My Ugly Shoe Fetish

I remember the first time I saw a pair of Crocs. The Informant was a toddler and Animal and Mineral were at half-day camp. I went to the one mall in all of Yuma, Arizona, with my friend Angela, and I saw them at a sports equipment store. I loved them immediately. Angela said they were ugly but that her sister who lived in Oregon and hiked and used patchouli deodorant and didn’t own a television would like them. I bought a pair in brown — BROWN! — and I literally wore them all the time. I wore them inside my house. I lounged on the couch in them. I think the only time I took them off was when we went swimming.

I have always cared more about comfort than aesthetics when it comes to shoes. This is why I currently own a pair of Toms, another pair of Crocs, a pair of Teva sandals and two pairs of Keens. And a pair of Merrill’s that actually have shoelaces — which, in my opinion, is a lot of effort just for some shoes.

Love you, girls!

I used to have a pair of Vibram Five-Fingers that I actually wore in public. Jugs were horrified. Once I took the kids over to Miss Manners’ house with Nice-Nice, and we were watching Project Runway while the kids played outside. I was dozing on the couch, drooling, and I heard them having a conversation about how horribly ugly the Vibrams were. Ironically, I was so tired because I was pregnant with Cousin It and didn’t know it yet, and the minute I found out I was pregnant my feet grew so I could no longer wear them. This was clever of my body, no? Grow too big for the hideous shoes; genius! Prom Queen tried them on once and I was totally shocked at how UGLY THEY WERE. Seriously, they were not that awful on me! I swear!

Tevas are definitely a workhorse shoe.

Meanwhile, I consider ugly, comfortable part of my personal aesthetic, just like when I put on a khaki skirt and a shirt without stains, I consider myself “dressed up.” It’s just me. I own one pair of Grecian-type sandals that I have worn exactly twice — they went with a dress in size four that I wore twice when I was uber-skinny — that I really need to donate to Goodwill because they just don’t fit with my lifestyle. Just like the dress doesn’t fit me anymore either!

Those stringy things? They’re LACES. I know, right? Weird.

However, I have made one significant improvement: I no longer wear my Crocs in public. This is progress.

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4 Responses

  1. I like the TeVa’s. I need a new pair of sandals since my pair of c.2005 Nike sandals finally disintegrated

  2. For the last year I have worn a pair of the “dressier” crocs (grayish brown Malindi) and people have remarked that they didn’t realize they were crocs. They are just as comfortable as normal crocs but I can even wear them with a skirt since they look like flats!

  3. I wear cheap danskin fit flops from about March thru October and then athletic shoes from about November thru February. I have at least a dozen pairs of shoes but for the most part they go unworn. I even got a pair of slip on sneakers from LL Bean so as to avoid laces! When I have to dress up I will likely be found in another Wal Mart shoe…..a pair of black slip on heels that are incredibly comfortable and can be walked in for a good while. Of course all this means that my very comfy clothes must be matched (somewhat) to the cheap, comfy and slip on shoes that I own. Oh and on the rare hiking (really walking and wheezing but hiking sounds better) trips I have a pair of sandals by Hi-Tech which I love. Those used to be used all the time but between less opportunity to hike and having to actually bend over and Velcro them on they spend most of the time in the closet.

  4. I canNOT do pretty shoes anymore. My feet bleed and blister in protest until I slip on something clunky again, and then they sigh in relief. They’re such wusses. I’ve finally admitted I’m a mom, though, so that makes it all ok.

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