Shoes are my favorite clothing item. Their form is restricted by their function, and all good shoes should be built to be walked in (although this does not always seem to be the case). And yet, there is such an incredible variety of shoes, and they are often so representative of their time that shoe people can guess their decade at a glance. It was just Shavuot, the Jewish holiday celebrating a bunch of things including the receiving of the Torah, the wheat harvest and cheese cake. We read the Book of Ruth, which is attached to this holiday. It turns out when Ruth’s husband-to-be got the go ahead to buy back Ruth’s fortune (and marry her as part of the bargain) the act was signified by the removal of a shoe. See how important shoes are? No wonder I am fascinated.
I don’t just love shoes, I love to thrift shoes. I realize it is not for everyone. It grosses some people out. I get that – thinking too much about other people’s feet in your shoes is disturbing. Thinking too much about most anything – where my salmon dinner came from, the toxins in our drinking water, global warming, I really sort of freeze. Or I go thrifting and get a cheap thrill out of finding someone else’s discarded shoes.
Some shoes are just classics and don’t date as easily as most shoes. The cowboy boot is one of them. They may go in and out of trendiness but a good cowboy boot is never totally out of fashion. I found these red snakeskin Tony Lamas sitting on the shelf at my favorite charity shop. When one of the other thrifters saw I had taken them they said “Oh yes, they are nice but I couldn’t find the size.” That was lucky for me because I found the size and it was my size. Tony Lama was the son of Italian immigrants and the brand has been going strong since the middle of last century. One intersting thing I have learned thrifting is that there are a lot of great Italian cowboy boots.
Most thrifters come across shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo eventually. I have found and sold at least 8 pairs, but these linen Varas have stuck around in my closet. I like the unusual material and the wood heel. I don’t wear them much and am often afraid they look a bit too old lady on me, but I haven’t yet decided to give them up.
On the other end of the spectrum are these Fluevog Mini Bebe Mules. John Fluevog is a Canadian designer that has a cult following for his unique and comfortable shoes. I was pretty surprised to find these, but Fluevog is not as well known in Israel as in North America. I have only worn them at home when we have had guests, but they are a fun conversation piece!
When I consider shoes for re-sale I look for shoes that are in new or nearly new condition. These three will help me finance my thrifting:
They are also designers worth knowing but I will save that for a future post!
Do you, or would you, buy second hand shoes?