In my ongoing battle against the accumulation of stuff, these shoes left the house recently.
The three in the middle went to charity shops, whilst sadly the battered old boots with holes and no heels went to landfill. (the flip flops I've ended up keeping as I realised I have nothing else summery to wear, although they are pretty battered).
As with all things I'm getting rid off, throwing things away is making me think about getting them in the first place, and shoes is a particularly bad area for me. I'm awful for buying shoes that don't fit, cheap shoes that fall apart almost immediately, shoes that are impossible to walk in, shoes I don't really like but feel like I 'need'.
I should be buying shoes that are a) comfortable b) durable and c) likeable. I really need to find some shoes that will last for years instead of months, shoes that won't give me corns or bruises or bend my feet out of shape. For some reason I don't think I have ever managed to do this.
Part of my excuse is that I have size 8 feet (41 european, I think a US 10), which are wide, with long toes, and one hammer toe. It is very difficult to find anything which is remotely nice-looking that fits, so if I find something 'almost there' I tend to buy it.
And I also have a fair amount of vanity about my shoes and clothes, so although there may be some tough, comfortable shoes out there, I'm still going to be pretty reluctant if they make me miserable with their ugliness. I have a semi-legitimate reason for some of this vanity, as I work in an environment where I am often meeting clients and am required to look reasonably smart.
Aside from the freakish feet and the vanity however, there's another reason why my holy grail of shoes has not yet been uncovered - which is that there just don't seem to be shoes out there (where I'm looking at least) that fit my criteria above. So many are made cheaply, which not only leads to them quickly wearing out, but also often means they are not designed for feet, but for fickle fashion followers, and are mightily uncomfortable.
So, at the moment I have one good pair of work shoes, I have my scrappy flip flops I got free off a magazine (I've accumulated so much awful tat through it being 'free' - another bad habit I'm trying to break!), I have various trainers, some falling apart flats I wear day in day out, and a few smart shoes which kill my feet but that I can wear for a couple of hours if really required to dress up. For the time being, this will do me. But as I come to replace these ones that will rapidly expire, I really need to find some shoes that will fit my brief. The search is on - I'll update when I find some goodies. In the mean time, all suggestions gratefully received!!!