Ugly Shoes and Why I Wear Them

I swear I hate ugly shoes! If I could have my wish, I would wear shoes like the ones I pin so lovingly to my “Beautiful Shoes” board on Pinterest. Of course real life gets in the way, and I can’t afford these beauties. As a mom of 2 pre-school age children, heel aren’t always ideal. I used to wear heels to work every day. Now, I only wear heels when I’m dressing up.

I find it strange that I have such an abhorrence for ugly shoes, but have owned so many of them over the years. If you were to open my closet, you would find several pairs. They have official functions. No, really they do. I promise.

During the early 90s I was the proud owner of a pair of Birkinstocks. My first pair of ugly shoes I purchased as an adult. I’ll admit they were all the rage. I got them because a hippy friend of mine told me how comfortable they were. And they were comfortable, amazingly so, but they just didn’t go with anything. I wore them all the time. Well, until the cold weather struck. I promise I never wore them with socks.

Birkenstocks - Navy Suede Birks in the style Arizona. Just like the ones I had

Birkenstocks – Navy Suede Birks in the style Arizona. Just like the ones I had

In years past I also had a pair of UGGs. I only wore them as after ski boots. This was before the UGG craze of the early 2000s. I had them a solid decade before I saw Samantha on Sex in the City wearing UGGs. By the way, I had the exact same ones. Same color and everything. I’m glad to say I no longer have a pair of UGGs and haven’t for years.

Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones in Sex in the City in UGG boots

Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones in Sex in the City in UGG boots

Sadly, when Crocs came out, I picked up a pair. I wore them to the pottery lab, and then out gardening. I never went any place of consequence in them, but I still do have a pair of hot pink crocs. Now they live by the back door, and I use them when I’m taking out the trash. They are some of the ugliest shoes known to man, but oddly are cute on kids. My kids wear them all summer long.

Classic Croc Clog in hot pink

Classic Croc Clog in Hot Pink

Several years ago I read an amazing book called Born to Run by Christopher McDougal. It was an inspirational book about ultra-marathon running, a small tribe of Mexican Indians who run for fun, and the idea of running with a minimalist shoe. Since Born to Run was published, there are many more options for a minimalist running shoe. I was so inspired by the book, I vowed to take up running, and got a pair of Vibram Five Fingers.

Vibram Five Fingers Classic in Black

Vibram Five Fingers Classic in Black

The most recent pair of “ugly” shoes added to my collection were a pair of Dansko Professional Clogs. I have a long history with clogs. My first pair of shoes I remember loving were a pair of red leather and wood clogs I wore when I lived in Spain with my family in the late 70s. My mother still has those clogs on display on her hearth. They are worn down to the nub. The stitching is coming undone, the rubber sole is worn through on the heels, and the toes are all scuffed up, but I LOVED those shoes. I wore them every day for over a year. I cried when I didn’t fit in them anymore. Ever since then, my parents would buy me clogs whenever we happened upon them. I wore them through middle school, and high school. I had pairs in college and even in my early 20s. Now, my mother buys clogs for my daughters.

About 18 months ago, I was visiting my parents in Ohio and we stopped into one of my mother’s favorite shoe stores. She offered to buy a pair of shoes for me, and I ended up picking these. Mainly because I always let my parents buy me clogs for nostalgic purposes. As I was writing this blog, I only now realized that the clogs I chose were Limited Edition Dansko Professional 20th Anniversary Clogs. No wonder every Dansko lover I ever run into loves these clogs.

Limited Edition 20th Anniversary Dansko Clog

Limited Edition 20th Anniversary Dansko Professional Clog

I feel like I’ve let some ugly skeletons out of my closet. I’m not sure if skeletons or these shoes are worse. So here is where I need to know: do you own any ugly shoes? Have you ever? Has your fashion sense ever stopped you from purchasing ugly shoes,when your feet were screaming for comfort? Please tell me I’m not alone in my ugly shoe shame.

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5 thoughts on “Ugly Shoes and Why I Wear Them

  1. I haven’t owned any of these, but may I say, the last pair is absolutely gorgeous!!

  2. I used to wear Birkenstocks and Vans and looked longingly at the pretty shoes of my classmates. One day we were sitting around with our shoes off and a boy looked at our feet and said I had such pretty feet, compared to the other girls. Wearing ugly shoes kept my feet looking nice, instead of the bunions etc from the cute shoes other girls wore. I had pretty shoes later for special times but mostly I wear comfortable shoes. Now, after an accident and subsequent ankle reconstruction, I’m stuck in ugly shoes forever! Glad I’m not alone! My current favorites are by Naot.

    • Heather, I used to live in heels, but now I’m all for comfort. I try and find cute, comfortable shoes. It’s really all about the comfort. I love Born, ecco, Alegria, Dansko (more than just the clogs). I’m glad to say I also have pretty feet. I’ve never had shoes pinch and rub. If they hurt, I don’t wear them.

  3. This is hilarious, I’ve owned Birkenstocks, Crocs and Uggs. I still have Uggs and Crocs and they are both so comfy. I mostly wear them when I go camping.

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