Month: March 2016

Cinderella syndrome

I’ve noticed in recent years there have been a number of articles about how shoes aren’t fitting properly and perhaps average shoe sizes are going up, and doing a lot of vintage shopping perhaps I’ve noticed a third observation. So with this too-big-too-small trend in modern day, it seems apt to call it Cinderella syndrome.

Now first I’ll start by saying I’ve always believed I took an UK 8, and always been under the impression that translated to a European 41 and a 10.5 in the US. Apparently that isn’t totally correct, and according to the Society of Shoefitters actually, UK7=EU41, now this was in an article in the Daily Mail which means one should take this information with a good shovel of salt, the one thing I can take from this article is to forget UK sizes and know my European size which is 40.5 (give or take ½ a size each way).

These are an example of how oversized shoes come. These Ted Bakers were labelled as 41/8 but I challenge someone who is actually fits this shoe. It’s a good 2cm too long, which is why there is that patch to improve fit.



Hope you get the point

So with the weather warming up and more importantly drying out, it’s finally time to dust off your courts, pull out those leather soles, and show off your feet. Big surprise here, I’m a massive fan of pointy shoes, it never goes out of Vogue, and I think is a very flattering style, so I’m going through a selection of similarly cut shoes in a few different styles.

We have six shoes for you today, from high street to luxe by YSL, Rupert Sanderson, Dune, Charlotte Olympia and Chinese Laundry, can you tell which is which? Hint: followers of my blog will have seen all of these shoes featured here and there


Muscle Memory

The old saying goes it’s just like riding a bike, and this idiom is very true for many things we take for granted in our every day lives. It defines the concept that it’s practically impossible to unlearn actions that are programmed into our muscles, for example walking, cycling or swimming. The way heels alter your body does mean your muscles work differently, I’ve talked about how ankles work harder, and you have to strut changing the way your hips and pelvic floor move, all of this will eventually be pulled together into one sleek walk just like a well trained orchestra.

Many of you will have come across the dilemma when going on a night out, you want to go out in those killer heels, yet know that your heels are too unsteady to dance in. One solution is to slip them off and dance barefoot, but not all places like you doing that, besides who wants to go barefoot on a sticky wet dancefloor. You’re probably wondering how all the top ballroom dancers make it look so easy, its actually just an extension of learning how to walk.

I do wish I could dance as good as them, I probably need to train more. Some of the turns in particular are hard to excecute in flat shoes.
Image used under Creative Commons License by Ailura


Bonus Post: Pretty Shoes Are Back!!!

Since the arrival of the Ugg we have seen a number of shoes gain favour, we have had Crocs, Birkenstocks, and even when talking about heeled shoes it has been chunky block heels and clogs. Celine’s chunky heel has become somewhat iconic of this era, and while appearing comfy have ultimately received mixed reviews. As a hardcore stiletto junkie I have tried to cling onto the my spiky shoes, well if you read the Standard pretty shoes are having their resurgence, with fashion show front rows being lined (quite rightly) with stiletto toting editors.

With flares seeing their return from the cold the whole appeal for a more delicate shoe is quite the natural direction, the weight of these massive bell bottoms when paired with a clunky design makes you look like a bottom heavy hangover from a 70’s disco. On the other hand stilettos are a perfect counter to all that fabric of the trouser, pick a intricate design or a print that you can flash a little with each step.

Wolford Gent Trousers (These are a few years old, Wolford tend to ignore trends and just do what they do best), and YSL Classic Paris 105 in Leopard Print Suede


Designer Classics: Ferragamo and Roger Vivier

In the series of designer intros I’ve brought to you a some of the 21st century’s exciting designers, this time I’m going to delve into history to explore two legends who revolutionised shoe design, set the precedent for all shoes design since and even today their historic designs look fresh and contemporary.

Just from spending much of his youth watching his local cobbler make shoes, Salvatore Ferragamo’s natural talent allowed him to start producing his designs from the age of nine. His prodigious talent, and incessant thirst for knowledge took him to America the culmination of which was to go study anatomy at the University of Southern California. What he learnt about the way we walk changed the way shoes were produced forever, an innovtion that opened the door to higher and higher shoes.

In 1938 Ferragamo was commissioned to produced shoes for Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz this was amonst other designs which revolutionised the shoe world, and I would argue this shoe wouldn’t look out of place today.
Used undeer Creative Commons License created by Sailko


Party Time

So to lets set the scene, it’s the weekend, your make-up is perfect, you’ve spent hours on your hair and nails, and you’ve got the perfect heels for a night out with the girls. Four hours later it’s the small hours in the morning, your feet are killing, and you are at A&E because one of your friends twisted her ankle.

The happy feeling that alcohol gives you comes from the way it messes with your brain, unfortunately it’s also that same brain that controls your coordination. Drinking too much it all too easy to turn an ankle and even worse fall and split your head open.

They were lucky the officers there are just making sure they are safe, so many nights end up in ambulances
Image by Paul Townsend used under Creative Commons License


It’s All In The Mind

Do you ever wonder why we wear heels, despite the pain it causes some of us? It seems a obvious solution to simply avoid wearing them, however the raison d’etre behind our choice stems from our more evolved social part of our mind (Freud calls this the super-ego) wanting to conform to social or peer pressure to wear what is expected. As adults these norms are set out by the media, social or otherwise.

Some people seem to live in heels, they never suffer pain and it’s as if its perfectly normal to wear them all the time. It comes from starting the right way, building positively with the right frame of mind. Through good experiences, all of a sudden hurdles seem lower and bridges easier to cross, you will be more likely to succeed. That’s a great ideal, but many of people already have strong negative impressions of heels. The more primitive (Freudian id) part of our mind is the instinctive part, it seeks pleasure and avoids suffering. As such the id strongly remembers negative experiences and will try to avoid such situations again. This puts the id and super-ego in conflict, with the stronger determining the choice of footwear.

Essentially your id and super-ego are your consciences which are managed by the ego. The balance of requirements between the id and ego will determine your endurance of heels. The goal is to maximise the super-ego side and minimise the id
Translated from Original Image by Rainer Zenz


Celebrity Shoes

I was planning to write about another topic, but it’s perhaps a little controvertial and I felt it needed more research. So instead this is a bit of a continuation of last week’s post.

These are my favourite shoes, to many of you this will be no surprise, it’s common knowledge that I love Rupert Sanderson. These are his highest 11cm heel, with a point toe called the Elba, I picked up my gold ones with Swarovski embellished heels for a snip at £99, but after a little digging there’s so much more to the shoe. Not only is it a £1000 shoe with all those Swarovskis, but it’s also a shoe worn on by Nina Dobrev at the Great Gatsby premiere.

Theres a little more to it though, I would not have thought twice if they were not samples that had shown a little bit of wear already, but what set these apart was that they were in a 41, not a normal size for samples. Further that, sample tag indicated these were part of a batch for their US publicity agency, it goes to figure these shoes were lent to Nina for the red carpet. To me it’s more interesting when something has a story behind it, that’s why I like vintage items, and why I like digging through the samples.

From Shoerazzi

Sorry this week’s post is a little short, I’ll follow up with how I plan to restore these to their full glory in the near future.

Mythbusting: Freezing Shoes

A recent popular trend has been to stretch shoes by putting a bag of water in them and freezing it. Correctly identifying that water does expand when frozen, and when that happens it stretches out your shoes. Leather shoes are meant to stretch a little, and it’s a service most cobblers will offer, so the idea is to save a little money and do it at home.

I will always recommend using professional shoe stretching services and equipment.
Used with persmission ©Bob McInnes

However take a pair of shoes to a good cobbler, and he sometimes says he can’t do it, that’s not because he’s rude, or lazy, I’m grateful to him for being honest. The truth is some shoes aren’t suitable for stretching, and if you try to it’s most likely going to damage the shoes. Plastic, fabric, mesh are materials that have a little give but won’t retain that shape, and will also very easily crack or split, so they’re totally unsuitable for any stretching technique.