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.