STYLE STORIES SHOE SHOPPING IN MADRID
Today I want to tell you another story about shoes. If you missed last week’s, you can find it here: STYLE STORIES LOUBOUTIN HEELS
We are returning from an amazing summer spent in Costa Del Sol. We’ve been travelling through southern Spain visiting small towns and spending hours at the beach whenever we could. Shopping wasn’t a priority, sightseeing was.
During our six hour layover in Madrid my mother, who is a true shoe lover, decides that we are going to go shopping. We have just enough time for quick bite to eat and then we need to find some heels. The first pair she purchases are a black patent leather pumps with a brown-gold bow on the back. They are beautiful and elegant, but not for everyday and they are aren’t the ones her heart is lusting for.
As the hours wear on, the exact shade of green-gold feels like it’s almost attainable, yet still so far away. Just as we are about to lose hope we enter one last store. The salesman nods knowingly at her explanation and motions for us to follow.
What we see is a sight I would never believe had I not been there. We follow him through a room which appears to be your regular, everyday shoe store. The next room is filled from floor to ceiling with black shoes and bags. We descend a stair case and enter a room filled with all shades of blue shoes and bags. I know, you are now reading this in complete disbelief, but I promise it’s all true. The third room greets us with green and there, on a shelf midway up the wall, are the heels my mother has been looking for. She swoons and winds up purchasing a matching quilted Chanel-esque bag.
My whole life I’ve watched my mother wear beautiful heels, but never flats because she claimed that her achilles tendons were too short and that flats were uncomfortable. On occasion she did wear white sneakers for dog walks and the like, but never for long.
HERE’S WHAT TO DO
Coming from a dance background, I have a slight obsession with my feet and ankles and how they work. It’s a little strange, but when you have someone yelling at you to point your toes or giving you endless strengthening exercises then it just becomes an important part of your life. While this may not seem like the “sexiest” of topics (yes I admit, I’d much rather be reading about how to get flatter abs) bear with me because your feet really are your foundation. You spend all day standing on them, some of you jam them into high heels others spend hours pounding the pavement.
For about a year, maybe two, I worked in a very high end chocolate shop. It was the kind of place where we had to be dressed up at all times (no pants, skirts or dresses only) and we had to be fully made up. Flats might be okay, but heels were preferable. The worst part was that we weren’t allowed to sit at all. We used to lean on the counter to get some relief, but going home after hours of being on my feet was always the best part of my day. My ankles, calves and lower back were in constant pain and discomfort. The crazy thing is that this is when I was dancing full time, so I was fit and strong. I knew that there was more I needed to do to protect my body.
I’ve never hidden my affinity for high heels, the higher the better, but there are certain key things I look for before pulling out my credit card. It’s not just any shoe that’s coming home with me. It pains me to say that as beautiful and eye-catching as a pair of heels can be, if the quality isn’t there, then I know it has no place in my shoe closet. An uncomfortable pair of shoes, or one that looks old and worn, will never see the light of day and who wants a pair of heels they can’t show off?
I do believe that everyone can wear heels and I do believe that they add a lot to an outfit and to a woman’s confidence, but I also know first hand that wearing heels can sometimes be a painful experience. There are some lucky women who can wear sky high heels all day without a problem, but for the rest of us, there’s a lot we can do to make the process easier.