The first thing I did when I started earning from a Saturday job at age 15 was to buy a pair of high-heeled, knee-high boots made of red canvas. Two years earlier, Mum had presented me with my first, 3 inch high, heels. They were meant as shoes to practice in, as the heels were made entirely of rubber: put a foot wrong, and you'd fall flat on your face. I wasn't allowed to wear them outside, or unsupervised. I don't know where she got them from, but they taught me how to walk in heels very well: every time I twisted or otherwise injured my ankle, I was wearing flats...running shoes, actually.
Anyway, it's no secret that shoes are important to me. They're not just a foot covering, protection against the environment, or even just adornment to me; they help me express or show something of my personality. I can look back and remember my life in shoes, and here is a small selection:
I bought these patent leather pumps in Feb 1985 in a street market in Florence, Italy for (IIRC) 20,000 lire.I wore them quite often in the mid-80s, whenever I went out to party with my friends. You can see they're quite battered and worn-out, but I still can't bring myself to throw them away -- they remind me of my younger, carefree days as a student at Leiden University.
These fuchsia pumps were bought for a special occasion, to wit: my mother's wedding to her second husband in the summer of 1985. My then-boyfriend bought them for me, and I wore them with a Laura Ashley dress in the same colour. I don't think I wore them much after that day.
Another pair of shoes I've hardly ever worn, mainly because they pinch dreadfully, these winklepickers date from the early 90s. I liked their punky look, and still do.
These date from the early 90s as well. They're quite worn; I used to wear them often in those days, as there was someone who said he loved to see me in them...
...until Sept 1997, when that same person broke my heart. These were new then, and worn with silver trousers and a black top the night my hopes were dashed.
In contrast, these red suede slingbacks carry much happier associations with them. They were bought in May 1994, paid for with my first paycheck from HP. I was so full of optimism then!
Mid-90s, sequined slingbacks. Worn sporadically, and to parties mostly, because I would have hated to have lost even a single sequin. Also, the elastic strap tends to cut into the flesh after a few hours.
These were my favourite shoes of 1996/7; they're quite comfy and their cherry patterned uppers always cheered me up.
Clogs, bought in Oxford Street in the summer of 1998, because my feet had become quite hot and swollen after a hard day's shopping, and they were just so what my tired, achey feet needed at that moment. And as you can see, they're quite indestructible.
This pair of Carvela booties I also brought home as a souvenir from London, some time in the early noughties (2003?). Peronne helped me pick them in Harrods' shoe department...I've never worn these, as I'm too afraid to get dirt on them.
Another souvenir, from Bluewater this time, while on a visit with calove a few years back, and worn just once or twice since then. £20 they were, in the sale at Jones Bootmakers.