My life in low heels

A couple weeks ago I went to a rummage sale and did splendidly in the shoe corner. The thing about buying second-hand, be it clothes or shoes, is you can’t usually get your heart set on an exact item in advance and then just walk in and find it. No, it’s more a matter of going & seeing what’s there. I do sort of have a mental list at any given time of things I might like to find, but truth be told, items can stay on that “list” quite a long time when shopping thrift & second-hand.

So anyway, since I unloaded my car over a dozen years ago, I’ve done a lot of walking. I walk for exercise and pleasure, yes, but the motherload is practical in nature, or actually, I’d say that practical and exercise are often combined. Like, I’ll walk to a shopping center two miles away rather than take a bus. My point, going back to the business of shoes is twofold: 1) I need practical, low-heeled footwear for all the walking year-round and 2) I wear down the soles and need more shoes. I think of shoes as what tire treads used to be! At present, I own more shoes than I ever have in my life, although it took me awhile to realize that was both okay and practical, the latter given my lifestyle. Most are second-hand.

At the rummage sale all shoes were $3. I settled right in and could not believe my good fortune in finding six pairs (in a fairly small display) that I liked, that fit me, and were, for the most part, in decent shape. I always check the “treads” to make sure there’s lots of wear left in them.

If you wondering about cleanliness, a thorough examination of the shoe helps, as does washing if possible. One of my tricks is to use an old toothbrush to scrub surfaces, especially inside. If the shoes aren’t washable, such as leather, I polish them. I routinely put inexpensive shoe inserts in most of my shoes anyway, so that also makes them feel “newer.” I hope I don’t have to tell you if they look funky-bad in any way, I pass them by. Most shoes at thrift stores or rummage sales are pretty good. (I’m more likely to see shoes at yard sales that should have been tossed in the trash.)

I pounced on these hiking boots – Timberland©! I’ve gotten into a habit of wearing hiking boots a lot in winter because they’re warm – I hate cold feet – reasonably attractive with jeans, and can handle snowy/icy conditions. I already have a pair of (what else but second-hand) REI© hiking boots but the heels are showing wear and I have to use “Shoe Goo” on the front of one where it’s pulling apart. If you are a hiking boot person, you know these babies are pricey. I couldn’t quite decide if the Timberland© boots are Mens or Womens, but since they’ll fit me with winter socks, it really doesn’t matter.
Last winter I found myself perusing Amazon in hopes of finding an inexpensive “driving shoe.” Not because I’m driving anywhere, but so far as I could tell, it’s a casual, moccasin-style, low-heeled shoe that might be nice to wear at home in Fall/Winter. (I could be wrong so far as what a “driving shoe” is.) I never found the cute, inexpensive shoes in my mind’s eye on Amazon, so I was intrigued to find a close enough possibility at the rummage sale. The oh so very nice thing about $3 shoes is that it’s not such a big risk to try something new or different from what you’ve considered in the past. And – these still had their store tag!

I always need tennis shoes, athletic shoes, sneakers – whatever we want to call them. These don’t have much wear left but I was feeling pinched for such shoes so I got ’em. I didn’t notice – probably courtesy dim lighting (it’s rummage not Neiman Marcus) – that one of the shoes was pulling apart at the toe. I hand-stitched that.
Red slippers! Cozy as heck! Unused looking! (You find me the woman who could wear these and still leave the white so clean, ’cause I’d like to meet her.)
I’ve never had shoes like these either. They seemed like summer walking shoes. When I got home I Googled the brand – Merrell – and discovered it’s a pricey shoe; the website says “Women‘s footwear for running, hiking, and everyday adventures.” Sounds good to me. (Side note: they make Men’s shoes too.) These are really comfortable. Neutral color = goes with all.
Red. Can you tell I like red? Red shoes just make me happy. (Back in the day, I had a pair of bright red pumps. My sister called them “Minnie Mouse” shoes.) Red shoes aren’t easily found second-hand, so I was delighted to land these. They’re made in Mexico – something else I rarely see.

24 thoughts on “My life in low heels

  1. A.PROMPTreply

    Oh, you can never have too many shoes! I adore my Timberland hikers….can’t live without them. Looks as if you did find some real gems!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. writerinsoul Post author

      The way I was raised definitely left me feeling owning a lot of shoes was frivolous. I had an aunt who had many (it seemed to us) shoes in her closet and when we were visiting as kids, it was a privilege to just go in her room and look at them. Of course, they were dressy shoes (work, church, etc). Here’s to Timberland hikers!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Thanks! I have never had such a goldmine in one spot either. I almost didn’t get them all because 6 pairs seemed extravagant – I had to say to myself “are you out of your mind?! They are $3! They fit! They’re cute! GET them.”

      I think the key with thrift is to look constantly – your shoes are out there! 3, 4, years and you’ll find them! Heh.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. vanbytheriver

    Nice finds on the the reds and the boots ! I’m so impressed that you’ve been without a car for so long, Colette. You must live near good public transportation…I’m jealous. My daughter in NYC for almost 6 years, just gave in and bought themselves a car…mostly to do errands and drive out of town. I think she missed driving. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Thanks Van. I know the parking in NYC is abysmal and keeps many car-less (and proud of it). I expect the places with transportation are the ones with the most congestion – everything has its price. I miss driving too. I don’t miss owning, or more specifically taking care of, a car. $$$

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Miriam

    That was a good score at the rummage sale! I don’t know why I never blog about my thrift store finds, because I’m usually excited when I come home with a bag of stuff for what I would have spent on one item. I hate to shop for new things, but I like buying second-hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. markbialczak

    I think they’re all great finds, Colette! I still call my athletic shoes sneakers, by the way. It’s what I grew up calling them, and it just feels right, you know? I have some Merrell mocs, and they wear well, great autumn and even winter shoes for me before the snow gets too high here in Syracuse. Those driving shoes with the tags on them are my favorite of your new lot. I think you can wear them anywhere and look real sharp, my friend. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Thanks! We grew up calling them tennis shoes. Sneakers is a good word though and it only occurs to me right now that the name likely evolved from the literal meaning, shoes to quietly “sneak” around in.

      As unfamiliar with mid to high end shoes as I’ve been, the Merrells are a revelation. So comfy.


      1. markbialczak

        I look for big sales on the Merrells in the shoe outlets, Collette. I know I’m getting previous year’s models, but who cares? They are comfy, you are so right about that, and the cut price is more important than newest style or color to me.

        Yes, I think the word sneaker come from just that ability to move quicky and quietly, my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

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