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Granny Shoes, A Love Story
Old design > new design. Shoes for old feet > shoes for fashion feet.
If you know me, you know I am PASSIONATE about functional shoes. NYC for 20 years + an ankle injury + life has made me despise that feeling when you can’t focus because all you can think about is how much your feet hurt, or your heel is being fully rubbed off by unforgiving leather.
Beyond that, I find the best design is usually the simplest when it comes to shoes for everyday. I like to study the shapes that were worn for years before designer labels became a thing and seasonal newness a necessity. It’s the same with bags to be honest. I have the most insane little pre-designer-era croc top handle bag with beautiful brass hardware and no label in a shape and quality that designer brands would kill for now.
But back to the shoes…If you live on the Upper East Side you may have passed Eneslow Shoes from time to time. Its target customer is 80++. Sometimes I like to stop in and see the merchandise which I’m sure confuses the salespeople. There is one shoe in particular that has always drawn my eye. So much so that I recently decided to investigate further, bite the bullet and figure out what it is about these shoes that felt so right to me.
I ended up ordering them from Nordstrom (sorry Eneslow, but I will always love you for my Oofos and Birkenstock orders!) because I wanted to make sure this was an actual product that you guys could try for yourself.
The brand is called L’Amour des Pieds. I’m pretty sure they are the orthopedic version of a fancy shoe, though I clearly won’t wear them that way. But maybe one day! I’m obsessed with them. You know when people (brands) try to convince you their shoes are as comfortable as sneakers? They are all lying. Except for these! WOWZA! So soft, so comfy, so narrow and flattering. I also love that these feel like the design has not changed in 60 years. Like I could have actually nabbed these from a grandmother.
They help tame fashion when you feel like your fashion is too fashiony. Like I can wear these sandals with these extremely flared Celine pants or a Tods blazer with massive shoulders and they bring it all down to reality. Also great with jeans and a t-shirt. I will love them for years to come. I am a size 8 and I ordered an 8. They are a teensy bit roomy but comfortable. I potentially could have used a 7.5 but not badly enough that I want to deal with exchanging them.
Disclaimer: I ONLY like this specific shoe from this brand. The rest are fine but are not fashion. In case you happen to start a deep dive and start to wonder if I’m really losing it.
Below, four other granny-ish shoes that feel au currant. Your feet can thank me anytime!
Recently made famous again by Lily Rose Depp, these Bavarian spa sandals are my answer to Dr. Scholls which, to me, are just not practical for long distance city walking. I love the red but they come in all sorts of colors and styles. Pair them with your leggings to make them feel less like leggings, more like Olivia Newton John (R.I.P.) while getting a coffee, a cute little tunic dress for work or make your mom uniform (green army pants and a striped t-shirt) less boring! These are a size 8 and my foot is barely hanging on. So size up if you are between sizes.
Espadrille wedges a la nonna
Ok I’m going to share a shopping secret very close to my heart. Ferragamo, the OG of fabulous granny shoes has a secret line that they are not telling you about. Its called Editions and they recreate insanely fun, gorgeous styles from prior eras/decades/years in the comapny’s history. I have a gold ostrich pair with polka dots that I will keep forever. They also have this perfect little wedge espadrille in the softest suede and very fun colors. If you close your eyes and picture yourself in them, are you walking down a cobblestone Corso Italia in a seaside Amalfi village? That’s what I thought! I haven’t bought these yet but I think about them pretty much everyday so I probably should just do it already. Now, if you are still paying attention. They keep these gems in a secret console in the back of the 5th avenue store. So next time you are in midtown, pop in. It is seriously such a treat. But please leave me all the size 38s!
So initially I thought about trying these because P. Johnson styled their tennis lookbook with them. And I love the D-ring laces! But I am not even sure I can pull these off, guys. The look is good! But they are extremely heavy and they have a pretty intense rocker inside. Its the double black diamond of granny shoe. So experts only on this one. I think I might have to return. If you do dare, they are mens only. So size down two sizes. These are a size 6 mens.
And…another Ferragamo, because they have the history!
Ok I recognize that this is actually a very beautiful shoe. And depending on the context its not granny at all. But my grandma wore these in every color, so they will forever be a granny shoe to me. Something about the bow and the toe shape and that perfect old-fashioned script logo. I like to think I style them in a way to make them look extra granny. I don’t wear these with black pants, or the dress you keep for a shiva call. Only jeans or more statement-y moments. I would also wear with athletic pants for some extra fun. I wear a 7.5 in these, just an FYI. So size down at least a half size.
A special sign off today.
I am clearly new to the world of newsletters. But I have found an amazing community already and I’m quickly realizing that they are the future of shopping as we all move away from mega brands - wanting less stuff with more point of view. So my friends (and I’d like to consider mentors) Claire and Erica, the brilliant duo behind A Thing or Two, put together a chain letter of sorts to help expand the world of newsletters and asked if I wanted to join in. Beyond flattered, I obviously said yes! So below is a list of five newsletters curated by them and we are all supporting each other this week with a shout out. Hope you find something new and fun in here that speaks to you. It’s an awesome mix of interesting women bringing you interesting ideas!
A Thing Or Two: the best hodge podge you didn’t know you needed. I recently laughed and cried and then laughed again listening to their podcast episode about fast growing plants, having a second child and Freddie Prinze Jr.
Gloria: the thrill of not being 25 anymore! A newsletter about navigating midlife when it feels insane describing yourself (myself) as midlife.
Girls Night In: crush your downtime. I basically only play wordle and doom scroll in my “downtime” which is between 11:58pm-12:02am but I’m hoping Alisha will help me with that.
True Style: Lakyn had me at capsule wardrobe…a topic I could never possibly read enough about.
Worn In Worn Out: never show up with a boring hostess gift again! Kitty has a knack for finding clever products and unique small brands.
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