|Left: American Eagle Outfitters, Right: Steve Madden|
Answer me this simple question, which shoe do you think would be more comfortable: Exhibit A, the American Eagle rope wedge with a low platform heel, leather ankle strap and fabric peep toe, or the Exhibit B, the Steve Madden cork wedge with a high heel and a suede T-strap? If you chose Exhibit B you are correct! Looks can be deceiving; I kind of wanted to make that the title of this post but it lacked the mystery of a Temper Trap lyric so I refrained from doing so. Fashion is a funny thing, many things are not always what they seem. In what I believe to be the [paraphrased] words of a shoe designer (Guiseppe Zanotti?), “a shoe should always be more comfortable than it looks.” I wore these Steve Maddens for the first time yesterday for about 7 hours. I wore the other shoes for the umpteenth time last Saturday and I think I might have almost broke them in except they began to cut into my ankles. I received the AEs from my mom before my 16th birthday and have worn them every summer since then. Although they are leather which doesn’t take too long for me to break in, I have experienced pain in these shoes if I walk in them for even a short period of time. I made the mistake of wearing them on a shopping trip to Saks 5th Ave in NYC a short time after they were given to me. At first they weren’t giving me any trouble, but when I made it to the shoe salon I was feeling the pain. As I entered the room I noticed a small, white piece of cardboard-like material toward the right corner of the room. As my eyes took in the beauty of the words, “Sale in progress” I let out a sigh of joy. I let my eyes wander over the myriad of shoes, all on sale and all waiting to adorn my aching feet. I bet now you’re thinking, “this story has a happy ending because Caroline bought an amazing pair of dangerous looking yet comfy designer shoes for a steal!” Unfortunately for me, the only benefit of Gucci booties being 30% off was that I could go from staring at an ad for those unaffordable shoes in my copy of Vogue while drooling all over the page, to staring at an actual, slightly less unaffordable shoe and even touching it (while attempting to stop the spit from creeping out of my mouth). Instead of switching my common, mass produced espadrilles for finely crafted Italian stilettos, I left Saks and made the painful journey back to my hotel room to change into my silver gladiator sandals (much more practical). These silver gladiators had the misfortune of encountering the slivery slickness that is (more than 5) New York puddles during a downpour last summer but that’s another story. Yesterday I walked all over my house, up and down stairs, on grass, hardwood, and linoleum in my new wedges and all I had to show for it were some small red marks that faded 10 minutes after I changed into flip flops. Sometimes, what seems practical can’t be perfect and what seems deceptively perfect is.