Posts tagged shoe
I discovered the other evening that I have forgotten, completely lost the ability, to walk in high heels. I wore some old faithful black courts out for a meal with friends, and by the time I’d walked from my car to the pub where we all met my feet were killing me. I was very sad. Okay so I’ve not worn heels this high for months and months, but these were comfortable shoes I’d worn all day in the past, they’re not even that high anyway, so I didn’t expect to hurt after just a few hundred metres.
I see two shoes options open to me. One is wear high court shoes lots more to get my ability back again. The other is give up and buy some nice flat shoes to wear out. I’m not completely sure which to go with yet… but it was a great excuse to browse the flat shoes category on the Spartoo website! What do you think to these options?
These Bronx silver flats have lovely sparkly stars and dots which would make them the perfect finishing touch to lots of different outfits. And silver goes with pretty much anything.
This ballerina slipper from Ash is unusual – I love the cut out design, with the studs that continue to be a trend. Certainly more interesting than a plain flat shoe.
These red Pataugas shoes with strap are oh so cute – especially with the decorated toe. A Mary Jane will be a comfortable shoe for all day but this model would also brighten up your feet for an evening out eating at your favourite pizza parlour.
If you feel the need to stick with black then these Shelly shoes have got to be the perfect choice for wearing instead of heels. Black patent, cute strap, perforated design, little red heart – what more could you want?! This is a really girly shoe that even I could wear this summer.
So what would you do? Give your gorgeous heels away and settle for flats on a night out? Or wander around the house in your favourite shoes until you can make it from the car to the restaurant and back without grimacing?!
I mentioned in my post about my dream motorcycling holiday that I need to get myself fitter and stonger over the next year if I am to enjoy it as much as I want to. One way I am doing that is by running – well, jogging – again. I used to run quite a lot, I’ve completed a good number of 10k road races; but once I realised it had become a chore I put my running shoes away for a while and changed to other things. I know running works for me – it’s a great way to get outdoors and it soon ups my fitness level.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been getting back into it. I’m not at any great distance yet – this we’ve I’ve managed two 2.65 mile runs (and I was quite proud of myself for those!) – but this is me starting again having not run regularly for a long time, and not at all for months.
This has all been helped thanks to being sent a pair of trainers to review by SportsShoes.com. In fact I was allowed to choose. Which took a while. There are so many to choose from! So I started with the wet foot test…
To find out what type of runner you are you just need to do the simple wet test, and for this all you need is a bowl of water, a dark piece of paper (a brown or manila envelope is ideal) and your feet. Just dip the sole of your foot into the water, shake off any excess, then press your foot onto the paper/envelope as if you were walking over it. Match the imprint left behind to the symbols to find out what type of runner you are.
It was a bit of an odd thing to do (and it doesn’t replace proper gait analysis, which I have had done before) but according to my footprint I’m a mild to moderate overpronator which means my arch collapses through the gait cycle and my foot rolls inwards. Apparently this is completely normal (phew!) – 60-80% of runners overpronate. I therefore need a running shoe offering support features inside the shoe. Thankfully the trainers on SportsShoes.com are all categorised into the different types so I could simply select this type of shoe and it narrowed my selection to those which would be most appropriate for me.
After considering various brands and styles and colours I decided on a pair of black runners – the Brooks Lady Adrenaline GTS 13 running shoes – I’ve not got any black trainers and I quite like the idea of being a bit understated on my feet for a change.
The bit that makes these trainers good for the overpronator is the PDRB – a triple-density post on the medial side of the shoe for extra support and allow for progressive pronation control and to create a smoother transition through the stride. They also have excellent cushioning via the BIOMOGO midsole, reducing shock and providing a smooth take off and landing, which is ideal for running on concrete and tarmac which is less than forgiving. They’re flexible too, thanks to Omega Flex Grooves, and grippy thanks to the Omni Grooves in the forefoot. Basically these shoes offer support, cushioning, grip and spring.
One really nice touch on these trainers I’ve not come across before is the extra little bit for your laces to go through on the tongue. You can see it on the right of the photo below (problem with black trainers is it’s difficult to show all the detail nicely!) – it acts to stop the tongue from slipping round to the side while you run. It’s a really simple addition but it works a treat, these trainers stay put, the laces do their job, and they are as comfortable at the end of a run as at the beginning.
I chose my usual shoe size for these trainers and they fit a treat. When I first put them on I really noticed the support inside – they hold my feet snuggly and have a bit under the arch which stops my foot collapsing as I jog. I say I noticed it to start with as after wearing these trainers for a few miles I now don’t notice it in the same way. Rather I notice when I put on my other trainers on that they don’t have the same level of support, and I miss it – even though my old runners were designed for overpronation, they’re now old and could probably do with being shown the bin. That simple wet foot resulted in trainers that offer me a very smooth ride.
The mesh sections of these trainers are designed to help the shoe fit well on your feet as well as to keep your feet cool. So far I’ve only been jogging in very low temperatures (stupid weather), but I must say that I can really feel the air moving around and through the shoe, keeping my feet happy while jogging.
I’m very pleased with my choice. These trainers are comfortable, offer decent support and cushioning, and I think they look great. I might have only done relatively short distances in them so far but I hope to build that up over the next couple of months as I get fitter, and I have no doubt that these trainers will help me do that.
I have never been a girly girl. I don’t remember ever doing the pink thing. My mum can probably confirm or un-confirm this, but I’m sure that I have always much preferred green or blue or brown or black to pink, and have always preferred getting out and about than painting my nails or wearing dresses. It’s just not my thing; I always prefer a different option.
So when I opened my latest shoe box from Hi-Tec my first thought was… wow… they’re pink. So pink. So very pink.
These are the Hi-Tec Sierra Lite Original, a lightweight suede and mesh walking boot.
Colour aside, they have a great retro walking boot look to them, and are indeed very light. The suede and mesh upper is thin in most places, but they have a padded collar around the ankle for support and comfort. There is a removable sockliner for cushioning and a (bright white) rubber outsole for grip.
And did I mention that they are bright pink?
Hey, I’m up for pushing my fashion boundaries because let’s face it I’ve never actually been fashionable. So I got them on my feet, laced the bright white laces up, and went for a short walk with my sister.
My first impressions were actually very good. Our chosen route was four miles up a steep grassy path onto the ridge close to my house, along the muddy Viking Way, and back down the hill on a tarmac pavement. The mud meant the soles are not so white and the upper is not so pink any more, but they gave me good support and kept my feet dry in the squelchy conditions.
I want to give a specific mention to the laces. Strange, I know. But I found the laces on these boots were a) plenty long enough to tie in a double bow – something that is often not the case and then really annoys me, and b) sat really well on the boot giving me a good and secure fit. The eyelets are in exactly the right place – I had total control over how tight the boot was over the top of my foot and around my ankle, without one being dictated by the other.
Since that first walk I’ve worn them a fair bit around and about, including one Friday when I wore them to walk home from work. I actually ended up walking over seven miles that afternoon, mostly on pavement, and I found them very comfortable for that. I did have a problem with the rubber outsole, though… when it’s damp underfoot that sole turns any metal and even cobble stones into an ice skating rink. I had a few dodgy moments when stepping on manhole covers and nearly ended up on my backside when I stood on a metal strip embedded into the paving slabs – eek! It’s strange because on the grass, gravel and muddy footpaths I was provided with steady grip. Just be careful when walking on normal pavements in the rain…!
I don’t think Hi-Tec have designed the Sierra Lite for long distance treks across peaks or full day hikes on all terrains – they haven’t got the cushioning or support needed for that. What they are is a walking boot absolutely ideal for low level trails and rough ground over short to mid-distances. Think walking the dog across fields, Sunday afternoon walks in country parks and nature reserves, long strolls along coastal paths, that sort of thing. The price certainly reflects that – £49.99 is a perfectly reasonable amount to spend on a pair of decent walking boots for general outdoor use.
If I am totally honest I would never have chosen these for myself – colour aside, I would generally go for something with additional support and more cushioning. But I will say that I do like them. I like the retro-esque styling (they also come in a beige colour!), and they fit really nicely and are comfortable. I’ve even grown to like the pink. A bit.
The Hi-Tec Sierra Sina 200 WPI shoes are warm, waterproof and durable snow boots designed to keep your feet warm and dry whatever the weather. With a leather and nubuck upper, they incorporate a 200g Thinsulate insulation, a moisture wicking lining, and a Vibram rubber outsole ideal for snowy and icy conditions.
I chose these myself from the current Hi-Tec range after being offered a pair to review. I liked them the most from the selection because they didn’t actually look like snow boots… they are just like skate shoes, which I love to wear thanks to their comfort and style.
Here are a few photos of them before I took them out in the rain…
These were comfortable from the first time I wore them, which was actually to walk to the shop one pretty yucky day in early January. It was raining, was very cold, and even though I was worried about ruining the light coloured nubuck leather uppers on these, I wanted to give them a try. My feet thanked me – they were toasty warm, completely dry, and lovely and snug in these Hi-Tecs.
Actually I needn’t have worried about the upper. Sure these shoes don’t look like new any more, but the uppers didn’t ruin, they just dried out (thanks in part to my Stuffits!) a bit darker than before. They are comfy shoes, not smart ones, so that’s fine.
I also took these with me to Finland, where they have proper snow (and proper winter temperatures)! These were my shoes of choice when wandering around in the evenings – they are much less bulky than normal snow boots like my KEENs so I could wear them with my straight cut jeans, and I reckon they kept my feet as warm thanks to that insulated lining. I’ve come across Thinsulate in gloves and hats before, but this is my first experience of it in shoes – it works.
I found myself wearing these to work for a day too. I decided I needed something properly warm and comfortable thanks to the very icy pavements – I didn’t want to be stuck in the office at lunchtime thanks to unsuitable footwear, or break my neck getting to a meeting. The Vibram soles worked a treat and, even though I was definitely careful – I didn’t want to end up with anything broken, I felt very secure with these on my feet.
I do like these a lot and I have been wearing them a lot while it’s been cold. They an easy-wearing shoe, cosy and comfy, that keeps what’s on the inside dry and warm even if the outside is disgusting.
Every family has their Christmas traditions. We all have our way of doing things, which develop over time.
Due to work, my family has always celebrated Christmas on Boxing Day. As kids our we would be allowed one present on Christmas Eve, our stockings on Christmas morning, and then everything else would have to wait until Boxing Day after Christmas Dinner. Dinner and presents would be followed by a walk somewhere. It would be Mum, Dad, me, my sister, and nearly always my Grandparents too. It was fantastic, I have such happy memories of Christmas time in the Radford family.
One of the things my Nan and Granddad would do was give each of us; my Mum, Dad, sister and myself, a shoe box full of little bits and bobs each year. It was saved until after tea when we were full, had opened all our other presents. If we didn’t see Nan and Granddad on actual boxing day it would be saved until we visited them.
It was a big joke really. Each year we’d get chocolates, a pencil, some stickers - you know, a selection of little, low cost presents that might come in handy and changed as we got older. It was like Nan and Granddad hit Wilkinsons on a Wednesday afternoon in December to get four – or six (when my husband and my sister’s husband joined the family they were included too) – of everything. Each item would be carefully and individually wrapped with reels of sticky tape in the cheapest wrapping paper. And we would sit on the floor with our shoe boxes, which later became Christmas stockings, to open all the bits together in one go.
I can’t remember when it started. When we were very little Mum and Dad would do us stockings. Then when we were older teenagers Mum would do Dad’s, Dad would do Mum’s, I would do my sister’s and she would do mine. That was loads of fun. But I can’t remember when the shoe boxes appeared. It may have been always, I don’t know. I just know that it’s been a good few years and it always made the whole family smile.
We didn’t do it last year. We lost my Nan in December 2011 and Granddad didn’t feel he could. He even apologised on Boxing Day when there were no little bits to open, but of course we all understood, we hadn’t expected it. My Granddad lasted until July when he was reunited with my Nan in heaven, and so things this year are different.
But the tradition moves on.
A few weeks ago my sister and I decided we’d do the shoe boxes. We both thought of the idea, and decided it would be a nice gesture.
So I found two Dr Martens boxes, one each for Mum and Dad, wrote a list, and hit Wilkinsons and Poundland one lunch time to fill them with things. Each little gift has been carefully and individually wrapped in last year’s leftover wrapping paper, and put inside the box. Then the boxes have been wrapped in really cheap paper (that kept ripping!). They are now sat waiting for that moment after tea on Boxing Day when we are full and everything else is done. I can’t wait to see Mum and Dad sit on the floor in the lounge and go through the things, little bits of wrapping paper everywhere.
It’s silly. The presents are inexpensive and probably pretty pointless. I know I’m supposed to be all grown up now, but it seemed like something we didn’t want to lose.
Mum – I know you read my blog and I make no apologies for ruining any surprise. Veronica and I miss Nan and Granddad and Boxing Day won’t be the same this year without them both there. But we hope that by continuing this silly Radford Christmas tradition we can all sit around and laugh after tea as you and Dad open all the little bits and bobs, remembering the past with fondness (I promise there are no nude tights in there!). Love Zoe x
You know I’ve been looking at creepers such as those made by TUK for a while… I’ve not taken the plunge mainly because I am concerned I would look a bit odd in that style shoe with my wider-than-average legs. But the other day, actually a couple of weeks ago now, Spartoo featured some new Rocket Dog styles on their blog, and I instantly fell in love with their take on the flatform.
These are the Rocket Dog Beehive in black, they are a derby boot with creeper-style sole, and after reading the blog I went straight to the online store and ordered them. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so impulsive – even with shoes I tend to be very calculated, know exactly what I want in what colour and even brand. Not this time, I simply had to have them.
Firstly, I adore the velvety material. They are black but in that material they almost sparkle under the lights. The ribbons-for-laces add to the feminine almost party-look, could I get away wearing these with a party dress?! The thick sole gives me a little bit of height without any added pressure on the ball of my feet, and the shoe is just perfectly shaped from all angles.
Only problem… it just won’t stop raining. There is no way these are seeing the outside world if there’s any risk of rain – they’d ruin instantly. So for now I’ve been stomping about the house in them, waiting for my moment to show them off to anyone who dares look at my feet.