I have a confession to make: I have a love/hate relationship with shoes. I love them for many, many reasons, among which the most eminent is probably them allowing me to get away with even the most boring outfit. At the same time, however, they are the No. 1 reason why, after almost two years of working after graduation, my bank account is still hovering around zero balance on sunny days and negative balance on rainy days. Now that I’m no longer in New York but in my third world fatherland and making a meager amount of money, I hate shoes even more because 1. it’s extremely difficult for me to lay my hands on a good pair of shoes and 2. a good pair of shoes here costs an arm and a leg. To give you a better idea of my current dilemma: the most recent pair of shoes I purchased was Paul Smith, on sale, three months ago. I looked for that particular pair in my size left and right on every e-commerce site imaginable and probably made a dozen calls to the US to no avail. Then out of the blue, it was on sale on the PS’ official website. I filled in all my information and prayed hard at the same time that my credit card would go through, despite the fact that I already had to pay a hefty amount to get it shipped to my cousin place in Singapore instead of my home country because the perpetual myth is imported goods rarely reach where they are meant to reach in this freaking third world country. It arrived about one week later, but I had to wait for another two months for my cousin’s return. Yes, you heard me. That is exactly how much it would cost me, how long it would take, and how many neurons I would lose during the process to get one more pair of shoes. However, the cliche goes that true love conquers all, which I believe is the case between me and shoes. So, I will round up a selection of my favorite shoes every month from now on in the name of…love for shoes. Hey, if you can’t touch, you can certainly look right?
1. Sneakers (left: Balenciaga Printed Twill and Leather Sneakers , right: Pierre Hardy Panelled Neoprene Sneakers)
Other than my trusty ugly Nike kicks for daily workout, I believe the only pair of high-end sneakers I own is by Marc Jacobs, which I purchased in 2009 and have probably worn about 2 times in total. So, I would never imagine in a million years that there would come a day when what I want most is just a good pair of sneakers. Here is the backstory: for all my life up until 2012, I was never the athletic type. No, that is a major understatement. I WAS A COUCH POTATO. I still remember vividly back in middle school and highschool when the mere thoughts of physical education sessions instantly filled me with trepidation not just because I would be huffing and puffing like a choo choo train right after but also because my condescending and pathetic classmates would ridicule me for not being able to do a few push-ups. I wasn’t overweight by any means. I was just very unfit and strangely enough, managed to stay in such a lame shape all the way throughout college. Then in 2012 by some twisted chain of fate, I left New York City and landed back in my third-world fatherland, where all the magic has started to happen. I got a gym membership and joined a few fitness classes such as spinning and bodypump. And before I knew it, I already transformed myself into a health and fitness maniac—the kind who groups breathing, eating and exercising into the survival category. So, is it just me or as you get fitter and fitter, you are naturally drawn to more athletic-looking items such as these divine, rich textured and ultra-luxe Balenciaga kicks or this beautifully colored, retro Pierre Hardy pair? Look no more for the finest fusion of fashion and function.
2. Chelsea boots (left: Bottega Veneta Suede Chelsea Boots, right: Saint Laurent Suede Chelsea Boots)
I have vowed to never lay my eyes or my hands for that matter on another pair of suede shoes again on the pretext that my shoes collection is primarily made of suede. However, I have contracted a fever called Chelsea boots, and the only prescription is more of them. The color of these babies from Bottega Veneta and Saint Laurent is too beautiful and classic to pass up.
3. Oxfords (left: Paul Smith Chuck Burnished-Leather Oxford Shoes, right: Gucci Studded Leather Oxford Shoes)
I’m a die-hard Paul Smith fan, so whatever Paul Smith puts out on the market, I feel like I need to have asap. These two-tone burnished-leather beauties are no exception obviously. And who doesn’t love some studs, especially when they are lined up artistically on this Gucci pair? I don’t know about you, but I could think of 1000 occasions and 1001 ways to wear those shoes, seriously.
4. Derby (left: Raf Simons Chain-Trimmed Leather Derby Shoes, right: Lanvin Elaphe-Trimmed Leather Derby Shoes)
Admittedly, these two are not exactly easy to pull off. But the quirky details and unique colors give them every right to be on your or my shoes rack. They would get a big fat 10 if they didn’t break the bank, which they actually do.
Here is the most important information: you can get all of those on Mr Porter!
Image source: Mr Porter