Shoes You Can Walk In

It’s time for all the girls to admit that same of your shoes are not for walking. Maybe guys too? I have no idea. I can’t get a guy to talk about shoes with me. I have gotten some strange looks from my mother, and other people, when I show them some of my favorite pairs of shoes and tell them that they are for sitting. Possibly standing. But not walking. My six inch red leather pumps are gorgeous and sexy and glorious and are intended to get me from house to car, car to venue, where I will then recline fetchingly with my legs crossed to show my super hot shoes off to best advantage.

That said, I now live in a city where walking is my main form of transportation. The red pumps are stashed away because it would have been too heartbreaking to watch them pout on a shelf while I reach for more practical options. Luckily there are some very cute shoes you can actually walk in these days, without someone asking if you’re working out later.

One of my very favorites is the classic flat riding boot.

These riding boots, by Frye, are cute with everything.

You can wear them with jeans or skirts and dresses, just add tights. Or, if you are chronically clumsy, and also cold, like me you can also hide a pair of fuzzy knee high socks and ankle braces under there. And squishy insoles. On top of the tights. I’m full of secrets.

Next up, ballet flats!

London Sole flats are pretty much the creme de la creme.

Not only are they adorable and universally flattering, but they fit in your purse! And no laces or zippers. Drunk girl’s best friend. They are equally cute when you’re sober, so that’s nice, too. And again- toss a pair of foamy insoles in there and there is absolutely no need to suffer for beauty when strolling the outdoor market spanning the never ending street. Perfect back ups to have with you when you think wearing heels all day is just an instance of mind over matter, before finding out its more like fire blisters over toes.

Which brings us to the sandal.

Not too strappy; not too stroppy. Available on Amazon.

When a flip flop just doesn’t cut it because you need ¬†for people to think that you actually wear shoes. But you actually want to show off that you took the time to paint your toes and sit still for longer than you thought was humanly possible. Also a great option for when you do get a blister and it’s literally impossible to wear anything else, but you’re afraid enough of stepping on broken glass and making it worse that you will strap something on.

But sometimes a girl needs a couple inches, so wedges!

You can get some that look exactly like these Christian Louboutins for a rational price.

In the interest of full disclosure you’re probably not going to get the same distance out of these as something flat, more so if you are me and any incline combined with weak ankles is likely to result in a falling over episode at some point. But a nice wedge is both totally formal acceptable and can make it over a few cobblestones with limited mishaps. If you’re really worried about them not being the same as a nice high heel just make sure you are always facing people and they will feel like royalty as you back out of their presence. (Walking backward may increase your chances of falling over though.)

And for when you have fallen over in the wedges, but are still commited to tallness and think you can hide your ankle brace somehow- shoe boots.

So many options these days, like these from Mr.Shoes.

Remember that for these to qualify as walking shoes you do not want supermodels- not too tall and not too thin. Otherwise you might as well just go for the heels. Unless your cold, then high heeled shoe boots could be your thing. But not for walking. No more than 2 1/2 inches on a nice chunky heel, throw those trusty insoles in and you’re practically comfortable.

I tend to stick to a fairly neutral palette for matching purposes. All of these are that little bit easier to walk in when they’re broken in and it’s barely worth it to break in the purple ones. But it is nice to have at least one pair of statement shoes to go with a basic outfit, so leopard flats or any of these with buckles or sparkle embellishments are worth keeping on hand.

Or fuck it and call Uber. Wear whatever shoes you want.

London Called, I Answered

London Called, I Answered

At first it was just a casual musing. “Gee, that study abroad semester in London sure was a lot of fun.” London was a happy memory while I went about the tedious business of adulthood. Trying out jobs, and cities, and questions. Sometimes things went well and sometimes they didn’t, but I started to wonder, “How hard would it be, really, to go back?” In this age of modern communication and convenience it turns out it’s not all that hard on paper. The other challenges I usually met with “Why should I go while I’ve got this going on?” until the last year or so when that became “Why shouldn’t I go?” This was enormously helped by my acceptance into what I hope will be a pretty cool graduate program.

The view from my bedroom...
The view from my bedroom…

Mere months later, after lining up every duck that got in my way, I’m here in London. This city of history, and accents, and Cadbury, the city that has spurred the best romance novels the world has ever seen, and supports the only monarchy anyone still cares about. It’s not exactly like I remember it- five years will do that to a place. But it’s still London. Full of delectable British people and an irrational number of fried chicken shops. As long as I don’t spend too much time in my tiny West London bedroom (must do something about these bare walls) I can remember why I came so far to walk on these streets instead of the ones back home.

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St. Pancras Station

I’m not sure what scribe of fate had a hand in todays script for me, but they clearly had fun with it. After a very lovely and normal lunch date with a friend of a friend that I hope will lead to more friends I decided to walk to my new school that I had never seen in real life. Honestly, part of me wanted to make sure it was a real place. First, I walked the wrong direction down the right street, engaged in some very pleasant eye flirting with the dishy security man in front of the Renaissance hotel and ended up at the British Library. So I popped in to visit the Magna Carta, Jane Austen’s writing desk and Henry VIII’s letters before turning around. As you do. The walking went on for a while, but I did find the school and persuaded them to let me wander about aimlessly. It’ll do, I think. Then I got lost trying to find a tube station hiding in a bend in the road.

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My university!

Made it to the platform only to hear “Ladies and gentlemen, there was a man on the track at Aldgate, the train will be 11 minutes late.” This is a very British and polite suicide report to which my fellow travelers replied with very quiet and insensitive grumbles. So we all mush onto the very late train and I snag a seat- of course, looking around avidly for a pregnant woman to give it to before she has a chance to glare at me when I take it. A couple stops before I get home, as I read the Evening Standard (my horoscope said that a big change in my life would make things confusing, but things would work out positively soon) a man on the train hands me a page ripped out from the book he was reading with his number written on it before stepping off. I smiled politely and when the doors closed me and a few other passengers/witnesses burst out laughing. I made it home only to tumble down the stairs from the platform when my ankles refused to take another step without an explanation for this crazy walking behavior.

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In the strange haze of jet lag I made it home with a skinned knee, a phone number, and a sudden urge to eat lots of dried cranberries. I managed to put together a slightly healthier dinner, ordered more pillows for my bed so that I can nest in them, and questioned all my life decisions before writing this and crashing while staring at a pile of half unpacked neutrally toned shoes.