I’m having terrible trouble finding a decent pair of shoes. I like leather uppers and leather soles. I like plain black or something with a little brogue pattern, though not too much. So it’s not really a question of style, these are for work after all, however, if I pop a shoe on it has to feel right. Granted I have slightly narrower feet than average but this doesn’t usually present a problem, and, my feet aren’t a couple of outsized plates – I’m a nine on a good day, a ten at times – depends on the make of shoe I think? Actually a leather sole isn’t that important but the way that the shoe is constructed sort of matters when with every new pair I buy, they go straight to the cobblers for hard-wearing, rubber soles and metal tips in the heels – yes, I make a noise when I walk, and always have done. If I find shoes that already have plastic/rubber soles, they tend to be cheaply (to me anyway) built; there is a difference in the construction between rubber and leather soles….I know what I mean.
Today’s crop of seemingly popular shoes see toes point to the sky and are way too long – for goodness sakes, some look like they should be on a pixie! I see professionals striding about, heels down with toes forgetting where the ground is! One thing did cross my mind though, they’d be perfect for that initial chip of a football from the ground for a game of ‘keepy-uppy’! Despite me being a little heavy on my heels (hence the ‘clickies’ – metal), and, yes my toes do lift a little at the front, I’m not a pixie – nor do I have any desire to look like one – or in fact conform to present podiatry fashion…
It’s no secret that I’m no great dedicated follower of fashion…
I just want my shoes to be comfortable and reasonable looking; besides, I can hardly bury someone wearing mourning dress and a pair of clown shoes now can I?
Ah but there was a time though… I was always a little awkward when it came to mum taking me for new clothing and shoes. In truth, I’m not even certain I wasn’t just objecting to things that she suggested just for the sheer awkwardness of it. That suggests that I was possibly an unappreciative brat who for no particular reason, wanted his own way. I wasn’t that selfish though; mum just had a habit of wanting her little boy to be smart, as economically as possible – with four other siblings, her purse strings were often no doubt, stretched to breaking point. And in all seriousness, I’m happy that she had. Still, her idea of smart was a far cry from my own. I still deny it was for the sake of trend or fashion. I was far too young but come on, she picked some pretty naffy things, bless her.
Mum taught me a lesson. We trundled about Newcastle one Saturday afternoon looking for school shoes. If I’d tried one pair, I’d tried ten! Eventually though we settled on a pair that I really liked. Plain, black with a decent lace-up bridge. I tried one on in the shop, even looked in the mirror. The assistant, with the typical pressing down on the toes assured mum there would be plenty of life in them but not so much that they were an ill-fit; not too big.
Okay, now I’ve got what I want, let’s go home, or you just know I’m going to have to let you drag me around behind you, winging and whining for the rest of the day while you find something nice for yourself… This sound familiar, mums?
Unless, of course, you let me wear my super new shoes right now! Well that wasn’t going to happen it seemed. It was time to apply more pressure… There must have come a point where mum grew a little more than tired of my constant harping, and, while sitting in a cafe, she relented and said okay, I could wear my new shoes but they were to come straight off when I got home and should I scuff or dirty them, I’d go to school with only rags wrapped around my feet! Right! On with shoes! A little more resistance was required by me to convince mum that I wanted to put them on myself, despite the fact that I was struggling at that time to learn to tie my laces properly – oh, yes, ashamed to say, it took me a long time to get the hang of that one!
By the time we arrived home that day, I thoroughly hated my shoes! They felt awful and not at all as comfortable as one did in the shoe shop! They hurt, they nipped at the ankle and I had a blister! I had suspected that mum gave up a little too easy in letting me put my new shoes on myself. She wasn’t stupid by any stretch. She knew I couldn’t tie the laces….and that they were only tucked down the side of the shoes….she also knew I’d put the shoes on the wrong feet!