I’ve admitted it before: I fail my fellow females when it comes to fashion. An addendum: I’m also not a shoe girl. High heels, ballerina flats, wedges, sneakers, open toe, knee-high boots, sandals, thongs, classic pumps…
I avoid shoe shops like the plague, just as I want to avoid the freebies that come with fancy foot fashion: blisters, bunions, corns, fallen arches, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis….
Our feet carry the entire weight of our body all day (ok, some of the day), everyday. Which means that rather than shoving mine into some precariously high-heeled, pointy-toed, sexed-in-the-city symbol of consumerist feminism (am I taking the point a little too far?), I’m a woman who wears comfortable shoes.
Given this sentiment and the fact I extol the virtues of frugality, it would be reasonable to think I buy cheap shoes. Except I don’t. In fact, I usually spend quite a lot on shoes because in this case it ‘pays’ to buy quality and take care of your feet.
Having said that, even though I buy expensive shoes, I don’t spend a lot on shoes. I usually only buy one pair once a year or so. And when I’ve found the pair I’ve been looking for, I wait for them to go on sale (which they invariably do within a couple of weeks).
So what makes a pair of shoes, the pair of shoes? This is the checklist a pair of shoes has to stand up to before purchase:
- They must, must, must fit well and be comfortable. If I’m going to be wearing them all day, everyday, all year, they must be comfortable.
- They must be good quality. Leather preferably rather than synthetic. They are meant to last at least a year.
- They must match most of the clothes in my wardrobe. A pair that I can wear with jeans for a casual look, or with more formal trousers. This means they will have to be either black or a neutral colour.
- They must look good on. Fashion trends come and go, many fashions just don’t suit my shape. Other’s do. I focus on the fashions that look good on me. That may mean I’m wearing shoes from four seasons ago. C’est la vie.
I do on the rare occasion splurge on a strappy number for a one off occasion like a wedding but I buy the absolute cheapest pair I can find (a few blisters are worth it for a pair of shoes that only get worn for a couple of hours a year). One of those rare occasions was my year twelve formal. I bought a pair of plain white court shoes to go with my dress. These shoes made their way out of the closet nine years later, when I wore them again at my own wedding. However, pregnancy and the permanent up-size of my feet mean they won’t get a third innings (at least not on me).
And the point? Frugal footwear means buying less, paying more and looking after your feet.
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.