Friday, November 18, 2011

comfort vs cute shoes (you can have both!)

I have had a ton of comments lately about comfortable footwear so I figured it was perfect discussion topic for a post. I battle daily with footwear comfort. I'll be honest. I am vain. I want to look as long and lean as I can. The answer to that is usually the tallest shoes I can possibly walk in. But lets me honest. 95% of heels aren't comfy. There are a few out there. I have some Nike Air Cole Haans but even those aren't wear all day shoes. I walk a few miles a day. I need something that doesn't hurt. I also HATE carrying shoes. I did it for YEARS see my archives. All those days I wore the giant heels (never little heels. I go big or go home) and I would shoved them in purse and change 10 times during the day. One of my friend/ coworkers who reads this (waves) must get a laugh seeing my posts and seeing me during the day changing my footwear repeatedly.

Because I am vain I like to look GOOD. Not for others, but for me. I don't care if so and so likes my heels I care how my legs look in them. Get me? But then there is this other side of me. I LOVE how Danksos look on other people. For years I would see a cute quirky girl clomping around in them in wide legs jeans and a blouse and it was that perfect nerd chic so I finally broke down and got my first pair when I worked at Berklee and was on my feet all day. I got it! I knew why people were devoted. They are seriously the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. They aren't squishy and soft. They actually are hard and the heel doesn't bend. That is why they are good ( I also love wood instep shoes) I was in a car accident when I was 16 pair that with scoliosis and my back aches OFTEN. Because of that I stand stupid, walk stupid and my knees hurts. Dankos solve all that. I can stand all day and walk and hell sight see for 14 hours and only have normal exhaustion anyone would have. Over the past 8 years or so I have slowly added to the collection. I still have them all because as you may or not know you have Danksos for life. They are hard to kill. My original Cordovan ones aren't professional anymore from being scuffed and polished by me poorly (they have that two layer black and red and I tried to replicate it for years and they are finally ugly) but the soles are still solid so they are my bumming, camping, working in yard (if I had a yard) shoes.

Librarians love Dankos. It is a cult. I think they teach it in library school. You hardly ever meet someone who only owns one pair of Dankos.

Because they are well made if something breaks on them and it might... cobblers can fix them! My black mary-janes and red ones both broke on the buckles after 5 years of use and a cobbler fixed them easily! (cheap too) So while they are an investment you will have them for a very long time.

This is my little Danko family.

The blue pearlized sparkly and glittery ones are new and I now have a new pair of the cordovan ones. (my faves)

This is were it gets weird. I LOVE how they look on others.  But I HATE how they look on my feet when I look down at them. I feel super frumpy and ugly. (Doesn't help that one commenter who said they made me look like "lesbian pus vomit" what that means I don't know. My husband assures you I like men though. Not that is an issue, but why use intending to be an insult? Lesbians are awesome.)
I always feel ugly in flats DEPSITE knowing they aren't flat and add 2 inches to my height! There is a girl who rides my bus I have such a girl crush on. She always wears them and looks so damn cute and she has the perfect length pants always.(doesn't hurt her husband and 2 kids drop her off every morning and waves and she always smiles at me. She is just SO NICE.)

BUT when ever I see a photo of me from a distance wearing them? LOVE THEM. Total wacko attitude I know. I guess I am just not a birds eye view fan? I am trying to get over that because dude my body LOVES me when I wear them, I just need to get over myself. I think having the blue sparkle pair will help :)

I found a place local that sells uniforms that sells them buy one get one 50% off which is UNHEARD OF! Danskos don't go on sale often, usually never.

All that said? I still don't like how the full clogs look with skirts and dresses and have NEVER worn them like that myself. I do the mary-janes but even that isn't in my comfort zone.

I have  gone through the heels of 5 pairs of shoes since May (three boots, a sandal and yesterday a pair of heels). I doubt that will ever happen with a pair of dankos!

EDITED TO ADD holy schnikeys. I am on the Danko site for 2 years and I didn't know?


Becky said...

I love my Danskos! They're pretty much all I wear in the winter. I saw these the other day in a catalog and am thinking about getting them for more warmth.,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&fp=7faa43ad86de0a70&biw=1647&bih=790

Becky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
byhillary said...


Allie (Wardrobe Oxygen) said...

I dig the look of Danskos for the same reason you mention, but with my short fat feet and short fat legs I look utterly cray cray. I am the queen of Sofft shoes though, I like you believe you can have style and comfort!

Di said...

I have recently forsaken all other shoes for Danskos. I love them, So comfortable, and so clunky cute! Although I agree that the birds-eye view is not the best.

Those boots are cute - but these are even cuter!

I sort of want to ask for them for Christmas!

byhillary said...


you'd be wearing them with pants mostly so your arguement is invalid! :P

Megan Mae said...

I think your shoes always look so cute, the danskos always look like they have more height than the 2 inch heels I tend to buy. My favorite pair of yours is the second pair from the top on the left side.

I wish many of these comfy shoes came narrower though. My slim feet don't ever fit 'right' in them.

Jessica said...

I so long for cute, comfortable shoes that do not have mile high heels (ACL replacement was enough knee surgery for me so I don't want to ruin my knees with super high heels and they are not comfy anyway). I don't buy shoes just for the sheer fact that they aren't comfortable. I buy what I absolutely have to have. My shoe collection is sad.

I think everyone has to step way back from the looking glass to see what the world sees. I think photos are a great way to see if something looks good or not. We often stand too close to ourselves to see the reality of things. (This is why people are so critical of themselves.)

byhillary said...

those are like a 4.5 or 4 inch heel. those are narrower for sure.

For danskos they JUST started coming out with narrow width and the girl at the store told me they give you a little shim if they are too big for you made all the difference they are meant to slop some the whole point is you rock when you walk and rock out some but some people hate it and never get used to it.

Lonestarcasie said...

I keep trying to re-create the cuteness of a red Dansko maryjane with inferiorly cute and cheaper other shoes. At some point I will have to break down, but I too fear the short/fat leg/cankle possibilities.

Jess said...

I have a pair of red Dansko flat mary James that I got on clearance at Nordstrom Rack for $12. I know. I couldn't leave them there. They are so comfy and nerdy cute, but I am terrible at figuring out what to wear them with. It doesn't help that my husband calls them my clown shoes. He thinks he is soooo funny.

Becky said...

The thing I like about the Finley is that it has the exact same sole as the Professional (my favorite).

Linda said...

I adore my Danskos. I bought my first pair in San Francisco after standing at a trade show for a full day and finding myself in tears because my feet hurt so much! I discovered them on a fellow shoe shopper and asked her where she got them and headed directly to Nordstrom's and bough myself a pair of the matte black classics. Five years later that same pair is still going strong and I have added to the collection as they have become my all-time favourite comfort shoe brand (Fluevog owns my heart, Dansko owns my feet!).
There is only one store in my city in Canada that sells Danskos. Every time I go there to shop I invariably end up selling a pair to someone else in the store. This occurs so often they have named me the Unofficial Dansko Ambassador for Canadian Footwear!!

IrishRedRose said...

I don't mind the rocking thing, not at all. But they do need to make narrow widths in more than just the professional clogs. I too have narrow feet and despite what they say about their shoes' "adjustable" features, sadly they do not usually work for me. I don't need my shoes to be skintight, but if you are really swimming in your shoes it is so uncomfortable and even dangerous. I've twisted an ankle badly in too-wide/loose shoes.

All that said, thanks to YOU, Hillary, I have two pairs of the Sissys which for some mysterious reason do fit me. I've tried so many others with no success but these are the divine exception. I fell for them on your blog, and then I found a black pair, unworn, in a Portland OR Goodwill for six bucks! Now I've gotten them in red and brown too and I wear them ALL summer and neglect my other sandals, lol--well, except the deliciously comfy Clarks. I wish ALL shoes were made like Danskos, Clarks and Soffts.

So, thank you! :-) And here's hoping Dansko really do go for budget is quaking in fear already...

Adrienne said...

A friend gave me two pairs of Dansko's about 12 years ago I am still rocking them. I bought another pair 2 summers ago and rock those two.. I dont care how they look they save my back. On 'What not to wear' they poo pooed them, Stacey London doesn't know what she is missing.