Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Distraction from the Election: Bargainous Weekend Shoe Hall

Hello, everyone!

Today’s Election Day in the US and the only way I can distract myself from the gnawing electoral anxiety I am feeling is to talk about something else entirely.  So, kids, let’s talk about shoes!

It’s a new season and you know what that means: new shoes!  This past weekend, I hit Payless ShoeSource looking for some flats and wellies to get me through the winter.  When it comes to skincare and makeup, I adhere to the adage “you get what you pay for” and are often willing to pay a bit more for items that I will get more use from.  Shoes, however, are a different animal entirely.

I literally work in one of the most dangerous cities in America.  My daily commute to work includes an intercity bus frequented by people in drug treatment, another express bus frequented by similarly sketchy folks, and a trek through two parking lots and a busy throughway.  This doesn’t count and side trips I might make during the day to get coffee or a bite to eat.  The idea of wearing fancy shoes when I am walking around uneven surfaces and in grubby areas freaks me out; I would rather muck up shoes that I haven’t spent an arm and legs on than a pair that I have invested in.  If I worked in a posh environment or if my commute wasn’t a bit treacherous and hard on shoes, maybe I’d feel differently.  For the time being, however, inexpensive footwear serves my purposes: practicality, comfort, and stylishness.

Here are the kicks I picked up this past weekend.

[caption id="attachment_299" align="aligncenter" width="300"] American Eagle flats in leopard print and basic black from Payless ShoeSource[/caption]

Two Pairs of American Eagle Brand Flats
($10 each, on offer buy one get one 50% off: $15)

I was in need of a new pair of black flats since my last pair basically crippled me.  Since they were on offer, I picked up a second pair in a cool leopard print.  Both pairs are suede-like, have a thin sole, and little arch support.  However, I wore the black pair to work Monday (about twelve hours of wear) and I wasn’t uncomfortable.  The leopard print pair, which I wore for some serious walking today, have given me some blisters; that's what I get for distance walking in a pair of new flats!  Ho-hum!

[caption id="attachment_300" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Me in the leopard print flats.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_301" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Me in the basic black flats that lasted twelve hours without discomfort.[/caption]

Normally, I wear between a nine and a ten in shoes depending on the brand; these are a size 9.5 and are a comfortable fit.  While I  know that these flats aren’t made for durability, they are comfortable, flatter most outfits, and truly bargainous.  

[caption id="attachment_303" align="aligncenter" width="225"] A basic pair of glossy black rainboots.[/caption]

Rugged Outback Rainboots
(approximately $29.99)

I’d really love to have a pair of Hunter wellies; I have a passion for heritage fashions and I have long wanted to have a pair set next to my Dr. Martin’s (which are now fifteen years old!) in my closet.  Hunter boots are pricey ($135 on Zappos) but are not price exclusionary; if I managed to keep out of Ulta for a month, I could comfortably afford a pair without cutting into my mayonnaise budget.  That being said, I live in Northern California where, though it rains, it doesn’t rain that much.  A $135 pair of rainboots is . . . . too much.  So, I found an analogous pair at Payless that is flattering, functional, and cheap as heck.  If a hobo accidentally tread upon me in these, I wouldn’t have to beat him up . . . just make him cry.

[caption id="attachment_304" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Here are the boots in without jeans tucked into them.[/caption]

Remember: rain boots run large, so unless you want to wear another pair of shoes inside of your boots you need to size down.  These are a size nine and I am able to fit a pair of tucked jeans in snugly into the boot shafts.  

[caption id="attachment_305" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Yes, you can wear boat shoes into fall![/caption]

Dexter Boat Shoes
($20 on sale, in buy one get one 50% off in offer with rainboots: $10)

These plaid boat shoes are in cute fall colors and are very comfortable to walk in.  They will go wonderfully with jeans and khakis and walk the fine line of business casual.  I would wear these both on the weekend as well as to work without worrying about professional dress standards.

[caption id="attachment_306" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Look! I joined Vampire Weekend! JK, I just bought boat shoes.[/caption]

The boat shoes run slightly larger than size, but I stayed at a 9.5 so I wouldn’t get any pinching or rub against my toes.

What are your thoughts on bargain footwear?  Should we favor price over quality?  Let me know in the comments.



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