Walking on Vice

I have to admit that a lust for shoes has always been one of my vices. So what's changed? Well...it's becoming a more expensive vice. You see, my shoe budget hasn't just inched. It took quite a leap.

Up until now, I just didn't spend more than $30 for shoes. And I couldn't understand why some women would spend hundreds of dollars for shoes. But now that I work near a DSW that stocks some high-end shoes, I can begin to understand why. Some of those shoes look really, really hot. They're well-constructed, for the most part, and the leather feels phenomenal. And they're shiny, too. The price tag, on the other hand...not so hot.

Recently, I happened to visit DSW during double-points time. I didn't really expect to find anything that day, but wanted to look around anyway. Lo and behold, I found some cute, cute shoes. And they were over $30. What to do, what to do? I was going to buy only one or the other, but in the end, I simply couldn't walk away from either, so I bought them both. I couldn't believe I spent that much on shoes that day (that would have been the budget for half a dozen pairs), but I think the purchases were good choices, given how many times I've worn them already.

Usually I eschew logos. When I see anything with logos, I tend to run far, far away...why would I pay a lot of money just to become someone's walking billboard? Besides, they can look rather tacky. So it was with very ambivalent feelings that I approached these Coach flats. I've seen them before they went on sale and found them incredibly cute (I fell hard for the little shoelace detail), but I wasn't going to pay a hundred bucks for them. But at around $50, all of a sudden I dared to try them on. They were perfect, especially after I've spent days in high heels. Those flats were very cushiony like my Vans, except I can wear these to work on a regular basis and with pair them with dressy outfits. They ended up working quite well with casual outfits as well:

The first and last looks were for work, while the middle one was a weekend look since it was too crazy for work. I've also worn them in this post.

The ultimate budget breaker (around $80) is by far the most expensive pair I own. But given what it is, it was too good to pass up:

The road to perdition is paved with...gold?

Like the Coach flats, I admired them from afar when they were full-priced and didn't dare try them on until they wound up on clearance. The color and the industrial-looking streaks were what got my attention at first.

Not all "luxury" shoes are made equal. I've tried on a pair of Givenchy pumps and they hurted. I tried on a pair of Pucci flats, and while they were cute, the sole was very hard. I tried on a pair of Moschino Cheap and Chic, and while they were very chic, they were not cheap, and they were not entirely comfortable, either. These golden flats, however, felt luxurious and comfortable. I love the little rubber heel (which cuts down on the clackety-clack noises) and the smooth silk lining.

I also wore them in the aforementioned other post with my gray tunic, but here it is in a casual outfit:

After that sticker shock, I went back to my cheap shoes. I had to buy a pair on the fly when I had to go to court and my black pumps were all unavailable, so I walked into Payless and walked out with a pair in 5 minutes. I didn't just walk in and pick up any pair--I bought them because they were exactly what I wanted--sophisticated but fun, for 17 bucks. They were fairly comfortable since they don't pinch my toes, but I would learn a week later that they were not suitable for long treks across cobblestone at one particular courthouse (ouch). They're still great to wear around the office, however.

Then I went back my true cheapskate roots--the $6 shoes. In the past, I've had pretty good luck with finding shoes for $6.24 from the Target clearance section. My luck struck again when I picked up these cute flats with the awesome hardware. I really liked them when they were $14, but given the number of pairs of shoes I've acquired recently, I didn't think it was worth it. But when I went to Target to buy a mop, I found them further marked-down and just couldn't resist. They are truly comfortable and I love them.

I was doing pretty well with keeping it cheap until yesterday. Remember how I went to DSW on double-points day? Well, I had enough points to get a $10 off coupon in the mail. So what did I do with it? I went back to give DSW more of my hard-earned cash. I found this pair of hot Calvin Klein pumps, which I promptly wore to work today:

The non-stilletto heel is more stable and comfortable, while the bit of cushioning at the balls of my feet made them also more comfortable. They look absolutely professional, while the subtle (patent trim) and not-so-subtle (big honking hardware...what is it with me and metal?) add a healthy dose of fashionable edge. But these shoes were about $50. What happened to "cutting back"?

Moral of the story? I should just stay out of shoe stores and look for the black pants that I actually need.


michelle said...

The shoes are great! My shopping urges tend to come and go in waves. I had a major thing for shoes last spring. My guess is that you'll probably move onto something else now! :)

By the way, do you do a lot of upkeep for your shoes? I find that paying for heel list replacements, shoe liners, heel pads, etc. takes away from the fun of new shoes.

Muttersome said...

One thing I've learned, being a shoe-lover myself, is that it's useless to feel guilty about buying shoes because it never makes a difference...no matter how bad you feel about buying those two pairs, you're still going to end up with that one adorable pair of pumps a week later :o). So my philosophy? I don't spend a lot of money on other things. Even when I do spend money on shoes, it's not outrageous. And life is way too short to wear ugly shoes on your feets!

Fabulously Broke said...

I LOVE those shoes esp the gold one. It looks like my kitten heel Steve Madden bronze leather heels that I adore..

Sales Rack Raider said...

Michelle--I guess it's safe to say that I'm done with shoes. Unless I find a fabulous pair of boots at 90% off, that is.

I haven't had to spend much money on upkeep of shoes until recently, when I took quite a few pairs to get the heel caps replaced. Since I have so many pairs of shoes, I rotate through them regularly; that distributes the wear and tear more evenly amongst the many pairs. However, my black shoes do wear out awfully quickly. I just had a talk with a colleague the other day--going to court really wears out those shoes.

Bernie--Life IS too short for ugly shoes ;-)

Fabulous--the gold ones are definitely my current faves. I have to keep myself from wearing them too much and wearing them out too quickly.

ambika said...

I gave up on cheap shoes when I was in high school. Wide feet mean even quality shoes can be problematic and the few times I've indulged for a bargain (usually from Target), I've ended up crippled and the money's wasted because I never wear the shoes again.

That said, I almost *always* buy my shoes from Nordstrom Rack at such a drastic discount that it's rare I spend more than $50. I do get tempted though, and those gold shoes would definitely be an exception. GORGEOUS!

emigre said...

The Christian Louboutins are beautiful, def worth it. Like the coach flats too.