Biker boots

I’ve been on the lookout for some biker boots – this was partly triggered by my husband who suggested that I needed a pair of ankle length boots.  Obviously, though, it was already triggered by me.  I do already have a pair of black ankle boots but these have a (small) heel and are a bit too smart for some outfits.

It was surprisingly difficult to find a pair that fit me.  I have peculiar feet.  They are short and wide – I once got measured for ski boots and the fitter said that I had feet that are a UK 4.5 length and 8 width (so basically square – I’m such a freak).  Plus I have really high arches.

I ordered this pair in John Lewis but couldn’t even get them on.  So back they went.  I liked the look of this pair in Jones but the sole is even lighter than it looks online (and looks a bit funny on black boots).  I really liked the look of this pair in All Saints but, although they have a zip, the strap around it meant I couldn’t get them on.

I also had a look in Office, Kurt Geiger, L K Bennett (lovely – but much too expensive) and Dune but had no luck.  Then I read this and ordered both of the pairs of boots the author recommended.  Both were too small so I sent both back and ordered the Niels in a UK size 8 – amazingly they fit.  A size 8 should be far too big for me but my old, slouchy UGGs also came up really small so perhaps UGG just make their shoes really small.

New biker boots

By the way, can I recommend The Circle?  It’s a really good film.

Measuring our feet at home

The other day I ordered a foot measurer from Clark’s, via Amazon.  This was my husband’s idea – he is rather horrified by the price of children’s shoes and wants us to measure the children’s feet at home and then order last season’s shoes online (probably through EBay).

Here is my foot

It goes from a UK size 10 (kid’s) to a size 10 (adult’s).  According to the instructions, you enter your numbers into the “sizecalculator” section of the Clark’s website and it will give your or your child’s size.  Except typing that in leads to here, which seems to give almost no information on widths.  My feet are about 24 cm long, which gives a shoe size of 5.5 – except they are also 21 cm wide so a UK 5.5 would be agony.  I usually wear either a UK 6.5 or 7.

I am loathe to describe this as a not very useful purchase.  So I will measure the boy’s feet at the end of the summer (my daughter wears a UK size 8 so it is too small for her).  And then I’ll take him to a normal shoe shop to get measured by someone who knows what they’re doing.

Riding boots

My sister in law was wearing these marvellous riding boots at Christmas (she, unlike me, actually has a horse so they are Proper Ones).

Riding boots
Riding boots

I ended up googling them and then ordering them from a place called Satin Stitch Equestrian.  I ordered them on Boxing Day but hadn’t taken into account that this place is not Amazon so the boots only got dispatched on 8 January (meaning I wasn’t in the IoW to collect them).  All was well, however – my husband’s parents went and got them from the Post Office.

They are pretty comfy.  I have an old pair of brown leather boots which are meant to look like riding boots but which have entirely fallen apart around the heel so I hope these will be more long lasting.  I wore them for a long tramp around the grounds at Osborne House on their first day and they kept me warm.

Sturdy shoes

The other day, my husband and I were in an “outdoors” shop called Cotswold.  This is similarish to Blacks, only it hasn’t gone bust yet.

Outdoors shops are funny places, partly because the clothes come up really, really small.  And you never expect it!  Even when I was really quite thin, I always felt like a complete monster whenever I went into one of these places – it would be a sea of pink and purple base layers and fleeces, all size 10 and 12 (with the occasional 8).  Finding a 14 was often tricky, which made 22 year old me feel reasonably terrible.

However, they do have some nice, sturdy shoes.  My husband has been moaning about my lovely, brightly coloured Nike Flyknit trainers.  He says that they are unsupportive and my right ankle rolls in them.  To be fair, the second part of this is probably true.  So he bought me these.

Scarpa shoes - they're basically hiking boots but without the boot bit
Scarpa shoes – they’re basically hiking boots but without the boot bit

They’re a bit different from what I usually wear but they did keep my feet dry yesterday.  And they do feel quite supportive when I run for the bus.

Shoe cull

My enthusiasm for clearing out all my old stuff hasn’t abated yet.  The other day, I dealt with my shoe collection.

Shoes are a weird thing.  It’s often tempted to keep some hideously impractical pair of shoes because, well, I might need them!  What if I get invited to an 18th century themed party and only that pair of shoes will do?  Or, I really loved that pair of shoes and the fact that they are now beyond repair / cut my feet to ribbons doesn’t matter.  Clearly, this is ridiculous.

I am a 38 year old woman and have now donated all the shoes that have a spike heel, are falling apart and / or were excruciating.  I can’t wear heels – I have short, wide feet (rather like a duck) and high heels just don’t work for me.  One bonus result is that my feet are more or less okay.  My brother came round at the weekend and remarked on how non-mangled my feet are (I wasn’t wearing shoes).

Pile of shoes to be donated
Pile of shoes to be donated

An advantage of having done a show audit is that I’ve found some that need fixing at the cobbler.  One pair of boots in particular need resoling and the insole replaced.  God, I love those brown boots.  But if they can’t be fixed then they need to go.

These are going to the cobbler
These are going to the cobbler

Yet more shoes for the children

So on Monday, I had a most efficient day.  It was the first day back from our holiday and I:

  • replied to a few emails and sent some others;
  • paid a few bills;
  • took the children to the dentist;
  • took the children to the park; unpacked all the children’s clothes from holiday;
  • put all the new school uniform in drawers / wardrobe / haversack; and
  • bought both children new shoes.

I know that I’d already bought my son school and games shoes but I realised that he was going to need some for the weekend and holidays.

Here they are
Here they are

My daughter has had great wear from her silver sandals this summer but once it is cold and raining, she is going to need some closed shoes.

Like these
Like these

I know that my daughter’s shoes are really rather girly.  However – she is a girl.  She was pleased with them.  Plus silver seems to go with everything she wears – perhaps it could be classed as a neutral?

Back to School

Yes, I know it is August.  And, yes, it is very warm and sunny.  But the shops have started doing their Back to School campaigns already – actually, they probably have for ages but I’ve refused to notice because (1) it was the middle of summer and (2) my children hadn’t broken up from preschool yet.  It was the end of term picnic on Friday afternoon and now I’ve started noticing shop displays.

Like this one
Like this one

Last week I finally took my son shopping for school shoes.  I had intended to wait until the week before school starts but was told by a friend with older children that that was a really BAAAAAD idea.  As it was, the shoe shop was filled with children also getting their school shoes and the kind lady said that they’d started running of sizes the week before.

The uniform list gave black shoes with velcro fastenings and white games shoes with no laces (so also velcro).  I bought these.

School shoes
School shoes
Games shoes
Games shoes

Both are by Geox and were meant to be ninety-odd quid but the owner charged me £85 because we’d been waiting a long time … and had to take my daughter to the loo in Costa … and I’m there every month to get my children’s feet measured etc.

Now, I really, REALLY hope that my son’s feet don’t now grow during August.