In My Shoes : “Show Shoes”

When you do as many art shows as I do, you need a comfortable pair of shoes, since they days are long and I tend to stand the entire time. But, as a shoe lover, I can’t just wear any pair of shoes. Especially not—gasp—tennis shoes. Those have their time and place, like the gym, but not at an art show. No sir.

camel sandals

These workhorse sandals helped me stay comfortable in the unbearable heat we dealt with at this year’s Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, NY.

I found these sandals when I went shoe shopping with my mom last spring. She asked me, the shoe expert (ha ha), to help her buy her first pair of knee-high boots. Adorable, right? So of course I agreed, since I never pass up an opportunity to look at shoes, or to help enable another person in his or her budding shoeaholicism.

While searching for the perfect boots for my mom, I happened to stumble upon these camel-colored sandals on the clearance rack. I tried them on, which I’ve mentioned in the past is dangerous for me (once on my feet, it’s very rare that I don’t take a pair of shoes home). So, you guessed it, I made them mine.

It wasn’t love at first sight, or even “love at first try-on” that day, but I decided I did need (ha, “need”) a pair of neutral-colored sandals since I’d thrown out two pairs of brown sandals when I moved the previous winter. But they were cute enough, and comfortable, and the price was right. It turns out, I’m so glad I bought them because they became my “show shoes,” meaning I wore them to almost every art fair I did this summer. Which was a lot.

They also ended up being great walking-around shoes, like when redshoes26 was in Chicago in September, again for an art show. One day, I walked more than 10 miles in these babies, and had no problems. They are very utilitarian, comfy sandals, but still fashionable.

Overall, stumbling upon these turned out to be a happy accident, and they and their gold footbeds have been a nice addition to my shoe collection.

That’s right. Gold.


In My Shoes : “Board” with snow

I recently started a new feature on redshoes news 2.6 called In My Shoes. As a shoeaholic, I’ve racked up quite a collection. I’m also an athlete, so I have several pairs of shoes that fit the different sports or activities I participate in. One I’m highlighting today is a new pair of snowboard boots I bought this past winter.

snowboard boots

I don’t want to see my snowboard boots again until next winter.

I know what many of you are thinking, especially those who have known me for a good portion of my life: CJ snowboards?! It’s true. Well, I’m not sure I can even claim that “I snowboard” quite yet, as I just began learning this past October. I’m on my bum about as much as I’m on my feet/board, and I can’t for the life of me master getting off the chairlift. In the, hmm…I’d say 40 times I’ve tried getting off the chairlift, I’ve fallen every time but once. OK, a few times I simply put a knee down. But I count that as a fall. Stomp pads, tricks offered by friends…nothing so far has helped me stay vertical. But I’ll get it. Next year. I’ve put my snowboard and snowboard boots away for the season.

But maybe I shouldn’t have. If those of you reading are in the Midwest or, in particular, in Minnesota, you are looking out the window right now at a couple inches of snow on the ground. Yep, on April 12. I know. You’re probably as crabby as I am about it. I doubt even my most snow-loving friends are loving it right now. They have to be as sick of it as I am. If they’re not, they should try to explain why. I’d *love* to hear it. Really.

Looking at this photo of me riding the chairlift in Big Sky, Montana, when I was there on vacation at the end of January, I remember feeling happy about snow. Happy to be out on these beautiful, beautiful mountains trying my best to snowboard. My visit to Montana was only my fourth time ever snowboarding, so I was still a beginner, still learning. Still falling. And falling.

And falling.

The best part was, we got so much snow while we were on our trip that not one of my falls hurt. In fact, I would sometimes fall just to stop and rest. The snow was like a cushy down comforter, not a concrete sidewalk like here in Minnesota. WARNING: I’m posting photos of my swollen and purple knee, which I captured on my iPhone after my second snowboarding excursion, on a rainy/icy night in October in Minnesota. Those falls hurt. Bad.

bruised knee

It hurts just looking at this photo.

Not only was the powder in Montana soft, the mountains are so huge, you’re riding them for a long time, and you need to take breaks. Well, if you’re a newbie like me, you need to take breaks, anyway. Or you just take a break to admire the unbelievable scenery that’s surrounding you. I did that. A lot.

But, back to the shoes. When I look at the photo of my snowboard boots, I remember enjoying winter, and it makes me happy. Lacing them up the first time was intimidating, as I was riding with a very experienced group, and also exciting, at the thought of adding a new sport to my repertoire.

But when I look at this photo of my boots today, there’s not one bit of me that wants to go out and ride in the snow we have right now. It’s April! I should be getting my footsies ready to wear open-toed shoes. Or preparing my body to start the softball season in a little over a month. What’s *wrong* with Mother Nature? We Minnesotans are sick of snow. We want to be wearing sandals and spikes, not snowboard boots.

Like I said, I’ve put them in the back of the closet, and will continue thinking spring–and sandals.

In My Shoes : Texas Twosome

I’m starting a new feature on redshoes news 2.6, called In My Shoes. As a rabid shoe collector, I’ve racked up quite a collection (as anyone who has seen the inside of my closet or has helped me move can attest). Lots of times, my shoes have a “story,” whether it’s where I got them, or a place I wore them, or the history I’ve had with them. Sometimes I just love the way they look and want to talk about them! Yep.

I thought it might be fun to not only show off my shoe collection, but in doing so, let you get to know a little bit more about me as well. In the past, I’ve talked in this blog about redshoes26 design, art, being an entrepreneur, and what shows I’ve got scheduled. But I am my business, so I want you to get to know me a little more, too. So along with the familiar content, I’m adding a bit more. I hope you like the inside peek.



So. My first In My Shoes entry revolves around these snappy leopard-print flats I got while in Austin, Texas, for the Renegade Craft Fair in late November. I went on the trip with my friend Larissa Loden, and we spent a couple extra days in Austin, exploring the city and the food and anything else we could squeeze in.

One day whilst shopping at the most wicked outlet mall I’ve ever been to–on Black Friday, no less (this wasn’t planned, it just happened that way…and it was an incredible, happy accident)–I suggested to Larissa that we go into a shoe store that looked from the outside to be one of those “comfy shoe stores” where typically the shoes may be comfy, but they suuuure aren’t pretty. She’d been looking for a new pair of leopard-print flats to replace some uncomf ones she had, and we’d struck out at a few cool shoe stores so far during the trip. So we thought, what the hell, we have nothing to lose. I spotted (pun intended) some right away, and they were perfect. If you’re anything like Larissa and me, you understand what I mean about the “perfect” leopard print. So much animal print stuff out there is hideous and tacky. I can’t even describe to you what I mean about the “perfect leopard print,” I just know it when I see it. And it’s rare.

Anyway, she tried the shoes on, and we noticed that they were on super sale, thanks to it being Black Friday, so I, being the reckless shoe lover that I am, tossed on a pair on as well. I’d recently been thinking of adding some animal print to my wardrobe because I’m a super solids-and-stripes girl. I have some polka-dots, and some crazy-ass patterned shirts/dresses mixed in, but no animals as of yet. I also don’t normally wear flats, since this girl loves her heels. But once those shoes were on my feet, I realized they were going to start my foray into the wild side (yep, I did it again). Plus, as anyone who’s gone shoe shopping with me knows, if I like a pair of shoes and I put my foot into one of them, they usually go home with me. I know this, so sometimes I just won’t even try a pair on, if I can’t afford them, or don’t “need” them, etc.

Torture. Truly.

I did mention it is an addiction, right?

So, short story long, Larissa and I are shoe twinsies. We’ll have to check with each other whenever we go out to see if the other is going to wear her leopard flats. But it’s a small price to pay to have such a fun shoe in my collection.

They are also perfect for wearing to art shows because they’re flat, and they came from one of those “comfy shoe stores,” remember? So I guess the moral of this story is to never judge a shoe store by its, uh, comfy-shoe-store name, I guess. Because we hit the jackpot with these babies.

Thanks for reading! What’s your goofy addiction? What do you think of animal prints? Do you like my shoes (I won’t be offended if you don’t!)?