Monthly Archives: February 2015

Road Trip

On a frigid Friday the 13th in February what better way to spend the day than to take a little road trip north to visit a fun shoe store? My good friend Liz and I set out for Podo Shoes in St. Johnsbury, VT to do just that.  She had heard about the store and thought it would be a worthwhile adventure.  She was looking for some fun motorcycle boots. I had been looking for some functional but attractive ankle boots to slog through the remainder of this unrelenting winter.  We found those things and more. Plus, everything was on sale!

Podo Shoes in St. Johnsbury, VT

Podo Shoes in St. Johnsbury, VT

Most of the store merchandise consisted of what I affectionately call the “Upper Valley Look.”  There is no denying that gals in this part of Northern New England have to battle the elements while trying to look good.  Many women tend to give up on the stylish end of things, opting for function and comfort as the only consideration.  But, it is possible to look good while staying warm, dry and comfortable.  My rule of thumb is to avoid a head to toe “Upper Valley Look” because I prefer to mix things up a bit.  That said, when it’s time to replace your UVL items, this is a great place shop.

Cute and functional shoes and boots.

Cute and functional shoes and boots.

Colorful and unusual cowboy boots.

Colorful and unusual cowboy boots. Not your typical UVL.

Always on the lookout for a sensible heeled mary jane in neutral colors.

Always on the lookout for a sensible heeled mary jane in neutral colors. These are by Ecco.

A full range of styles and colors in each brand carried.

A full range of styles and colors in each brand.

They had an elegant and comfortable fitting area and very helpful sales people.  We never felt rushed or guilty about asking for another size, color, or different pair all together. IMG_6775

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Great shoe art. Try to ignore the dreaded Ugg Boots below.

I loved the framed shoe art. Is that an Andy Warhol print? Liz found her motor cycle boots; functional and badass.  These are by Ariat.IMG_6792

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Blundstone style 500 in Stout Brown Premium and Pikolinos Sandia in dark orange.

And I found my ankle boots plus a bonus pair of low heeled mary janes. The boots are Blundstones from Australia.  They have a synthetic sole with an ample tread and a waxed leather upper.  I think they will work well when negotiating mucky parking lots and wet sidewalks.  I love the easy on and easy off pull tabs at the front and back.  I really like the color which is not quite black and not quite brown.  And that stretchy contrasting gore- I can hardly contain my glee.  I’ll still need my Bogs for snowstorms and winter sports but now I’ll have options.

As for the Pikolinos, they are divine.  I have been admiring them for some time but have never owned a pair.  The brand is from Spain and they aren’t as pricey as some of the other Spanish brands I tout.  I suspect it’s because they are made in China.  But, never mind, I think I’m in love.  I have them on right now and I may just wear them to bed.  The perforations are an interesting design detail. Can you see that in the photo?  At first I thought they were mostly a spring/summer shoe but then I learned these were from the fall/winter line.  So, there you go.  A versatile shoe if ever there was one.  Do I sound like I’m trying to justify the purchase?  Did I mention they were on sale? IMG_6796 Liz walked out with no less than three pairs.  They also had a great assortment of Smartwool socks, tights and apparel which you can see behind her. IMG_6799 Thanks to owner Deborah Schein and her employee Sophie for a wonderful shopping experience.  We’ll be back.   But… maybe next time… in the spring.

P.S.  We had a great lunch at a place across the street called the Tap Room and later strolled down the street to a consignment shop and nice little bookstore with a coffee bar.  St. J. is a hopping place!

Wear the Red Shoes

When you think of red shoes, what image comes to mind?

ruby slippers 5I’m guessing it’s these, Dorothy’s iconic ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz”  Who could forget Judy Garland in that blue checked gingham dress with matching blue anklets and these shoes?  It’s the original “pop of color” which style bloggers love so much.  Do you remember what shoes she had on before the crash landing into Munchkin Land?  I can’t.

These scarlet colored sequined pumps would prove to be both a blessing and a curse for our Midwestern heroine.  She needed them to get back to Kansas but they caused her and her friends a heap of trouble along the way.  This got me to thinking about other movie heroines who wore red shoes and how they fared.

The Red Shoes movieI’m afraid this gal didn’t do so well.  I’ve never seen the 1948 movie “The Red Shoes” but, from what I understand, these brightly colored toe shoes had a mind of their own.  The movie format is that of a  ballet story within a story.  It’s the sad tale of a ballerina named Vicky Page.  She comes to the attention of a noteworthy choreographer who features her in his new ballet based on Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Red Shoes.”  In Andersons’s tale a demonic shoemaker (is there such a thing?) sells a pair of red ballet slippers to a young girl.  At first the girl enjoys the magic of the slippers and the powers of dance they transfer.  However, things soon spin out of control as the girl is forced to dance uncontrollably and incessantly.  By the end of the story she is near death from exhaustion. She finds herself in front of a church and begs a priest for help.  She asks him to remove her shoes and when he does, she dies.  The Shoemaker somehow retrieves the shoes to give to his next victim.

I’m afraid Vicky’s story ends badly too.  Caught between two waring lovers she ends up fleeing the theatre before a performance of the ballet and jumps from a balcony in front of a moving train suffering a much more violent death than her fairy tale counterpart.  Holy crap.

Chacolat-red-shoesBut, perhaps my favorite pair of movie red shoes were the ones worn by Juliette BInoche’s character Vianne Rocher in “Chocolat.”  Vianne and her six-year-old daughter cause a big stir when they move to a small, conservative, rural town in 1960’s France to open a chocolate shop.  She’s a single mom with an illegitimate child and keeping Sunday hours at her shop.  Even worse, Vianne begins to sell her tempting treats during the season of Lent.  Vianne is beautiful and she wears tasteful but provocative clothing including one fabulous pair of red pumps.  Eventually her warmth, exuberance and helpful nature win over the people of the town.  Plus, about halfway into the movie, Johnny Depp comes drifting by on a river boat.  These two misfits have some amazing chemistry.  So, although the shoes contribute to some strife in the beginning, at least Vianne doesn’t die in the end and she gets to keep her shop, her man and her shoes.  Phew!

Here’s a pair of my favorite red heels which have never caused me problems (that I know about).  They are from John Fluevog and the style is called Ileanna from the Operetta family.

IMG_6773  I think this style is discontinued but below are a trio of red Fluevog heels that are currently available online…

John Fluevog Sopranos Carey in tomato red

John Fluevog Sopranos Carey in tomato red

John Fluevog Operettas Malibran

John Fluevog Operettas Malibran

John Fluevog Desmond

John Fluevog Desmond

I love the Operetta family of shoes in the Fluevog line.  The two inch heel is very stable.  This style also works well for those of us with wider feet.  As does the Desmond family although that pointy toe may scare you away.  I assure you these shoes are very wearable and make your legs look fabulous.  You might be tempted to go up a half size but it’s not necessary.  They come in a whole range of colors.  All can be found at JohnFluevog.com.

Here are some other brands…

Fidji brand shoes from Portugal found on 6pm.com

Fidji brand shoes from Portugal found on 6pm.com

Miz Mooz also found on 6pm.com

Miz Mooz also found on 6pm.com

Liebling Shoes from Israel found on easy.com

Liebling Shoes from Israel found on etsy.com

Chie Mihara shoes from Spain, Spring/Summer 2015

Chie Mihara shoes from Spain, Spring/Summer 2015

Chie Mihara Spring/Summer 2015 found online at Pedshoes.com

Chie Mihara Spring/Summer 2015 found online at Pedshoes.com

Cute red pumps made in Argentina found on Etsy

Cute red pumps made in Argentina found on Etsy

All Black often features a version of this style in various colors.  I found these on trashydiva.com

All Black often features a version of this style in various colors. I found these on trashydiva.com

Kudeta Shoes made in Italy.  These were on ebay.com

Kudeta Shoes made in Italy. These were on ebay.com

Red oxfords and loafers…

French designer Repetto found on gravitypope.com

French designer Repetto found on gravitypope.com

Last year's Moma heeled Oxford online at amano.com

Last year’s Moma heeled Oxford online at amano.com

Frye Courtney slip on at thefryecompany.com

Frye Courtney slip on at thefryecompany.com

Cute shoes I found on pinterest.  Wish I knew the brand name.

Cute shoes I found on pinterest. Wish I knew the brand name.

Winter’s not over yet.  Look at these red boots.

Pantanetti red ankle boots found on headstart.com

Pantanetti red ankle boots found on headstart.com

Blondin red boots on Anthropologie.com

Blondin red boots on Anthropologie.com

Fiorintini and Baker Nelly boots at pedshoes.com

Fiorintini and Baker Nelly boots at pedshoes.com

John Fluevog Mezzo Cecilia boots.

John Fluevog Mezzo Cecilia boots.

Frye Melissa Button zip short boots on Amazon.com

Frye Melissa Button zip short boots on Amazon.com

Anaid Kupuri

Anaid Kupuri

Do you have what it takes to wear a pair of red cowboy boots?red boots on etsy My friend and a Sole Searching reader named Jenny rocked a pair of red cowboy boots on Christmas Eve.  What a perfect time to break them out.  She wore them with great style.

Jenny's red cowboy boots on Christmas Eve 2014

Jenny’s red cowboy boots on Christmas Eve 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.  A gal should be able to wear her red shoes without being chased by a wicked witch or meeting her ultimate demise.  Let’s make it our mission to put the red shoe curse to rest once and for all!