Valdosta Daily Times

June 16, 2013

My shoes broke . . .

. . . Now my childhood is destroyed because Cinderella will never be the same

Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Marilyn Monroe once said, “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” Well, my shoes are in such a state that they can’t conquer the world, but they can successfully rack me up some change on the street because they make me look like I’m homeless. In other words, they are tore up.

Since March, my shoe collection has one by one dwindled into a deplorable state of tragic misery. First, the strap on my last surviving pair of wedges broke, then the heel of my nude peep toes skinned itself in protest to the stairs, and lastly (but certainly not the least difficult to handle) my Aldo, patent-leather platform heels completely lost grip on reality and snapped its poor little seam. It was a difficult death to witness but I know they are in a better place with the Jessica Simpson heels my Chihuahua ate and threw up three summers ago. That incident taught me a valuable lesson to never underestimate my dear Lucy. Though she is only four pounds, she can pretty much eat double her body weight in designer apparel. It’s a cruel and unsettling truth.

Needless to say, it’s been rough. Sure, the obvious solution is to go buy more shoes, but to be honest with you, my psyche is just not ready to handle falling in love with a pair of heels only to have the cruel world of sharp corners and sidewalks rip them away from me. Also, despite having a fancy, new job, I’m buying a house, which means I’m pretty close to broke.

Currently, I am saving my pennies for a shoe-shopping spree (yes, instead of using a credit card). However, before I make another senseless shoe commitment, I am researching how to make them puppies last, because though mama needs a new pair of shoes, I just can’t afford to keep buying new ones every couple of months. So, here are my exclusive budgeteer tips on how to make your shoes last.

• Get a lift! No, I don’t mean hitchhike instead of walk; I mean have a cobbler put new lifts on your heels. The lifts of a heel (which are the plastic pieces at the bottom of the heel covering the nail) are often the first part of a shoe to go. Especially if you’re on your feet a lot like me, a lift can crack under pressure in just a few wears. I just experienced an incident with a pair of Nine West heels that is too depressing to talk about, but let’s just say, I wish I knew about this. If you go to a cobbler, they will replace the plastic lifts with rubber ones, which are much more durable and can last five to ten times longer. Once those wear out, make sure you have them replaced immediately or else it could cause eternal damage to your shoe.

• Water proof! No matter what the material, water protect your shoes as soon as you buy them so that rain or any liquids won’t be able to penetrate the shoe’s material. You should do this every season.

• While it’s important to keep your tush in shape, you have to keep your shoes in shape too. For your boots, stuff them with newspaper to keep their shape so the material doesn’t crack. For your heels and flats, invest in shoetree. You won’t believe how much damage you are doing to your shoes just by throwing them in the closet.

• Do the ole’ switcheroo! While we all have that fave pair of shoes that we love wearing with everything, it’s better to just learn some self-control and give those gals a break. Shoes really need a day off, just like you and me. Try not to wear the same pair more than two or three times a week.

- Don’t be cheap. I know I’m always telling you guys to be cheap, but with shoes, you really get what you pay for. This isn’t to say you have to drop $80 on a pair of heels, heck no! But if a shoes full price is $13, there’s probably a reason for that. Department stores are always having great shoe sales. Go hunt down a great quality pair at half the price. For example, Belk always has great coupons in the newspaper that will help you get those dream shoes on a dream budget.

Sure, these tips are not going to bring your old shoes back to life, but if we learned anything from Pet Cemetery, that is just never a good idea. I know my dad likes to think that his super glue fixed my Aldo shoes, and in honor of Father’s Day today, I let him think that, but all it did was make me take them to my room and cry because deep down I knew that they would never, ever be the same . . . Sorry dad.