I’m in the market for some new sandals. It’s summer, I live in a city where shoe shops are plentiful, I have some money and my feet aren’t really freakish – you’d think it would be relatively straightforward. For the last two weeks, I have pounded pavements looking for a pair (or, ideally, two pairs) of sandals. Here are my – to my mind, at least, not outlandish – requirements. They must be sandals. They must be flat. Ideally, they must not be ugly. I'd prefer it if they were made out of leather.
What I do not want: heels, glitter, glass, feathers, chains. And I most emphatically do not want flip flops or any other devices of toe and arch torture. I want sandals: simple shoes with straps that firmly anchor the flat or nearly flat sole to my foot, but with enough space between the straps that my feet can breathe. Unfortunately, unbelievably, I cannot find any.
I'd like to labour the point further - I work in Covent Garden - in the last two weeks I have visited: Shelly's, Aldo, Clark's, Biker Bob's, the Natural Shoe Store, Terra Plana, Swear (which no longer stocks Swear shoes, more's the pity), a mountineering shop (I'm desperate), Poste Mistress, Birkenstock's, that snobby shop on Monmouth St where I got my Radclyffe Hall shoes (although I notice now that the Radclyffe's are actually their men's shoes, which explains a lot), Office, Office Sale Shop, Bally, Camper and a few other shoe shops whose names escape me. I just want some normal, fairly robust sandals that don't look too clumpy and won't destroy my feet when I walk three miles. I see other women wearing them - tell me: where are the normal sandals hidden?