Well, it’s finally starting to look a little bit like summer. Thank goodness for that, as it was beginning to feel like we were going to bypass spring and just go direct to autumn. Until the last few days it had been permanently early March since, well, early March. Don’t come at me with ‘It’s good for the garden.’ I’ve barely been able to go in the bloody garden all year because it seems like there’s not been a day without rain, so what do I care what it looks like? I rather optimistically bought a new garden chair last month and I think I’ve sat in it once. BUT, time to quit complaining now! If the forecast for the next 2 weeks is telling me the truth, the shorts might be on and we could be looking for some new summer shoes. The first person to complain about being too hot will get a stern look and a raised eyebrow.
This week’s blog was a suggestion by a lovely reader. Think of it maybe as your capsule summer shoe wardrobe. I think 5 pairs of shoes is more than enough to see us through summer and I’m sure most of you have at least 3–4 of these types of footwear in your shoe cupboard already. Do you keep them in a cupboard? Or do you keep them all in their boxes?
I’m of the latter. My ‘dressing room’ looks a bit like the stock cupboard of Freeman, Hardy and Willis. It’s like a permanent game of Tetris trying to slot them in, and a bit like Jenga trying to get a pair out to wear. But I am NOT putting them in the ‘Cupboard of Doom’ downstairs like everyone else in my family does. It’s literally a pile of shoes and it’s impossible to find the pair you actually want to wear without getting on your hands and knees and digging around in the dark for 20 minutes. No-one has time for that. I like my shoes where I can see them, even if that takes up twice as much space.
It’s a good way of keeping check on the amount of shoes I own (too many), because I only have a finite amount of space to keep them in their boxes, so once that space is taken, it’s time to get rid of some. I do find it much harder to get rid of shoes than clothes though. Mainly because you just never know when you might want to wear them again. Plus you never get too old or too fat for shoes. So on that note, let’s have a look at my 5 essential shoes for summer…
I’ve always been a fan of a sturdy sandal. I bought my first pair of Birkenstocks in 2010 and I recall being ridiculed for looking like a 70s housewife. Now we’ve all got a pair. I do love my Birks, but I find they can take a while to mould to your feet. I cannot abide a blister so I choose my sandals carefully. It’s hard to know though. You only know that a shoe is going to give you blisters by wearing them out a bit, and once you’ve worn them out a bit you can’t take them back. Personally, I think ‘These shoes hurt my feet’ should be a legit reason for a return.
My only advice for breaking in sandals is to wear them around the house with socks first and also try rubbing a little bit of Vaseline on the bits that rub to help with the chafing. Leather is always preferable as it moulds better to your feet than fabric. That said, Teva sandals are almost always comfortable. If you go down that route, size up one size as they come up small.
I don’t think I need to say anything about white trainers. We all have a pair, don’t we? I used to love the Adidas Stan Smith, and I still do, but I find they crease a lot after wearing and, call me shallow, I like my trainers to look box fresh for as long as possible. I’m always keeping an eye out for the new trainers on the block. Recently, I’ve discovered D.A.T.E. sneakers. Like Golden Goose, they have an elevated insole so they make your ankles look slimmer. It really works. Also a new brand on my radar is Philip Hog. A Scandi brand that’s making simple trainers with stylish features, I think they could be ones to give Veja a run for their money. Lots of my favourite small boutiques are stocking them.
SLIGHTLY MORE DELICATE SANDALS
If the chunky sandal is not one for you, or if sometimes you just want something a little more delicate, then the simple sandal is your friend. Note I’m not including flip-flops on this list, I just don’t like them. I get they are useful on the beach on holiday, but seeing as we’re unlikely to get that kind of beach holiday this year, they are out of the picture. They also remind me of people on the tube in February who’ve come back from some far-flung holiday and yet are STILL wearing their shorts and flip-flops. I’ve NEVER understood why people do that. You KNOW you’re coming back to a cold place, put some proper clothes on, FFS. Plus flip-flops on an escalator are a potential death trap. I rest my case.
HI TOP TRAINERS
My love of a hi top trainer started around the same time as my love of such 90s bands as EMF, Jesus Jones and Pop Will Eat Itself. It was that style of skater/rock/indie boys that reeled me in. I’m still annoyed that I sold my Nike Air Jordans as I’ve never been quick enough to get my hands on them again. I had a LIBERTY PRINT pair that I sold on Ebay! Why? Why? I’ve had an alert on them for the past 3 years but as yet unsuccessful. My husband was actually part of EMF for about 6 months. Unfortunately a while after they hit the big time, but he still likes to tell us about it regularly. It would be more impressive if he was getting nice big PRS cheques for ‘Unbelievable’…
MODERN DAY CLOGS/MULES
I’ve thrown this one in as a bit of a curveball. But I think this style is going to be THE pair of shoes for summer this year. That might just be me trying to justify the 2 pairs that I have bought. One of which was very expensive and I have only worn them out the house once so far, although that’s only due to to aforementioned shit weather. The soft clog/mule is basically an outdoor slipper. What’s not to like? The Air & Grace Dahlia clogs are literally one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I own.
I might do shorts next week, but I’m not sure it might be too early. Plus I’m yet to try out any from this season. The Topshop ones from last year were such winners I’m not convinced they will ever be beaten, but we’ll see.