I discovered shoes relatively late in life.
As a teenager I wore Dr Martens, pretty much non stop. The Dr Martens website suggests that everyone remembers their first pair of Dr Martens. Well yes of course we did! They were SO painful to break in!! And in those days we had one pair of shoes at a time, so it was either wear them or go barefoot. I will never forget walking back from Poolbeg to Ranalagh (in Dublin) barefoot after a night out, because the alcohol was wearing off (Shh… my mum doesn’t DO blogs, but don’t tell her I was drunk at 16!) and my heels were bleeding! I had made the fatal mistake of taking them off for a bit, and there was no chance of me putting them back on after that, so I had to walk, in my socks. I think it must have been summer, because I don’t remember being cold. But maybe that was because the pain was so intense!
After that experience, I never threw out my old DM’s until my new ones were thoroughly broken in, but then you don’t throw out Docs anyway do you? That would be sacrilege! I wore through the soles of my first pair which is virtually unheard of, but I know they are in the attic somewhere…
I wore docs non stop until I started working, and even then just bought a pair of Primark shoes for working in, and still wore my Docs the rest of the time, summer or winter. I had no interest in shoes, Docs go with everything! Also any brief foray into the realm of pretty shoes just seemed intensely painful. Having never practised, I couldn’t balance in high heels, and any delicate shoes I bought both hurt and fell apart. I wasn’t wealthy so I had to prioritize my spending, and shoes were on the bottom of the list! Docs cost £16 and lasted at least 2 years. Shoes sorted 🙂
I am also tall, even by today’s standards. At 5’10” I am taller than most women and at eye level with most men. With 3″ heels I tower over the room. I never had that confidence when I was younger.
Eventually I grew out of wearing Docs every single day, but still wanted to be comfortable more than anything else in my shoes, so gravitated towards flat shoes for work & the more waterproof Ecco boots for weekends.
Ironically enough it was Dr Martens that got me into wearing heels! I had tried on a few occasions to find pretty shoes for occasions, but found that I couldn’t balance, and also wrecked them very quickly. One day in Brighton walking through the lanes I chanced upon a pair of DM’s in a shop window that caught my eye! Black patent, elegant shoes with 3″ chunky heels! I instantly tried them on and finding them wonderfully comfortable and very easy to walk in, for the first time in my life paid £50 for a pair of shoes!
I was hooked 🙂 I bought these shoes about 10 years ago and they are still as good as new.
When I wear them I am 6’1″ and proud of it! They are amazing at job interviews, for teaching a class of 17 year old boys, or for concerts! I can wear them all day long and not even remember that i’m in heels unless someone comments about my height!
I’ve subsequently bought another 2 pairs of shoes & 2 pairs of boots all in a similar style from Dr Marten’s (Never ask me what I would like for my birthday or Christmas now!!), and then branched out a little in the last few years!
Once I realised that the secret to comfortable shoes usually involved paying quite a lot of money (the DM’s now cost between £80 and £165) I started hunting on eBay and then came across my new obsession; Irregular Choice!
I was cautious before buying my first pair of stiletto heels, but again, design is everything. The ‘Abigail’s Party‘ range from Irregular Choice are wonderfully balanced, and come in so many colours! I have customised most of mine with different coloured ribbons instead of the material laces that they come with in order to bring out one of the many colours in the shoe to match a particular outfit. The world is my oyster (Or in my case, the haberdashery shop is my accessorise!)
I have skinny ankles (or expensive feet as my mother used to say), it means i can not wear shoes without ankle straps. I had to accessorise my wedding shoes (Vivienne Westwood) with ankle ribbons to stop them falling off me! I’ll try & find a close up of them on my feet on the day to add to the gallery below. I also wore wellies (we got married in a church at the top of a hill – I wasn’t sure I could manage the 20 minute walk up the sandy hill in heels!) They were special wellies though, Weddingtons, which I accessorised with blue ribbons 🙂
In the meantime, a quote to share with anyone who is concerned about getting their next pair past their partner.
There are lots of male shoe-aholics too! – I know I live with one. Apparently it’s different for men because theirs are ‘practical’. What! Does this mean mine aren’t? I wear mine to work!
Enjoy the gallery!