Thursday, October 13, 2011

Buyer Beware

It's confession time once again here on my blog. Everyone, my name is Rachel and I, am a Mary Jane addict. Addiction is no light matter. And while my addiction might not be life threatening, (unless you consider my wallet or bank account "alive"), it is a problem that I've just identified for myself.

Somehow, I convince myself that I never have just the right pair of comfortable black shoes to polish off what might be an otherwise too casual outfit. This pair in particular, is my most recent acquisition from this summer. I am ashamed of the amount of money I spent on these. I justified it with things like, "I really need a comfy pair of shoes that are easy to slip on and off when I'm going through the airport." And there was this excuse, "They really have to be super comfortable because we're going to be doing a lot of walking on this trip." And this excuse was even better, "Besides, I don't want my back to get messed up because I've worked soooo hard on healing it." And, there. I managed to convince myself to spend way more money than I could afford. I mean, isn't my physical well-being worth a few extra dollars?

The answer, my friends, is "Yes." My physical well being is worth a few extra dollars but this was not how I should've spent it. 

The shoes in the above photo are a pair of Clarks from the UnStructured line. Here's a quote from their website about their philosophy behind this line:

"Constructed to bend naturally, with no rigid insole boards, these softly-padded styles are able to move with, rather than against, the foot’s natural movements. Perforations allow warm air out and cool air in, keeping feet fresh and dry, while soft tumbled leather creates a casual look."

Buttery soft materials? Check. Softly padded...mmm yeah? (I'm not fully convinced on that one) And then the rest just goes down the toilet for me. You see, I have a fairly average foot. Nothing too out of the ordinary here. I'm anywhere from a size 38-40 in the EU and an 8-9 in the US. The company must have spent so much attention on whether the shoe was lightweight and flexible that they forgot to pay attention to how it fits around the tops and side of the foot. The worst part, is that it's not at all obvious until you've worn them for a good hour or more. I don't know about you but I don't usually test drive a pair of shoe's for an hour or more in a store before I take the plunge and purchase. 

On my big travel day, I put these babies on and set off on my adventure full of confidence and enthusiasm. By the time I had gotten into the airport with all of our luggage and the small army that is my family, I had blisters on the backs of my heels and across the tops of my 3rd, 4th, and 5th toes. By the time I got through airport security the balls of my feet felt raw. When I took off the shoes and looked at them, they were indeed bright red. What on earth?? 

Throughout the summer, I never gave up. "Maybe they just need breaking in more..."  I have now worn these things through wedding receptions where we all changed out of more formal wedding outfits, gone to marathon shopping expeditions that resulted in me doing my own special version of the "gimp by shoe association" hobble, grocery shopping, air shows and much, much more. It never got better and I always thoroughly regretted wearing them.

That was my unhappy and unexpected experience with the Clark's Unstructured line. Buyer's beware. I know I will.

Have you ever spent a little extra money on something and been super disappointed in it? I'd love to hear about it if you have!



  1. That sucks! When I buy expensive shoes they're usually comfortable! One my mom sees me buying platform boots with 12cm heels she thinks I'm insane, but they're very comfortable! I only get blisters with cheap shoes,that's why I'm super picky with what I get! Better luck with the next Mary Janes(I also love them)!;)

  2. Oh, a friend of mine once got a pair of very similar Mary Janes at Aldo and she says they're really comfortable.

  3. OMG You have such an intriguing writing style!


  4. Oh no! How horrid? I know the feeling though. Pain for fashion and such. And my name is Lindsay and I'm a pointy-toe shoe addict.

  5. This is beautiful, love your blog!
    followin right? :*

  6. I too am obsessed with Mary Janes. Gosh we are so alike XD