Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reasons For My Shoe Obsession

I think my shoe obsession began with the launch of Clarks Magic Key shoes. Anyone in their 30s in the UK will know exactly what I’m talking about here, but for those that don’t, Magic Key shoes were red t-bar shoes with a clear plastic insert in the heel section of the sole, revealing a picture of a golden key. (All the images I could find online are of white or black Mary Janes, but I'm sure my friend's per were red t-bars.) This tied in with the TV advertising campaign and can be held responsible for millions of little girls all over Britain begging their parents for a pair, and subsequently developing a thing for pretty shoes. Here’s the ad:

My friend had a pair of these: I did not. My sister and I only had K’s shoes when we were children, never Clark’s
I have always been tall and my feet kept pace with my height. This meant that by the time I was in the first year of high school I was already a size 9. The school outfitter’s (we had a very strict uniform and it could be bought from just two shops) only stocked one style of girl’s shoe in a size 9: a boring black lace up and I was doomed to spend the next 4 years wearing the exact same shoe for school. I got a new pair each year, but as there was only one option, that’s what I had to have.

At the start of the fifth form, my mom made the mistake of letting my dad take me shoe shopping. We went to the Saxone (now Barratts) store in Harrogate where they sold Tall and Small shoes (sizes 9 & 10, and sizes 1 & 2 respectively) and where there was a sale on. Always one for a savvy bargain, I searched the row of shoes on the floor and found two pairs in my size: a pair of flats with a silver filigree style buckle (not unlike the ones Tory Burch produces today), and a pair of black heeled shoe boots. As they were both on sale, I convinced my dad to buy me both pairs and we returned home. My mom was dismayed to say the least to find I had a slip on style shoe for school (these had been outlawed previously in my house) but eventually confided that she had had a pair not dissimilar when she was in the fifth form.

And thus began my thing for shoes. I had a fabulous pair of brown flat knee high boots at one point in my teens, and the huge block heels I insisted on wearing all through the sixth form followed me to university until the cheap plastic they were made from split across the toes. You’ve seen the size of my shoe collection today, and for that I hold Clark’s entirely responsible.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely loved this post! I had a pair of princess shoes and I am pretty sure mine were red. They came with stickers in the box which I stuck on my headboard and dresser in my room-oh, the memories!
    Love Amie