Thursday, August 18, 2011

Shoes, Shoes Everywhere...

...and nary a pair to buy.  We marvel constantly at the number of shoe-stores in this country.  Small towns, tiny alleys, you name it, there's one shoe store after the other.  I've never seen anything like this concentration of footwear. 

The summer style, now in 2011, is what I describe as the "gladiator sandal."  I have just looked it up, and it turns out everybody calls it the gladiator sandal.  What else would you call it?  It is a flat sandal, with leather straps across the front, and then a very thick band of leather going around and up the ankle.  It looks something like a boot-sandal.  And oh, it's horrible.  I mean, if it's in style in the US, too, and you are wearing a gladiator sandal as you read this, then I'm sure it looks fabulous on you.  The one you've chosen is darling.  It's the ones in Croatia that are hideous.

Here: examples of gladiator sandals, found online, not actually in Croatia:


Frankly, for a country so clearly shoe obsessed, I feel like they have managed to find some particularly ugly stuff.  And this from a woman who believes very dearly in function over form.  With my shin splints and my achilles heel (which really is my achilles heel), I would say that my taste in comfy shoes is almost lesbian, except that would be doing a huge disservice to my lesbian friends, all of whom have fancier shoes than I do.  Yet even I recognize that the shoes here are not only ugly, they are also not good for one's feet.  It's a real double whammy.

And if they're not wearing this year's gladiator sandals, they're wearing that perennial standby: I groan inwardly every time I see a family walking along, the dad and kids in shorts and T-shirts and casual summer sandals, and the mother in a stretchy, nylon outfit tottering on 4 inch heels.  Let me tell you, I groan inwardly a lot.  It incites an inner angry feminist I didn't realize I had (yes, of course she's wearing comfy shoes).  And yes, it's possible the stilleto-wearers could be tourists, but I'll tell you this: they're not American tourists. 

Here: my shoes.  Sensible.  Perfect for traveling in hot weather. 

Here: their sandals.  Stupid for walking around thousand year old cobblestone streets all day:

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