Tag Archives: shoes

Bargain shoes find their outfit

Last year I posted about buying low-heeled rummage sale shoes. I’ve been wearing most of my finds but one pair thwarted me.

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The problem shoes

Every time I tried to wear these “Dexter” brand shoes I thought they looked stupid. I figured they’d go with jeans but I didn’t like how they looked plus they seemed a little conservative for my style. I’d never had shoes like them (driving shoes? mocassins?) and they made me uncertain. I didn’t want to give up too soon so I held on to them. Then in the summer on a whim I tried them with shorts. Yes! It worked.

 

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The top was one of a shocking(!) 17 I bought from someone selling clothes on a yardsale Facebook group in late winter. I got lucky first in that nobody else was eyeing summer clothes then and that so many of her clothes fit me. They were nice things but she’d put on weight, she told me, and could no longer wear them. They averaged 60 cents apiece! The shorts were from a thrift store and the hat, which has lasted years, came from Dollar Tree. I added inexpensive shoe pads to make the shoes more comfortable and wore little nylon footies – also found at Dollar Tree at 3 for a buck – that don’t show. The shoes make the shorts outfit look dressier than with sport or open-toe shoes. I felt pulled together and very comfortable.

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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.
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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!
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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.
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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.)
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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.
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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.
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Short Thought 116 (mail carriers)

A mail carrier told me he wears out a pair of shoes in 6 months. He said the standard issue shoes from the post office weren’t all that great so he buys his own. He showed me the soles of his shoes and they were indeed about worn through. I would have never thought of this; i.e. wearing out shoes delivering mail. How many miles must a carrier walk? A lot I guess! And then I thought about how I’ve never seen an overweight mail carrier – usually they are lean muscle.

Dream 8 (Tom Brokaw)

I dreamt I was walking down the sidewalk near a commercial area. I realized Tom Brokaw was on the sidewalk headed the same direction I was. I caught pace alongside because I wanted to speak to him. In part I wanted to tell him how I liked the American Stories radio series he does. To tell him how concise and accessible I find them.

But then I spied a pair of cute women’s flats by the curb. I really needed attractive, low-heeled shoes, and without hesitation, ran over to check out the shoes. They were a lovely butterscotch shade of brown and appeared to be about my size and in good condition. I flipped one of them over to look at the sole and was disappointed to discover the heel was badly worn, so I left them.

Because I’d let myself be distracted by the shoes, Tom Brokaw was far ahead on the sidewalk now and I ran to catch up, thinking I’d missed my chance to talk to him.