It’s time for us to talk shoes. There are probably going to be a lot of posts about shoes on this blog, because, to the extent that I will admit to collecting anything, I collect shoes. And when you collect shoes, you have to have both limits (not any old thing will do), and also quests. The following boots fulfill both of those criteria:
These boots have heels. I know, that’s obvious. But I have, until recently, had an absolute rule: No shoes, other than clogs or sneakers, with a heel under 3″. (Note the “until recently.” Change figures prominently in this post.)
These boots were also the result of a quest, for they are blue. I have been looking for a really great pair of blue, high-heeled, knee-high boots for literally years. I have trawled shopping sites, filtering for the color blue. I have stared in windows. I have…well, you get the idea.
Bonus points for these boots being bought in Italy, in Pistoia. They are souvenir boots.
(Whenever I travel, I try to buy a pair of shoes to remember the place.) (Except in Madrid. That place was a shoe wasteland.) (This shoe-travel thing will likely come up again.)
There is a problem, however. In Vienna, the weather is not exactly footwear-friendly. Some of this is exactly what you’d predict. I speak, of course, of snow. Mountains of snow, and the salt that follows it, make for cruel circumstances for one’s feet.
My first purchase since arriving in Vienna was, therefore, the requisite pair of puffer boots. I honestly thought I’d left this kind of thing behind when I moved out of upstate New York, but there you go: Puffer boots with puffer coat, modelled here in a tire rut in the snow on the edge of the 6th district last weekend.
The problems don’t end with the snow, however. Vienna’s public works people have an interesting practice of sprinkling little stones all over the pavement in addition to the salt. This must be to increase traction on the ice, but one primarily experiences it as an annoyance. The snow melts away, and underneath is this fine layer of little pebbles, not quite gravel, but not as fine as kitty litter.
It looks like this:
See that? That’s my toe, and all around it, a veritable beach of small stones. Well, you try walking over that stuff in high heels. Once the snow and ice are gone—and they don’t last long, because Vienna is not as cold as people think—the innocent heel-wearer will experience a constant sensation of little pebbles digging into the balls of your feet in the most painful way. Not to mention the fact that they scuff up your heels, and make you sort of slip around. All of which necessitated (necessitated, I tell you!) a further trip to the shoe store for a new pair of boots capable of coping with these extreme conditions.
Here they are. Brown boots, with a heel that I am forced to admit can’t really be over 2.5″.
I know. If you’d told me a decade ago that I’d ever be wearing brown boots with a low heel, I’d have called you a lunatic.
Of course, I would have said the same if you’d told me I’d be living in Vienna (Vienna?!), so go figure.
But let’s confirm—that heel is just really low, right?
Of course, one thing has not changed: I am still a…gulp…collector, and as such, I still have criteria and I still have quests. Which brings us to….
The same trip through first district that brought you the pictures in my last post also took us past the store selling these — lovely grey boots (with heel!) that I desperately need to replace the somewhat worn-out pair that I left back in California.
So I bought them.
And I have a feeling it’ll happen again.