Sunday, September 24, 2006

In Futile Search Of The Perfect Black Flat Shoes

It is a sad fact.
PeaceBang is very unhappy with her shoe collection.
She seems to have lots of cute pumps that aren't really comfortable enough for a long day on her feet, and she's not dressing up enough lately to warrant wearing them in the first place.
She has loads of fun, frivolous shoes that look like all kinds of fun in the closet but either don't go with anything, or that just aren't appropriate for PeaceBang's busy schedule.

PeaceBang's lower back has been bothering her lately, and she wants solid footwear. Solid but not frumpy. Say it with me, brothers and sisters!
"Solid but not frumpy!"

She has loads of sandals, but summer is over. Yet it's not warm enough to wear boots yet, either, and your devoted blogging correspondent has plenty of those. Black boots with heels and without, tan boots, cowboy boots, faux snakeskin boots, zip-up riding boots that threaten to cut off the circulation in her chubby calves but dammit, she wears them anyway. Oh yes, PB has the boots. Her boots were made for walking... the parish and the corridors of hospitals and seminaries.

It would seem as though PeaceBang has plenty of shoes to wear. Which reminds me of a Garrison Keillor joke.*

And yet here we are agonizing over the shoe situation yet again. Is this simply the spiritual emptiness of the materialistic American female rearing its sinful head in the guise of shoe lust? It could be, so help me Jesus, and I freely admit I would ride through the night on a broomstick to dance around a fire with Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo. I would sign my soul to Franco Sarto, in blood even, for a pair of comfortable black flats with a decent heel.

So what gives? All I'm seeing this season are monstrously chunky items that make one look as though one has been shod by the Goodyear Company, or twee little ballet flats that threaten to dissolve in the first puddle, and that make a grown woman look like Henrietta the Hippo. Remember her? She was that passive-aggressive pink-clad creature from "The New Zoo Review" who clearly needed some serious fellowship with Overeaters Anonymous. I do not wish to resemble Henrietta.

And so I look. I look in vain for a black flat that is comfortable, elegant, not boring or too preppy, that has some substance enough to support an extravagantly-sized voman, and that doesn't hearken back to the days of the god-awful Doc Marten things I clomped around in in college.

Please help, before I swoon from despair.

* This is a Lena and Olle joke, repeated from memory so don't blame me if it's not that funny. I'm terrible at remembering jokes. You have to say Olle's dialogue in a really thick Norwegian accent.

Olle comes home one afternoon early from work and he walks into his bedroom to see his wife Lena sitting naked on the bed and looking rather startled to see him. "Lena," says Olle. "What the heck are ya doin' over there in your birthday suit? We gotta go to the luttefisk supper in a half an hour, now." And Lena says, "Well, I just don't have anything to wear!" Whereupon Olle walks over to her closet and opens it, saying, "Don't be silly, Lena! Why there'sa blue dress, there's a yella dress, there's a green dress, there's a Sven..."

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Blogger Rev. Sean said...

what about these?

11:46 PM  
Blogger Caroline Divine said...

You probably don't like Dansko, but for my feet and my back I find they're about the only thing I can wear for long periods of time (aside from athletic shoes, which we don't want to wear at the office). I don't wear their clogs, but I wear both sandals and shoes from their Golden Gate collection. Am thinking of trying their new "Myla." Have liked their "Lolita" sandal a lot. Also like "Maya" which replaced a clunkier shoe from when they started the Golden Gate collection. I think they have boots, too. Go to the Dansko site first to look at details of make and leather and so on -- it's much more complete than the various e-stores.

You might like their Beacon Hill collection better than their Golden Gate one. The heels are lighter and the shape is more tapered. I still have my California mindset (and footset) even though I've moved to the Southland, but the Golden Gate collection may be too clunky for you. Bop around the site and have a look. Note: they're pricey, but worth every penny -- I ended up wearing mine every day for months.

There's also a Dansko Outlet site but they don't have all the shoes on them, especially the most recently issued. Still, it's worth a look once you've figured out what you like and what fits you since the discounts are pretty good.

Happy healthy feet!

12:39 AM  
Blogger semfem said...

I'm a simple girl with big wide feet, also looking for the perfect black shoes, and I'm thinking about ordering these. Thoughts?

(Oh, the same place sells riding boots with extra-wide calf sizes. Yay!)

3:12 AM  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

Sean's taste in shoes has improved a lot since his flipflops at GA.

And the Garrison Keillor joke made me laugh.


7:33 AM  
Blogger KnittinPreacher said...

Love the blog!

Just got these and love them. I wore them to New York on Saturday for a museum day and they were super comfy! Tuesday night they get to go to the Presbytery meeting. Excuse my lack of HTML knowledge - -I can't make a clickable link, but here's the place:

7:59 AM  
Blogger LisaBe said...

i totally adore my sofft venice shoes ($81.95 from zappos):
sofft makes other cute shoes as well that i'm sure are equally comfortable.
i also love my two lips tessa shoes from zappos, but they're not available in black right now:
they're not quite as cushy as the sofft shoes, but they're a nice low heel.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Psalmist said...

These probably aren't elegant enough to suit you, but I have them in a couple of colors and can wear them all day without sore feet; they've got a lot more support than ballet flats.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I know it doesn't sound sexy, but LifeStride has some nice, sturdy but not dowdy shoes.

My favorite Ollie joke is the "No, Ollie, the potato goes in the FRONT of the swimsuit!"

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Wintry Mix said...

Peacebang, I know these Franco Sartos look a little dowdy in the picture, but TRUST ME that they look very cute when they're on.

I've had my pair for years, and they're the most comfortable shoes I own (save my trusty Mephisto sandals).

12:11 AM  
Blogger jean said...

vyI have not worn a heel since I discovered Aerosoles. They are really easy on the feet.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Berrysmom said...

I own those very Clarks that rev. sean sent the photo of. Mine are navy blue, and I think of them as something to wear with a suit or skirt. Am I wrong?

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Lorna said...

solid, not frumpy. like it :)

4:15 AM  
Anonymous michelle said...

Given your astute musings I'm sure it wasn't lost on you that Emmie Joe from "New Zoo Review" got to wear those great go-go boots!

12:48 PM  
Blogger Mrs. M said...

OK, Peacebang, I have a couple of suggestions. I just bought a pair that must be the lovechildren of clogs and Mary Janes. Not glam, of course, but insanely comfy. From Clarks.

And, JCrew has had some surprisingly darling shoes this season.

My only other thought? Shoes with about an inch heel can be much, much more comfortable than straight-as-my-mama's-chest flats.

8:05 PM  
Blogger earthchick said...

I love, love, LOVE your blog. Thank you especially for this post - I am going to run right to all these suggested sites and check out some black shoes. I swear, this is my lifelong pursuit - a great pair of black shoes.

I'm sure people think that ministers have bigger things to worry about than finding comfy, non-frumpy shoes. I mean, honestly, I'm preaching a funeral in 12 hours and really should be getting to bed. But when I put on my dress and my uncomfortable black heels in the morning, I'll be thinking 'bout the shoes....

11:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot live without my Naot Tranquil black flats. Ballet slipper feminity, "I can walk 15 miles through the desert Israeli comfort," and enough style to pass judgment in my suit-appraising boyfriend's eyes.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

these are my favorite somewhat-dressy, somewhat not shoes EVER. I'd recommend anything by Hush puppies in the Soft Style line. Very comfy!

4:42 PM  

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