Old Woman Shoes

Pretty shoes are so much a thing of the past that I might almost be persuaded that I had never owned such a thing.  I was 40 when arthritis attacked the large joint in my right big toe, since when heels and low cut courts have been impossible to wear.

I wear Old Woman shoes. Comfy shoes. Boring shoes.

Actually I have never been that much of a fan of shoes and prefer to go barefoot when possible. Alas, when I developed an Achilles problem, it was suggested that I take to wearing shoes as just a little lift can relieve the pain. It did!

My First Eccos
My First Eccos, well worn (rather neglected)

Luckily I had at hand a pair of Ecco shoes that I had bought in our early days here. I had spotted them in the Sale in town – this is how I buy all of my shoes, I go in if there is a Sale on and buy whatever there is in my size that does not actually hurt my feet. These Eccos served as my go-to-town shoes for years until I adopted them as daily wear to relieve the pain in my tendon. Despite the fact that I take little care of them and they rarely see polish, they are lasting remarkably well –  but are now in need of a re-sole. The uppers have years left in them yet. Currently a little muddy as I wore them to go to the gate with the rubbish on Monday morning – they’ll look much better if I sponge them off.

I found a service to repair the shoes and sent off an enquiry to see what ball park we were in. The answer came back in the region of £70. Admittedly this is a quality service and I probably would not recognise my shoes when they came back soled and restored … but £70 to someone who only buys shoes in the Sales? Hardly.

Looking online, to see what the full price of a new pair of shoes might be, I found that you don’t need to go to town to find a Sale…

Old Woman Shoes Mk II
Old Woman Shoes Mk II

arrived today – £53, delivered. Cheaper than mending.

All the same, if I could do it affordably, I should love to inject some life into my old blue pair, which are more comfortable than these new ones. I should have noticed that what I needed was Ecco Soft shoes. I trust I shall be able to break these new ones in quickly.

When I was a nipper it was easy to make do and mend – you popped into Woollies and bought a pack of soles and heels in the right size, and almost every home had a shoe last (most likely serving double duty as a door stop) to facilitate the job. I have seen my Granddad mend shoes with pieces of old rubber tyre, even. Today’s moulded sole units simply do not permit for that to happen. It makes for a lot of wicked waste.


  1. January 13, 2016

    There’s a shop on the Shambles in York that I used to take my shoes to for reheeling ten years ago. Not sure if they still do it.
    I have always preferred wearing ankle boots: big chunky ones. I spent my teens in 8-hole Doc Martens, of which I still have one pair kicking around. Now I tend to get the boots with zips up the inside so that when I am in a rush, (always) they don’t slow me down.

    • spinninggill
      January 13, 2016

      Liz, I now have a vision of you in canonicals and Doc Martens! 🙂

    • January 13, 2016

      We had a cracking cobbler when I lived in Barney – a real family business, tucked away down a yard. They would cheerfully mend anything in leather.

      Ah, Docs. Always wanted some Docs, preferably in purple. I do have some lovely green Moshulu boots that I snagged in a sale in Kendal very many years ago. Barely worn – they hurt my arthritic toe joint. *sigh* But they do photograph well

  2. January 14, 2016

    My teenage Docs were purple and lasted until well after uni, when I began rationing their use to make them last longer. My current pair are green.
    Gill-what would be odd about Docs and canonicals?

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