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Shoes for shows

Dear Dawn,

I’m so glad your stint at Bergdorf’s has been a good experience!
Most of my sales are through shows at my local arts organization,
which also has concrete floors, and I finally discovered that I have
one pair of slide sandals that will take me through hours of what
would otherwise be hell.

They are made by Stonefly and, although the “tops” (what on earth do
you call them?) are quite “artsy chic” (especially with a pedicure)
the soles are relatively thick and flat. But, best of all, there’s a
gel pack in the heel!

Unfortunately, I don’t know if they make this style any more, but
they must make something like it. I was the only woman at our last
"reception" who was able to stay ambulatory through the whole thing
without resorting to sneakers! This winter, I will try to find some
kind of gel-pack insert for my chic flat boots.

May all good shoes last forever!

Best wishes,
Lisa Orlando

people -
another shoe brand that is washable, indestructible, comes in
different colors in suede (also washable) to grosgrain ribbon, can
last from 6 to 10 years even in water sports & go with anything, is
’teva’. i have over a dozen pair and they are so comfortable i can
do a 5 day show on concrete with them -

who once, when she got her her first blister ever from new goretex
boots, wore her tevas & 2 pr of socks mountain backpacking for a
week in february (a wet week).

I have always had trouble with my feet. They are an odd size and
they hurt very easily. I’ve had bouts of plantar fasciitis that have
put me on crutches and so have generally tried to stay away from
things like high heels - they are not worth the damage and pain for
days or weeks afterward. Finding shoes that are comfortable, look
nice and that don’t require weeks of pain while breaking them in is a
continual challenge.

My dilemma when doing shows is always what to wear – I’m most comfy
in jeans and sneakers with a t-shirt, which is how I work in my shop.
But as someone else captured so wonderfully: “people don’t want to
buy their style from someone who has none.” (I can’t remember who on
the list said it, but I love it!)

As a result, I’ve come up with some wonderfully “funky” clothes that
reflect my own taste and that have a sense of fun to them. Good
colors and such, which reflects my use of color in my work, as well.
Hopefully a bit of an “artsy” feel to them. Styles that let me wear
a piece or two of my work so I can use them as a conversation piece.

But shoes remained a bugaboo! Until, that is, I found 2 special
resources. Easy Spirit (you remember those ads with the women’s
basketball team playing a game wearing pumps?) makes some really
wonderful shoes that look nice and dressy – but with flexible
padded soles that really do “feel like sneakers.” I can wear them
without 2 weeks of painful “breaking in” beforehand!

And, Columbia sportswear (the people who bring you wonderful winter
coats) has a line of pull-on shoes, kind of like clogs but with
backs, that work wonders if you’re on your feet all day. They look
nice (not dressy, but great with pants) and are non-skid and well
padded, with good support. I’ve ended up wearing them all the time
in the studio, which has concrete floors. I can keep working longer
without my feet complaining! (If you remember from one of our
earlier discussions, I like to do a lot of my work standing and
arrange my studio to promote walking around a lot.)

Finally, I’ve invested in a couple of thick carpet remnants that are
stitched around the borders. I think I may have paid about $10
each, and they’re 2’ x 3’. They are sample pieces from discontinued
styles that the store was eager to just get rid of. I keep them
behind my table in my booth and have them to stand on when things are
slow and I’m hanging out back there. Even on concrete/asphalt
floors, they provide some much-needed padding. You can also get a
special rubber floor mat with holes in it the size of dimes, which is
great for standing on for long periods of time. But I think the
carpets work just fine for me at this point.

Hope this helps some of you!
Karen Goeller
Hand-crafted artisan jewelry

Hi All, I have a pair of Dansko clogs that I always wear when I’m
going to stand all day, they’re very comfortable, nice looking, and
have never made my feet hurt (and I have an extra bone in my feet
that always makes problems for me). They sell mens and womens shoes,
some are nicer looking than others, but these are what many doctors
and nurses wear in the hospitals. hth =) zinny

Since I had foot surgery a few years ago (a melanoma on the bottom
of my foot- the worst possible spot), I’ve had to be very careful
about what shoes I wear. I’ve found Easy Spirit and Naturalizers to
be the most comfortable, even in dressy styles. Also, almost any
shoe can be improved with insoles. I’ve found Triad makes a very
cushioned insole that doesn’t crowd your foot out of the shoe.

Janet Kofoed

My favorites have been anything by Rockport, and my Salomon “snow
mocs”. They are black suede and have a 4-wheel-drive-looking tread on
the bottom, but are like bedroom slippers on the inside with
fantastic arch support. I wear them with my black dress pants and
nobody can see them behind my counter. I also use foam padding on
the floor, since I’m on my feet all day at shows. Check the LL Bean

Wendy Newman

Hello Orchidland, I don’t know if this is another thread or not, but
it should be! It’s hard to smile if your feet are killing you, and
the older you get, the more “sensitive” your feet become. I’ll speak
up for Birkenstock sandles and shoes. I call them my orthopedic
sandles and ugly shoes. Without them, I’d be in misery. I even
wear them in winter (with wool sox).

I haven’t found a sport shoe/sneaker that comforts my feet like my
Birks. Someday I’ll probably have to have bunion surgery, but as my
podiatrist suggested, I’m going to avoid it as long as possible. Judy
in Kansas where we had frost over the weekend and now I have to
figure out how to house all those plants from the deck.

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
B.A.E. 237 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhatttan KS 66506
(785) 532-2936 FAX (785) 532-6944

  But as someone else captured so wonderfully: "people don't want
to buy their style from someone who has none." (I can't remember
who on the list said it, but I love it!) 

Thanks, Karen, that was me. My own shoe solution (feet a half-size
different in length, bunions, almost no arches) is a shoe brand
from, I think, Switzerland, but anyway someplace expensive-- Ecco. I
have been wearing a pair of simple, slightly funky (folksy?) brown
flat shoes with a nice, wide toe box, and springy soles for more than
5 years, almost daily except in our short span of warm weather.
They’d still be fine, except that I also wear them to weld in, since
the leather seems to stand up to anything, but I stepped on a big
piece of hot slag. It didn’t burn me, but it was pretty hard on the
sole. I just keep wearing them anyway, but that one’s not so springy

Still, I think I may try some of the brands mentioned on this forum.
I think Eccos run around $80 and up–on sale. Must say, I’ve gotten
my money’s worth, though.


Ecco shoes don’t come from Switzerland, they come from Denmark. I
love them too, yes they are expensive, but they last and oh are they
good to your feet. I wore a pair for four days of a show, 9am to
9pm on concrete floors. I still felt fine at the end.

The Danes do a great job of ergonomics, not just for furniture.

Judy Hoch, GG

Check out for frequent very good deals on
Mephisto, Ecco etc. brand shoes. Wonderful deals. Tracy in Boston

I too, would like to extol the virtues of Ecco shoes. I have been
wearing them for years. When they were first imported into the USA
they were from Denmark. Now the Ecco company is making shoes “off
shore”, in a number of other countries. That hasn’t affected their

Joel Schwalb