Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Walking in someone else's shoes

There are a few boxes that shoes need to check before I will buy them. A few is probably an understatement too. I'm of the opinion that shoes need to be comfortable, practical, and stylish but plain enough to work with most (if not all) of my outfits. They also need to be appropriate to wear all year round. As you can probably guess, I don't have the largest collection of everyday shoes. This small collection (of about five or six) has a limited colour range of browns, tans and blacks. They all get loved to within an inch of their lives and half of them have had previous owners.

There seems to be a certain stigma surrounding second hand shoes. Be it for orthopaedic or hygienic reasons I just can't jump onto that bandwagon. There is a reason why the person handing them onto you (via family or resale) and not throwing them in the bin as a lot of people tend to do with their old shoes. There is something incredibly moving (pun intended) about putting on shoes with a history. My favourite pair of shoes found in Paddington Antique Centre, is a well battered (even more since my purchase) pair of classic black Doc Martens. Hidden in the middle of an overfilled clothing rack, these pre-loved shoes were in my uncommon shoe size and softened to perfection. Since this find four years ago I have been a lover of second hand shoes; always on the hunt for a pair in my size. 

My most recent find was the week before Christmas (Christmas miracle anyone?) They were found on the same trip that I found my true (amethyst) love. Sitting unassumingly among many outgoing pairs of shoes on the floor of Shag Vintage in Centreway Arcade, my eyes locked on, and in love with these shoes I fell. Not only were they in my size (the ultimate decider) but they were loafers. I have been searching for a suitable pair of loafers since last Summer. I found them. The next pair for my small yet versatile collection. Being on a budget, my heart skipped a beat when I handed over $79 for second hand shoes but it was only momentary when I thought about how long twelve months is in 'shoe hunting land'. 

These shoes will serve me well all year round, blister free (fingers crossed). They check all of my boxes and a few more I wasn't even aware of. Its finds like these that remind me of how satisfying vintage shopping is. The one in a million chance of finding the perfect shoe that comes to me like a novel half finished. 

What are your thoughts on pre-loved shoes? 

Erin xx

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