable than a regular heel. I'm fond of this red one from aerosoles for the summer:
http://www.aerosoles.com/product1.asp?P=PLUSHAROUND

Or what about this round toe shoe with just enough heel? I like the blue, but the black would go with everything.
http://www.aerosoles.com/product1.asp?P=WISEGUY

amy said...

There's a shoe store just over the overpass in Westmoreland (turn right on Milwaukie and it's right there) called Haggis McBaggis. They primarily carry kids' shoes, but they have a pretty good selection of comfy and stylish women's shoes as well, including most of the brands people are already mentioning. It would be worth a lunch break to check it out!

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with the Eccos. Cute heels (that are comfortable). Really cute flats in fun colors. Check out onlineshoes.com. They have good prices and you can usually get a good discount if you shop through bing.

Christa said...

I have heard great thing about this brand of shoes. They are expensive but I have heard with some Internet sloothing they can be had for like half price. http://www.fluevog.com/code/?item=Malibran

Sandra said...

I love Merrells. Check these out:

http://www.merrell.com/US/en-US/Product.mvc.aspx/W-F-F/18194W/0/Women/Footwear/Filters/Womens/Brio

All winter, I have switched between fur-lined clog-ish models in black and brown. Not waterproof, but super durable and comfy like slippers.

Rachele said...

Hi Stacey. I like Clarks, as well as Privos (same company). So, I third the Clarks rec and encourage you to also look at Privos. :) I really like their ballet flats.

In general, I have good luck with browsing at the Walking Company. They have stores at both WA Square and Pioneer Place.

marianne said...

My favorite brand is Naot. They have some adorable Mary Jane styles, bu they have other styles as well, and all their shoes are extremely comfortable. Plus, with regular shines they only get better with age.

Kelly said...

http://www.zappos.com/born-peony-radish-pink-full-grain-leather

Pauline said...

Try J-41. Zappos.com sells them.

Elizabeth said...

I have a pair of Merrell mary janes that I can't recommend enough. Maybe not quite as dressy as you're looking for but so comfortable - better than sneakers for walking and cuter than they look in the picture, I think.

http://www.zappos.com/merrell-circuit-mj-brown-print-leather

Emmanuelle said...

Hush Puppies!
http://www.hushpuppies.com/US/en-US/Home.mvc.aspx
I heart them. Have several pairs. Some sandals I have are 11 years old and still in great shape and still get lots of compliments.

Anonymous said...

Definitely agree with the posters saying Clarks. I have super fussy feet and they make my feet very happy. Plus they have a load of neat, different, understated styles.

Snickollet said...

So many good suggestions! Thanks, everyone. Keep 'em coming.

Clean Vibes said...

I am a fellow Dansko person (whose favorite pair is currently broken) and have found that Born, looks great is is very walkable. I work at Princeton so I can appreciate the walking across campus piece! I also like Keens but have found they take some breaking in.

Grace said...

Absolutely, positively check out KEENS. I live in Danskos in the winter, and Keens the other 6 months (ha!) here in Bellingham. In fact, I have three of the same style (the Berkeley) in three different colors. Love, love, love them and I get a lot of compliments. REI carries them, as well as onlineshoes.com

Meg said...

I second Born! I bought a pair of used knee-high lace-up (with zipper on inside) boots on eBay years ago, and they still look great.

ivf said...

I adore Ariat shoes. Super comfortable, great arch support. I used to wear Rockports but not since I found these. Also the heels last 3 times longer than on the shoes I used to buy. This is my favorite style, $89.
http://www.zappos.com/ariat-sport-mule-black?zlfid=111

Audrey Watters said...

I only wear Doc Martens or Converse. That might mean I am forbidden for giving shoe advice.

(But OMG I have these red patent leather knee high lace up Docs...!!!)

Anonymous said...

definitely soffts. the high heeled mary jane is more comfortable for me than my danskos, clarks or privos. and they don't look like comfort shoes. i can work all day (i'm a scientist), and still go grocery shopping while carrying my toddler, who refuses to go into the cart. plus, they come in fun colors, seem to hold up well, and are lined with leather that i can wear barefooted with jeans or with hose and a dress.

Lise said...

I love my Clark's clogs. They're more comfortable for walking and standing than athletic shoes. I'd stay far away from The Walking Company. They have a company policy of mailing a check for returns over $100. I returned a pair of shoes right before they declared bankrupcy and now I'm out over $150.

Snickollet said...

@Audrey, those boots sound AWESOME.

@Those of you who recommended Fluevogs: I'm kind of obsessed with them now, just from what I see online. But so expensive! Worth it, I'm sure, but expensive!

Charlie said...

Fly London shoes. Both comfy and stylish. I've got boots and shoes and love them!

Betty M said...

I love Campers - http://www.camper.com/#/en/09-10-catalogue/ - very comfy - I have pairs I have worn for years.

vhiler said...

Kenneth Cole has a new line out called Gentle souls. I just bought these. Very comfortable and a little more stylish.

http://www.kennethcole.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3091529&cp=3075260

JessicaD said...

Josef Siebel for fun, super comfy summery shoes!

Patti K. said...

This is my kind of style, so I will second (or more many more) the recommendations already here:

Ecco, Keen, Simple, Clarks & Sofft.

Ecco: I have a pair of clogs of theirs-- very cute, almost hip, just still practical. Not the best for all day, with lots of walking, but for my university desk job they are great.

Keen: LOVE them. I have had 3 knee surgeries, and for all day wear, these are my go-to. They are my only pair of shoes in my closet that my knees & feet don't hurt in by the end of the day. Only drawback is they are pretty casual, and I can't wear them to work.

Simple: I have a pair of sandals, and they are both comfortable and cute. They come in lots of bright colors, so you can add a splash of red to your closet!

Clarks: I have several pairs, and these are the most often worn shoes in my closet. They are fancy enough for my work, but still comfortable and they usually still have a bit of a heel.

Sofft: I just got a pair of nicer shoes in this brand and I really like them. They are fancy, and super comfortable. I will buy more of these in the future.

Good luck!

Meegs said...

Terresoles... love them!

yatima said...

I dearly love my Born and Rockport boots and my Sofft heels; but I have to sing in praise of my brand new Frye harness boots. I've hardly taken them off since I got them. The day after they arrived I went dancing in them and danced for three hours; no blisters. Absolutely, without question, the most comfortable and best-looking footwear I have ever owned.

Lals said...

Here's my two-cents worth, Snick:

I've had multiple knee injuries, broken my ankle, and also have a neuroma in my right foot. Clearly, comfortable shoes are important to me, but I'm a bit of a style-snob as well.

Clarks: I really like this brand. Their shoes are durable and comfortable. If you're going for style, look at their Artisian line. Super-cute.

Naot: Comfortable, but I am morally against that company, so I won't wear their shoes.

Privo: Their ballet flats are adorable. I have a bony heel, though, and always end up with blisters from their shoes -- fair warning. I know of other people who love those shoes.

Ecco: Love 'em!

Keen: Too chunky.

Merrill: Love 'em!

Sofft: They're a bit narrow and thus trip my neuroma. However, if you don't have that problem, you'd likely be fine.

Campers: Oh yeah...

Good luck!

JudithNYC said...

I only wear Birkenstocks and Doc Martens but Naot and Mephisto are very comfortable too. (What she said about the Naot company but I bought mine a long time ago without realizing where they came from.)

If you want a pair of really dressy but comfortable shoes, Taryn Rose.

Good luck with your search.

teridr said...

I love, love, love my Naots, especially the Masai shoes, which are really cute. I had never heard there was any kind of ethical problem with the company -- I buy them, in part, because they are first-world products and the company not only pays every worker well, but also donates a lot (in money and in shoes) to women's shelters in the US.

What are they doing that's a problem? I'm interested, because I do a lot of my decision-making based on ethics (well, and well-made shoes that are really cute!).

Karyn said...

I'm mentioning these to you, since I got them in PDX last time I was there: El Natura Lisa shoes from the "Clog Store" (I think was its name) right by Pioneer Square. They were insanely expensive, but have been worth every penny. I LOVE them: cute, unique, and comfortable enough to be my chosen shoe to shlep around Disneyland (now that's saying something!). I probably never would have spent that much on shoes, except it happened to be my birthday, Adam hadn't yet gotten me a present, and I tried them on and loved them--voila! Instant Birthday present! Anyway, check them out.

Alayna said...

I vote for both Keens and Naots. Good luck with the great shoe search!

Watercolor said...

great suggestions. Also throw in a couple of totally trendy sparkly flip flops for date night or night out with friends. Very comfortable and really cute and inexpensive. I'm wearing some pewter ones from Nine West right now. At Work!
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5754860/Mobile%20Photo%20Apr%207%2C%202010%204%2026%2031%20PM.jpg

No idea if that link with come through as a link....

Libby said...

I love Fluevogs. They ARE expensive, but they honestly last forever. Here are my top three picks:

http://www.fluevog.com/code/?w%5B0%5D=gender%3Awomen&w%5B1%5D=attribute%3AShoe&pp=3&view=detail&p=36&colourID=2068 - I wear these ones all the time; even bike in them (although there is a heel)! They are on sale at the moment and I would recommend them without hesitation.

http://www.fluevog.com/code/?w%5B0%5D=gender%3Awomen&w%5B1%5D=attribute%3AShoe&pp=1&view=detail&p=15&colourID=2515 - soooo comfortable; you can wear them without socks and they look amazing

http://www.fluevog.com/code/?w%5B0%5D=gender%3Awomen&w%5B1%5D=attribute%3AShoe&pp=1&view=detail&p=14&colourID=1237 - these are a great shoe; not a huge heel, but give a little height. (Caveat - I wore these into the ground)

Good luck! Shoe shopping is the best.

Dr. Smak said...

I love Clarks sub-line called Indigo.

Gotta do Zappos.

Morgan said...

I'm a stay at home mom to 4 kids, so I live in cute flats.

But, I love neutral pumps! Super cute, but not overly trendy. And, they look good with everything.

http://piperlime.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=37075&vid=1&pid=729942&scid=729942032

Rev Dr Mom said...

I used to be all-Dansko all the time, but I've branched out to Keen, Ecco, Chaco (for sandals) and my winter boots are Earth--which I never ever thought I'd buy but they are SO comfortable that I'm seriously considering these sandals.

Also like Born but have found Privo to be disappointing.

Have fun!

OTRgirl said...

I used to love my Danskos, but they twisted my heels too often. Check out J-41 as a brand: fun, funky and usually waterproof. Also for heels, Indigo by Clark often has comfortable, but fun boots and shoes.

Good sources for discount sales on the above styles (and others mentioned):
http://www.sierratradingpost.com/Shoes-and-Boots.html

http://www.planetshoes.com/

Anonymous said...

Hey, now don't let this wet Pacific Northwest stop you from wearing cute shoes! I, too live here, but tromp about in all sorts of styles, because as much as I love the commercial, I am NOT this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z59fQ12OR0A


- Andrea

Jennifer said...

Rieker-antistress. I got mine from shoebuy.com. I have never loved a pair of shoes more. I'm a research scientist and am on my feet ALL day and my feet and legs feel better after work than if I wear sneakers. I can't remember the style (white with tan trim closed toe leather criss-cross sandles...) but I got so many compliments on them that I bought another pair exactly like them because I wanted to wear them the next year and was afraid I wouldn't find them again. That was 3 years ago and the second pair is still in the box because the originals still look brand new. I can't wait for spring every year because I get to wear them.

Anonymous said...

Look at Kate Spade shoes. Incredibly stylish/eye-catching and typically always with the perfect kitten heel.

Anonymous said...

I'm also a recovering Dansko wearer. Wore clogs everyday FOR YEARS and recently got tired of them too.

I just bought these shoes:

http://www.munroshoes.com/ProductDetails.aspx?id=169

They are super comfortable, cool looking, easy-on and easy off like clogs, and sturdy. I can wear them with professional clothing or jeans. Love them!

Hilary said...

I have several pairs of Fluevogs, the oldest are more than 20 years old, my brogues are 14 years old and I still wear them most days in the winter. None of them have fallen apart, ever. Subscribe to their email letter and watch for sales, you can get some awesome deals. Even going to the website and checking on the sales will help.

I also wear Fly (London)although they're not as sturdy. I have a couple of pairs of Clarks Artisans, and while they're cute, the heels are rounded a bit and easy to fall off of. Comfy though.

Good luck.

OneTiredEma said...

Naot. You can waterproof them.

I bought two pairs of super cute sandals recently, one more casual, one dressier. I do live in the Middle East now, so it won't be cool or rainy for about the next six months, but regardless--so comfortable!

(My mom bought some closed toe ones when she visited me in Israel last month.)

allie o said...

Hey! You gotta check out Sofft, www.sofftshoes.com. I saw a few people actually already recommended them. I actually work for the company and I literally wear a pair of them every day, all day. They are a little more on the fashionable side, without sacrificing comfort. If the styling is a bit too fashion-forward for you, check out our sister brand Softspots, www.softspots.com.
If you are interested in either brand, let me know and I can hook you up. I am your friend on Facebook (Alison Ouellette).

beyond said...

i'm late on this, and i see you already have shoes, so keep this in mind for next time: ARCHE shoes. french brand, handmade in france. patented natural latex soles that absorb a lot of shock. beautiful. they last for years and are great quality for your money.

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

I wear these all day every day (except I go shoeless in my house):

http://www.zappos.com/tsubo-cori-black-bright-blue

I have two pairs, and they come in some slightly different styles. They're good for anything, even a light hike. (I hate sneakers and will not wear them except to work out).

(Once I had a windfall and treated myself to some Arche's. They were $200 and started to fall apart almost immediately.)

Oh how I love to give advice! Thanks for the opportunity.

Hugs.

Supa

Laura said...

Way late to this post but noticed that no one recommended a favorite of mine-- Miz Mooz shoes (www.miz-mooz.com). The best on-line selection is Infinity Shoes (www.infinityshoes.com). Super comfortable and fun colors. Enjoy!