Hard at work


Riding in the elevator (er, lift) this morning, I couldn't help but notice what incredibly high heels that incredibly short girl was wearing. She was maybe 4'10", but 5 inches of that had to be heel. And she was buxom enough I idly wondered how she stayed upright, but I digress.

I found her shoes interesting because I was thinking about shoes, for some strange reason.

A while ago I was having trouble finding shoes.

No, I lie.

A while ago I was having trouble finding anyone in any shoe store who wanted to sell me a damned pair of shoes.

Typical British service, I might add. It's either fantastic or shite (I'm hard-pressed to think of a better time for this word). There is no middle ground. Shoe store salespeople inevitably do not fall into the fantastic category. I'm pretty sure it's in their interview process.

Interviewer: How are your customer service skills?

Applicant: They're fantastic!

Interviewer: Next!

And this is how I found myself in at a shoe store named Aldo, staring at a gorgeous pair of shoes and, despite the fact that the store was packed, the salesperson was very helpful. He was friendly. I couldn't believe it. Was I really buying shoes? Had I taken the tube to America by mistake? Had he lied to the interviewer?

And damn, those were nice shoes. They fit well, they looked sharp. I took them up to the counter.

"That will be £200, sir."

Excuse me? I hadn't thought to check the price. I just wanted those shoes. I checked the price tag then and yes, they were £200. There's been no mistake made (by the cashier). I've spent hours going through shoe stores, getting frustrated with being aggressively ignored and now I understand why they were so nice to me in this shop.

I still can't believe I'm wearing those shoes.

I now have one pair of running shoes (£90) and another pair of dress shoes (£70), for a grand total of £360 spent on three pairs of shoes. Over $700 US. On three pairs of shoes.

How the fuck did that happen? Admittedly, a lot of that is the exchange rate, but that first pair alone was $400 US. For one fucking pair of shoes. But damn, these are nice shoes. Of course, it's not fair to compare exchange rates because £200 to you isn't £200 to me because that's the currency my pay checks are in. It's £200 relative to the British economy. But I never would have spent $200 on a pair of shoes in the US, much less £200. I think the most I've ever spent was $80 and that was on a hideous pair of white leather shoes that I'd rather not talk about.

However, I do have one saving grace. These Aldo shoes look good. Shoe fashion seems to be a big deal over here and if you've got a boot fetish -- pant, pant -- London's a great place to be. The thing I can't figure out, though, is the mukluk. Mukluks have got to be the parachute pants of the 00s. They have to be. Please. Tell me this fashion will die a horrible death and women will burn photos of themselves wearing mukluks lest anyone know of their secret shame.

She stands there, smoldering eyes, long hair blowing in the wind, red silk blouse opened over the swell of her breasts, caressing your imagination. Your eyes meet and ... you burst out laughing because she's wearing big, furry monster feet.

Seriously, it's like these young women have whipped out their acid tongues and slain cartoon monsters. They sever their morbid trophy of feet, pluck out the bones and shove their own feet in the holes. I have expect a touch of blood to dribble down the sides of these things.

Cartoon blood, of course. You really can't take these damned things seriously.

And for female readers, my humblest, if insincere, apologies if you wear mukluks and I've offended you.
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I hope those were damn good shoes... the most expensive pair I could see on the Aldo site were $195 / £100.

Mukluks would be MUCH more palatable if they actually did have monster feet poking out from under the fake fur -- big clawed monster feet, making your girl look like one of Doctor Moreau's creations. Still silly, but not longer quite so stupid.
Ah, that's probably the difference between buying them direct online and walking into a shop on Bond Street. Am I right?

And Mukluks are very definitely Wrong. Outside of LRP. Or Alaska.
You know me -- many of my fashion choices are based at least partly on the criterion, "Outside of their everyday wear uses, how well would these shoes hold up at an LRP event? Or in Alaska?"
Just stay on Oxford Street (if you can cope with the crowds!), and you shold be OK. There is a reason why Bond Street is empty. And the shop assistants are so attentive ;-)

Great shoes though. Don't suppose you fancy helping to fund my own particular boot fetish? No, of course not. Forget I asked...

White.leather.shoes? Oh, C. Really?

That almost, but not quite, disqualifies you from making fun of mukluks.
You would have had to have some pretty astonishing hair to overshadow those shoes, babe. ;)
"Shoe fashion seems to be a big deal over here"

Damn right it is, you can wear a shirt without cufflinks, but by God those shoes had better be the right sort, one can tell a lot about a chap by their shoes ;)

They're expensive but I bet they're bloody comfortable shoes. I kept trying to persuade [Unknown LJ tag] to buy a pair of Church's, to no avail. I'm not sure if Aldo's do this, but Church's give your shoes a 12 monthly "check up" and repair - no more having to pay for new soles.

"Shite", excellent choice of adjective and yes, I couldn't agree with you more, service in shoe shops is shite.

I've bought shoes from Church's in the past. Never again. Worst $lots_of_money I ever spent. The soles wore through in about four months. So I took 'em back, they were terribly apologetic and fixed them. Wore through in four months again. They offered to fix them again and it took lots of persuasion (OK, it took me coming back when they were busy and getting Quite Loud about my complaint) to get a refund. Load of shite.

My rule of thumb now is to avoid "good" shoes and just buy from the Army Surplus shop. Infantry boots for every-day wear, parade shoes for those rare occasions when I care about the opinions of people so shallow that they pay attention to my shoes.

I get good service in the Army Surplus shop too. It probably helps that my local one is run by psychopathic Sith Efrickan / English nationalists.

Shoe shops in the UK (London particularly) are a nightmare. The staff are all about sixteen and have no interest in anything other than appearing cool in front of each other. And serving customers (especially ones who are over twenty) is high on their list of "things that make you seem uncool".

A couple of years ago I learned that I could avoid this torture by buying online. If you know which brands you want to buy (and for me that's rarely anything other than Dr Martens, Converse and Timberland) then I highly recommend Cloggs.
That was a rant of a different kind! ;)

In other news, I remember something like mukluks on the feet of Cyber Goths only in bright florescent colors when I was there in 2001. I am sure this news doesn't help your sordid fantasy of them going away.
Oh dear! Your niece who is turning 21 on the 14th of march is the very proud owner of a pair of mukluks..... LOL Complete with the big furry balls that remind you of the cheap fuzzy dice people hang in old vintage cars....LOL
For a second there, I thought you were going to tell us that you were cruising for a nice pair of 5 inch heels too ;)

I worked in a shop for 8 years. It really hones your hatred of humanity to the point where even normal, decent people seem like scum. I guess that's just what retail does to people. There was a girl sat next to me on the tube the other day, pouring her heart out into her mobile phone about her job at an up-market clothing place. She sounded like she was getting to the point where she should either be on suicide watch, or kept well away from sharp objects or things that go bang.

Moral of the story: don't work in retail.
I have a pair of mukluks. I LOVE them! I am not offended. I live in Oregon, which, as you know, can get chilly, and those boots with built in legwarmers are just the ticket. :D
Mukalooka - PeeWee's Playhouse what?
BEHOLD! The reason I pay no attention to fashion

I woulda never guessed that Redneckville, Florida would have anything in common with metropolitan areas in foreign lands....the first thing anyone ever looked at was your shoes, and your entire being was instantly judged and evaluated thereby. I imagine "mukluks" would put you into the category of "whore" and/or "she who wants to be raped." (It's a charming place, my hometown.)
I agree with your opinion of Mukluks and it's nice to know I'm not the only one. I had an ex who would constantly wear her fake fur (she was vegan) mukluks, even just to walk around the around the house in. I got in trouble once for laughing at her when I walked into the kitchen and saw her in just a pair of underwear and mukluks, doing the dishes.
Oh, my. When you said "mukluk," I was thinking:


I have to admit, I kind of love the all fur version. But then I used to sneak the gigantic red patent shoes (with attached white fur knee sock) from the Hello Kitty costume out of the Sanrio store where I worked, so I could wear them out clubbing.

The ones in your link have a sort of cavewoman sexiness to them.
Yow!! I would have to die laughing at the "fashion sense" of the furry monster feet while I simultaneously cried for those poor damned raccoons being skinned alive to make those hideous (imo) things. Oy vey.

Ok, now that I've spit out what I threw up in my mouth - did I miss a link to the shoes YOU bought? wtf yo?
No link because I can't find it on their Web site. In other news, how did a post about shoes become one of my more popular recent posts?
Well, for starters.... because a goodly portion of your readers are of the female (and shoe-loving) persuasion? Just a hunch. ;)