I think one of the main reasons I get asked if I'm gay is because of my lack of concern for how hip my shoes are. My shoe wardrobe consists of the following: seven pairs of Havaianas jandals in various colours, two pairs of Gisele Bundchen jandals, four pairs of running shoes, my bike shoes, and a pair of baby-pink Chuck Taylors.
When I was growing up, my feet were always adorned in either tan-coloured Roman sandals, or Apple Pie "sneakers". Once when I was six, I was allowed some of those patent leather party shoes with black-and-white polka-dot bows, but they were my first and last pair after I wore them down the gully at my school and ruined them. So you see, bad taste in shoes is ingrained in me.
It doesn't help that because of my CP, I can't wear heels. This has been the bane of my life since I stopped growing at age 12, reaching 154cm. Everyone I know wears heels. Briar can even run in them - she claims she would run half-marathons in pink stilettos. Not me though. Although I had a growth spurt at 19 and I'm now 163cm, it still doesn't work out for me. Sometimes I claim I would rather be an amputee than have CP, because even Sophie can wear heels.
I don't even know why I'm so hung up on it, because it's not as if I'm inundated with offers for occasions where heels are necessary, but I'd like to have the option. It's like New Zealand's Next Top Model. I'm 7cm too short to even attend the casting, and even though I know I'd have no shot at getting in, I'd like to be tall enough to not be excluded. Isn't that like, heightist? For most of my day-to-day activities, my bike shoes are sufficient, and if they're not, then I have an array of jandals to choose from.
So what's the problem? Well, I go to make-up school. I'm expected to wear shoes that aren't heels (yay!) or open-toed, but look classy. Which excludes pretty much my entire collection. I've been wearing my Chucks for the time being, but they're pretty freakin uncomfortable, and I don't really see myself fitting into "the industry" wearing them. I decided to look online.
At vans.com, I found som pretty obnoxious pink-and-red striped shoes with "I'm not your bitch" scrawled in white on them. Is there really a market for shoes like this? Another similar pair are yellow, with silhouettes of various bottles of alcohol printed on them. Fail.
I'm in love with Camilla Engman's Little Red Riding Hood shoes, which she designed for the Converse Product Red range, which supports AIDS research. I did try and order some last year, but failed miserably when I didn't have a credit card with a US billing address. Most of the other shoes there are just ugly though.
Another site that I frequent, that may surprise some people, is bluefly.com. It was a fleeting obsession last year, when my best friend Jen announced her engagement, to trawl bluefly for something appropriate to wear for her big day. Granted, it's not until May of 2010, but it's my best friend's wedding! Preparation is key. Anyway, they also stock a lovely range of shoes on the site, which I now peruse out of interest on an almost daily basis. The ones that usually take my fancy are the Prada flats - of course, priced well outside of my price-range, and a little too pretentious for every-day wear. Life would be easier if I didn't have such an aversion to the shoe store of choice for most of the populace: The Number One Shoe Warehouse. I do hate this store with a fiery hate I normally reserve for Holly Hodgkinson, and I'm not entirely sure why. I've never seen shoes in there that I would wear. It's not that I think I'm better than those who do source their entire collections from here, it just doesn't cater to my taste. I'm beginning to think I'm going to have to start falling in line though, or it's going to be me and my pink Chucks against the world.
In the meantime, suggestions for stores that AREN'T the Shoe Warehouse are welcome and encouraged.