My friend Karen is a professional personal stylist/shopper, which is a good sort of friend to have. She is completely fantastic: she makes me try things on, and some of the best finds I’ve made in recent years have been due to her.
Despite me being able to style anyone else, I hate clothes shopping for myself. Sure it was fine and fun when I was a teenager and never ventured over 40 kilos. But it’s not so fun these days.
Anyway, Karen is always trying to get me into heels. I do wear heels, for parties. I wear high heels for parties. Really high heels. Heels so high I can’t actually walk in them and have to stand permanently in one spot so that people have to come to me and then I have to text my partner to come get me and take me to the nibbles.
99% of the time, however I wear flat, comfortable shoes. Shoes I can run in if I have to. Shoes that I can walk miles and miles in. Comfortable shoes. But stylish ones. I’m not into Hotter shoes yet.
But over the years, I’ve won this particular battle with Karen and told her that
a) I live in the country
b) I don’t/can’t wear heels, any kind of heels, during the day and still feel ‘safe’. They make me feel vulnerable.
c) I could buy the heeled ‘every day’ shoes she thinks I might be able to wear, but I will never wear them. Even though what she says makes perfect sense and I should be like a normal girl and be able to wear low-heels every day.
But I can’t. And Karen accepts that now.
This winter I told her I needed boots. What I wanted were some biker type boots, but that fitted better than biker type boots that are actually pretty badly fitting and you can’t, not really, walk huge distances in. Also biker boots…not overly smart. I wanted something to ‘winter up’ my DVF dresses and smarter things. I wanted them to be really fitted, up to the knee.
I wanted them to be fairly delicate, but not stupidly so. They had to have a rubber sole. Prada was the obvious place to look but the assistants were so rude to me (I will be telling Miuccia) that I left. Also, truth be told, even with the discount, even taking price per wear into account, I just didn’t want to spend that much money on a pair of boots.
Karen took me into Camper. I’ve never been into Camper. See, even though I like comfy shoes, Camper, to me, says “hippy shoes” which I don’t do.
I tried on these boots. So they weren’t bikery at all. But never have I tried something on in a shop and had so many people (three) come up to me saying “they look really good” and then ask to try them on themselves.
|Camper “Spiral” boots which are now down to £135|
One of the things I find hard about knee boots is that they are often too big around the calf for me. These fit really snugly. They have a tiny, rubber, wedge heel. I can walk in them all day. I love them.
Before we found these however, we went into Ecco shoes. I have a love/hate relationship with Ecco. I find the service lacking at times and I’ve had several walking boots from there that aren’t cheap, but have fallen apart after not much wear. The assistant was wearing these boots:
They looked really good on her but they weren’t ‘smart’ enough for what I wanted. They’re Gore-Tex and really rugged. But I didn’t buy them.
As soon as I got home to Suffolk and I started cycling home through the dark wintery streets, I realised that I really would use the Ecco boots far more than the Camper boots currently in my bike carrier. I couldn’t stop thinking about them because for every day, all I had were my walking boots – great for walking but huge, clumpy and take a good five mins to lace up. Or my Kiwi sheepskin boots which I can’t walk long distances in. As the cold set in, I realised I really really needed two pairs of boots, so I bought the Ecco ones.
I really, really recommend both boots. They do very different things. The Camper boots are great to wear with a smart skirt, but when you still need practicalility and warmth. The Ecco boots are just brilliant work-horse boots. They look really smart but are they wouldn’t look right if you were trying to ‘dress up’ at all. All through the snow, the Ecco boots kept me warm, comfortable and safe – they are amazingly grippy (the Camper boots aren’t). Both boots I can walk in all day.