I need some new teaching shoes for fall semester. My trustworthy, if utilitarian, Keens always look incongruous with the feminine tailoring I prefer for my teaching/meeting outfits. Plus, my black Keens are a bit too big for my feet, since they were purchased late in pregnancy. So I’ve been looking for some new shoes – somewhat feminine, somewhat fun, but still they must be comfortable. I need to be able to walk around campus in them, even if I switch to Keens or Chacos when I go to pick up Minnow.
Like all good shoe-lovers would, I started with Isis’s weekly shoe selections. But many of the heels were so high I would fear for my safety. And others, well, Isis and I don’t see eye-to-eye on some patterns and details. Nonetheless, I set out to find a pair of shoes that would make me happy and would keep Isis from cringing. I considered it a challenge (and much more fun than perpetual abstract and grant writing).
After spending way too much time on shoes.com and zappos, I settled on a couple of possibilities, vetted them with Isis via email, and ordered a pair. They were cute yet professional, subtle but fun, with a heel but not a tower, and they were reasonably cheap.
Figure 1. Punkrose Kera shoe. $42.80 on sale at shoes.com.(I found a coupon code that made them even cheaper.) Free shipping both directions.
The shoes are just as cute in person as in the pictures, and I adore the rounded toe. I could totally picture teaching in them, with most students noticing nothing but a pair of black pumps, but me and a few observant shoe-lovers delighting in the splash of color at the heel.
They squished my toes and shifted all of my weight to the balls of the feet. I could barely walk around in them and took them off after five minutes. The next morning, I resolved to give them a second try with some padding on the balls of my feet. So I hied myself to Walgreens and bought the appropriate pads.
The padding helped, though my toes were still a bit squished. I sat at my desk and worked with them on for about 35 minutes. They actually nicely compensated for the too-high office chair (necessary for the too high desk).
I tried the bathroom test. Could I walk down the hall to the women’s restroom without falling over, looking silly, or hobbling?
Nope. While I didn’t fall over and the padding did help the balls of my feet, my walking was totally unnatural (and I do routinely wear low heeled boots) and my heels kept lifting out of the shoe. Plus, the walking accentuated the toe squishing. While on the potty, I admired the cuteness of the design and the adorable rounded toe. But walking back to my office confirmed that I could never hope to wear these on even the mildest work day or across the church parking lot with toddler in tow.
I got back to my office, went to shoes.com and printed out the return label. I slipped back into my so-well-loved-that-7-years-in-they-are-finally-falling-apart Chacos, breathed a sigh of relief, and got back to the real world.
End of story.
(Or is it? I’ve got a box from Zappos on the way. Y’all will have to wait and see what it contains.)