Best foot forward


I have a real liking for brightly coloured shoes. I like the way that they contrast with my clothes as I wear a lot of black and navy. Apparently the reason why women so love to buy shoes is because they still fit when you’ve put on weight!
My wages as a Saturday girl in the early 1970s were spent almost solely (pun intended) on shoes. I earned £1.25 a day and can remember spending £4.99 in a very exclusive shop on a pair of divine pair in black patent leather when an average pair cost less than half that price. I think my love of good shoes was born there and then. My father was so horrified at the price he said that I should take them back but my mother said that I’d earned the money and now I should live with the consequences of wasting it all so frivolously; it would be a good lesson and I’d soon regret it. I didn’t consider it frivolous at all, and no lesson was learned – I wore them proudly until they fell to pieces several years later.

Recently mentioning at the gym that I was taking a pair of shoes for re-heeling, I was shocked to hear someone ask, “Do people still do that?” Turns out this person throws them away once the heel has worn down! Several others agreed that they no longer took shoes for heeling. I really do look after my shoes very well. I have a whole basket of products designed for leather care and I polish my shoes almost every time I wear them. I also always spray new shoes with a leather protector. This is why I still have shoes that were bought in the 1980s, including the multi-coloured ones in the picture above. They were from the Clarks Piazza range and I wear them perhaps a couple of times a year.


The gold moon & star ones are Roland Cartier, bought when my daughter was a little girl, c 1990. The yellow ones were from Jacques Vert and were bought for a wedding maybe twenty years ago. I have other several pairs which are up to 15 years old.
At the gym I wear the two-tone lace ups – I am not a girl that does trainers! My latest shoe purchase was cerise suede ballerinas, bought for no other reason than that I fell madly in love-at-first-sight! That rarely happens of late. The green and the lilac ones are just two of several pairs that have been dyed using TRG Easy Dye bought from Amazon. They have a huge range of colours available and, as suggested in the name, it is very easy to use. (I’ve successfully dyed boots too, and have a few shoe-dyeing tips to share so if interested, just ask).
The younger me loved heels, though never ones as high as my friend Angela wears even though she is the same age as me. She refers to them as her Carter-Bar shoes (i.e. they’re so high that you can only walk as far as from the car to a bar in them)! The queen of divinely gorgeous shoes (and very glamorous with it) , she even has red-soled Louboutins. I think the heels are about 4.5”! I still love the look of heels but rarely wear them nowadays, though I have retained a few pairs for occasions that demand them. My usual style now is ballerina, and in particular, those made by Gabor. In real terms, I think they are still less expensive than those beautiful black patent ones!
Some years ago I visited the Manolo Blahnik exhibition at London’s Design Museum. Here I saw the most amazing, most outrageous, most creative shoes ever. But they could only be viewed behind glass, or from a good distance away. There was no trying on and no touching. Understandable, of course, but so, so disappointing!

I have a favourite pair. They are red leather ankle straps and were bought at a relatively inexpensive price several years ago from Marks & Spencer. Sadly though I love to look at them, they are more or less unwearable because they are so uncomfortable! Nevertheless, I can’t imagine ever throwing them away.

imageI’m almost embarrassed to say that this selection only comprises a small part of my shoe collection. I’ve not even mentioned sandals or boots (apart from the fact that I dyed a pair…light tan to deep wine),  I said in an earlier post that my love of beautiful shoes had waned on becoming a student, and this is largely true. I buy few now but when I do, they have to be especially beautiful.


  1. I’m astonished! So many pairs. I have about six pairs of shoes and two pairs of boots and a pair of sandals! But then, the book collection is HUGE. We all have our little weaknesses, ha ha!
    Margaret P


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