Tuesday, September 24, 2019

A perfect shoe. . . . . . .

I remember the many years I hated my feet! 

My long, narrow, on a good day. . . .size 10 feet! 
Of course in those days I was also 5' 8" tall so probably required this size to stay balanced. Well that's what I told myself. My most recent height measurement taken at a doctor's office noted I was 5' 71/4", damn it, I'm shrinking! 

My younger feet seemed only to fit comfortably into very expensive shoes. Shoes that were definitely not within my budget. Sometimes I even required a whopping 10-1/2AA, and in killer pointy toes they needed to be a narrow fitting to stay on and be comfortable. My mother had beautiful feet into her early nineties - long, narrow, and always wore a size 12AA. She often had to special order shoes. With her great fashion sense - being a professional dressmaker - her shoes were also very important to her. 

In those long ago days, when I liked to think of myself as a well-dressed, quite fashionable young woman, the only shoes available in size 10-1/2AA were brands such as the amazingly beautiful, and very expensive, Italian handcrafted Salvatore Ferragamo brand. I have owned two pairs in my lifetime. One, a gorgeous burnt red and cream summer classic spectator with a chunky mid heel - sadly long gone - requiring pleated mid-calf skirts or a tailored black one with a kick pleat in the back. . . . . . and sometimes a true trouser, hi-rise waist with a fuller leg and cuffs, decidedly Katherine Hepburn, and thankfully now back in style!

The second pair, above, I splurged on and ordered in my perfect size from the SAKS Fifth Avenue catalog long before computers and online shopping. When they arrived I loved them from the first moment! I still wear them on occasions where a higher heel works for a short time, such as a restaurant dinner, or a funeral! They are black and brown, the smoothest, most velvety calf leather, the top stitching so fine. Even though over 30 years old, they are the 'spectator' style, classic and timeless. I feel they can be worn forever. The last time I wore them when traveling was many years ago when in Montreal where I joined Bob on a business trip. I recall walking on the ancient cobbled streets, from our hotel to a restaurant, and swore "never again" would I pack them for travel as I realized my tottering on heels on rough ground days were over! 

I still love shoes and probably have too many!  Is there actually a woman who doesn't? A few days ago while looking online at spectator style shoes, Etsy popped up with some amazing vintage beauties, including many Salvatore Ferragamo! There was a '50's pair made for Greta Garbo, asking price now $925.00! Thankfully she wore size 8 so were not even considered. As for current Ferragamo shoes, still beautiful, often quirky rather than classic, and way beyond my budget. 

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes you will never say goodbye to?

I'm back to serious preparation and packing for the upcoming trip and it's taking up my time as we're leaving next week. Choosing other footwear for shipboard, sightseeing in cities, the desert and islands, is quite a chore. Packing a lot of shoes is a no-no . . . . . . . . too heavy and take up too much space in that one checked bag!  


  1. Those are beautiful shoes. For years I just wore sandals, living in Florida. Here I have a pair of leopard flats that I love. I need to buy some boots.

  2. Oh my, it must be really difficult to find shoes that look and feel good when one has no 'average' feet, but you seem to be doing well. The Ferragamo pair certainly do not look like 30 years old - mint condition, timeless style!
    In EU/UK size, I wear 5 or 5 1/2, and I am also 5'8".

  3. PS: Another trip? How many have there been already this year? I admire you for being such a tireless traveller!

  4. Gorgeous shoes.
    Mary, has your font shrunk? I could barely read this psot...maybe I need new glasses!

    1. No dear, haven't changed it for this post. By chance did you zoom out in VIEW - that would make the font smaller.

  5. Those are some beautiful shoes, Mary! No wonder you have kept them. Shoes and I do not have a close relationship. I do wear them of course (LOL!) but these days comfort comes first. I try to find things that are at least somewhat feminine looking. Being two inches taller than you, I suppose it's only natural that my feet should be one size larger, and much wider! Back in the day I loved those high heels, but no more. If I manage to find a style that is nice looking and feels comfortable I usually get pairs in more than one color, but I don't have a lot of shoes. All one inch heels or less. I'm really loving ballet flats these days! Nothing approaching the class and style of your Farragamos!

    Have a wonderful time on your latest adventure. You are blessed to have a husband and friends who love to travel!

  6. Mary, I love your classic Ferragamo shoes. I am a huge fan of their shoes. These are classics and will never ever go out of style. I love shoes, and boots, and have quite a few of them. I hope that you have a wonderful time on your adventure. I cannot wait to see the photos and hear the stories.

  7. Dear Mary,
    Salvatore Ferragamo shoes are the only shoes I wear. I find them on ebay and Etsy. I love how they always fit, no matter what style. I know that they will be perfect when I find them in my size. I wear mostly ballet flats which have a little soft heel.

  8. It is quite a shock to discover that you have shrunk and you didn't even know it, isn't it? I love shoes.. have narrow long feet, not quite as long as yours but long still. I'd have a closet full of shoes if I could wear them but lately with foot problems I am down to about 3 different pair I can wear and not kill my feet. Oh what we put up with as we age!

  9. I must be one of those who does not care much about shoes. My aunt, on the other hand, wore a size five narrow and she had a walk-in closet full of shoes. Your shoes are terribly elegant.

  10. I'm another who doesn't care too much about shoes! I did moreso when I was younger, but not anymore. I'm just not a shoe person...I love to be barefoot all summer and then when the weather turns cold, keep socks on my feet, but I never have on a pair of shoes unless I have to go outside. (Well, in the cold weather, that is. I go barefoot outside around my house in the summer.) Thus said, now that I'm older, it's all about comfort in shoes for me. I can't wear shoes without any cushion in them (my feet hurt!) and I can't wear heels, unless a small wedge heel.

    Shrinking, unfortunately is common as we grow older. I used to be 5'5"; now I'm 5'4-1/4". I wear a size 8 - 8-1/2 shoe, medium width. My tiny mama (only 4'11" now!) has such small feet, that she has to shop in the children's section! Sometimes she's lucky with finding something online, but she only wears a size 5.

  11. It is all I can do to resist buying more shoes. When I worked at Nike I was always bringing home shoes, including Cole Haan. I try to not buy so many now, but I swear my feet have gotten longer and my body shorter. Already thinking I need new sandals next spring if I do some travel in hot temps. One shoe shop near my house it always so tempting when I look in their windows. Oh shoes, I do love them all.

  12. I really enjoyed this read about all this and, yes, with a 10+ size you must have had serious problems!


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