‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly’ of Shoes Revealed

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Finding The Right Footwear is No Shoo-In

I’ve been looking at new shoes for a while lately; looking, mind you, not buying. You see, I’m a “practical shoes” person. I want my shoes to be attractive, yes, and they must accomplish their basic function of providing a barrier between me and sidewalk slag, i.e., discarded chewing gum, dead bugs, and the like. Most shoes will accomplish that. Bona fide, practical shoes.

For me, though, they must meet two other criteria: First, are they comfortable? Two, would they prevent me from running for my life? This is critical should you encounter a Kardashian or other alien life form. (For more on shoes, visit my blog at thewitsendscribbler.com)

Web Walk

Have you really looked at women’s shoes today? What are the “designers” thinking? The last time I went shoe shopping I came home totally frustrated. When someone asked if I’d found what I wanted I replied, “Yeah, if I were a hooker!” (Or a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” character!) Most of the creations (I hesitate to call them “styles”) are absolutely grotesque. I did a virtual stroll of Internet shoe stores and what I saw had me doubled over either in pain or laughter. (I’d show you the photos of these foot flops but I’d probably get into trouble with the copyright cops. Alternatively, I’ve included the web addresses so you can look them up for yourself.)

At DSW you’ll find the “London Rebel Tart Wedge Pump” with its “snake embossed fabric upper” mounted on a suede triangular platform, maybe two inches high at the front and sloping to probably five or more inches at the back with a triangular opening at the instep. They look like stunted turquoise floor joists. They also come in black and magenta.

Dollhouse Trip Wedge Pump

Then there’s the “Dollhouse Trip Wedge Pump.” The treacly description reads, “This sweet Mary Jane has all the girly details you need.” It’s a suede purple thing mounted on a triangle of stacked wood. Trip is right! One step in these clunkers and all your girly details will be sprawled face-down on the floor.

In my view, the shoes described above (and the myriads of others like them) are the hideous consequence of an ill-conceived experiment, a real “cobble boggle,” if you will.

How do you even walk in these things?

Boot Ugly!

The shoes are bad enough but there are also what are referred to as “booties.” Whoa! Back up! Booties are for babies! I wear boots, be they short or tall.

A place called shoedazzle.com offers a bland, pinkish tan example with a high spiked heel.

It wraps a couple of inches above the ankle and includes long leather fringe down the instep to the open toe. In these things your feet would look like miniature sheepdogs in drag.

Macy’s has a lot more classic fare but the weird has made its way into their shoe department as well. They have a variety of, ahem, “bootie” called the “DMSX Shoes Ginger Platform Bootie” that’s loaded down with thick straps, buckles, and heavy chrome-colored chains. For added flair the toe of this “bootie” is attached to what looks like a hockey puck. Just $248.00 to look like a trendy dominatrix!

Across from the description of these gems was a “Customers Also Shopped” column with Jessica Simpson’s “Essas Platform Booties” sporting what look like steel-capped toes (for that “tough broad” look?-$139.00), and the “Truth or Dare Michonski Platform Booties” by Madonna ($160.00), a zippered, suede and quilted-leather number that looks like a charred potholder. Both of these are proof celebrity does not equate to good taste.

More Missteps

Over at dinodirect.com is a flashy, snub-nosed model called the “Amy Fashionable Fish Mouth Platforms [sic] Hight [sic] Heel Women [sic] Shoes,” a bright yellow-and-blue concoction for the grammatically challenged ad writer. Just reading this made me feel pretty sic[k] myself. Throw this one back!

Some look like they’ve been dragged through a Jackson Pollack canvas and some look more like a dog’s used chew toy than shoes. I actually feel sorry for this mutt; it’s just downright pitiful.

“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”

Most of these sites ask for reviews of their products. So far I’ve restrained myself. I have a couple of suggestions, however. Designers: If you don’t jack the backs up so high you won’t have to add platforms to the front. Ladies: If you want to be taller, stand up straight or buy some stilts; they’re cheaper, better looking-and probably easier on your accident insurance rates. For the record, I do have an opinion on all this flaky footwear. To paraphrase Clint Eastwood in the 1966 western, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”: I’ve never seen so much leather wasted so badly.