The Whole Enchilada and a Pair (or two) of Shoes

OK- so here it is.  Mostly.  I think.   This weekend, I still want to get both black and gray long sleeve t-shirts, along with a pair of boots.  I have to re-count everything and think about whether I want to buy black flats or not.

So, here’s my dilemma with the black flats.  My husband likes shoes that are a bit more formal than my chacos.  I love my chacos, but I see his point.  It’s also stressful for me to shop for shoes because I’m super picky.  I want every pair of shoes to feel like tennis shoes.  I want them to be cute.  I want them to be ethically manufactured.  It’s a lot to ask of one pair of shoes.  So, along with finding boots, am I up for finding another pair of shoes?   I’m stressed out just with the boots.  If something has to give in my criterion with shoes, what will it be?  Cute?  Comfortable?  Ethical?  Feels stressful.  I know- I’m wound tight.

As I’ve mentioned before, my husband and I are starting a business.  We’re going to be making and selling Fair Trade, organic soap.  A primary reason that we’re starting this business is to do something about poverty in the developing world (in our own tiny way).  Any way, finding Fair Trade, organic ingredients proved to be very difficult.  You can read more about that here, here and here.  So, how does this relate?  It’s this:  something has to give.  It took me over a year to find the vendors that I needed.  It takes time to find exactly what you’re looking for.  Right now, the search cost is very high for me to do the research and shop for these shoes.  I’m home full time, and shoe shopping isn’t a big priority for my children  (read:  they may put up with about 15 minutes of it).  Plus, I’m trying to balance my time between starting this business, running a household and homeschooling my children.  It’s tricky to balance competing priorities. I’ve done a fair bit of research, and it’s difficult to find ethically made shoes.  After doing several hours of research, I started to wonder if maybe my best bet wasn’t to buy shoes made in the US.  Shoes made in the US are less likely to be made under sweat shop conditions.  The brands of boots that are made in the US are Munro, Lucchese, Ecco and Frye.  Shoes made outside of the US are often made in free trade zones.  You can read more about free trade zones here. I’m wondering if any of you have a short list of vendors for me to consider? Here’s my fear: I’m afraid that I won’t be able to find a boot that has everything I need before September 1. I really can’t give on comfort. My boots need to feel like walking shoes. I’m willing to give on cute. But, what about the ethical issues? This is why I love thrift stores! Ideas anyone?

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6 Comments on “The Whole Enchilada and a Pair (or two) of Shoes”

  1. So should I tell you about my super awesome leopard printed Born leather clogs I got this weekend?

  2. Missuz C says:

    My first thought is…..why must you own the perfect pair of boots by September 1? Can you just leave space in your “list of 36” for that perfect pair of boots, and take your time finding them? Is owning every item of the 36 by Sept 1 one of the “rules”? If so, by all means, go find them!!! If not, why not take your time and find what you really want so you won’t have regrets later.

    Of course, if you’ve already found them this past weekend—great!

    I found a pair of black leather boots in brand-new condition at a thrift store this spring for around $10…..they were low heeled (a must due to past back surgery) and large enough to accomodate woolen socks (another must for winters where I live) and I snatched them up. I did discover, when I got home and tried them with my black dress clothing, that they are a slightly brownish black……but I will either live with them as is, or polish them with black shoe polish to darken them a bit. Never-the-less, they are perfect for me, and I am grateful to have found them after many months of looking.

    Did you have any success in finding flats?

    P.s. I love my Teva’s like you love your Chaco’s! Definite staple summer wear!

    • Robin Johnson Simpson says:

      Great point! This is exactly what my husband said. It’s not one of the rules- I’m just a front loader with work. I don’t enjoy shopping, so I wanted to have it over with. That being said, many of the stores just don’t have all their boots in yet. I can’t control that. So, I think you might be right- I’m better off waiting until all the boots are in. More likely to find a pair of boots that I really like and that are comfy.

      Love that you found your boots at a thrift store! I went to all my usual thrift stores on Saturday to see if I could find comfortable boots. No luck. No luck at the regular shoe stores either. I may take a break for a month and wait for all the boots to arrive in the stores. It doesn’t usually start to rain here until October any way. Thanks for the great advice, Missuz C!


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