Sunday, October 12, 2014

Change of Season's and Footwear

As the weather get's chillier in my part world, and the sun sets earlier, I spend more time indoors than I probably should.  Part of what I love about having my little dog is rain or shine, night or day, he needs his time outdoors, and is just as happy dodging puddles as he is chasing a ball.  I don't mind a walk in the rain if the ends result means I can hole up in my p.j's and slippers with a cup of tea when we're back home.  I'm really not a fan of having to be out in the rain, and then have to slog back to my office, or sit at a sports event in soggy socks and shoes.  I don't know why Americans never developed the practical wearing of puddle boots past the age of 6.  I think I would mortify my daughter if I started sporting them around town, but if I could find a decent pair without special ordering them for a small fortune, I am at the point where my foot comfort is ahead of her  appall. I've never had a second thought on wearing snow boots-no way am I going to have frost bit numb toes all winter for the sake of fashion.

Footwear at the change of the season amuses me.  Last week my daughter asked if it was cold out-cold enough to wear her Bear Paws's boots.  If you are not familiar these are fuzzy lined suede boots that are amazingly comfortable and warm, but also a fashion must have for all 12-16 year old girls in the state of Minnesota. They are a compromise price wise to the ridiculously over the top priced, Ugg's. When I responded that it was cool, but was supposed to get to 60 and sunny, she went for her second choice, strappy sandals.  Now, while both are on the spectrum of footwear choices, silly me to not think strappy sandals are your next choice if it is not cold enough for fuzzy boots.

What really amuses me is the grown ups that have almost "rules" for their footwear.  I used to work with a women who wore flip flops 6-8 months of the year.  She would not start wearing shoes that covered her foot until snow had fallen and was guaranteed to stay on the ground.  In the spring, she switched back to flip flops at the first sign of exposed grass. A relative of mine will safely wear boots while driving, and keep those boots in the car for an emergency, but changes once she parks her car into her almost stiletto height heels. I'll let you imagine the sight of her less than graceful balancing act between car, house, or  office, as she manipulates her route around ice patches or mini-pot holes. At the office, we had to add "was employee wearing appropriate foot wear" to the incident report tool, for any mishaps on the job when we realized too many of our staff that are out and about during the day were having slips and falls, usually  the result of inappropriate for the weather footwear. 

I do think the change of seasons is a great time to think ahead and buy this years models, on clearance, and tuck away for the following start of the season ahead.  If you are more of a re-stocker, and not trying to stay top of the hour current in style, this is a good strategy.  For the last few years, I started looking this time of year for flip flops for my kids, as they make really inexpensive stocking stuffers, and know they will be used come warm weather.  My older two have loved this gift. When DD#2 was in her growing stage, though I think she is almost full sized in her foot growth, I'd guess and buy a size bigger.  I never  was off, but if I had been, I picked them up cheap enough that it wasn't a worry, and could be donated brand new to someone else. My husband has very specific brands and styles, as he is on his feet all day long, and needs a very comfortable and stable shoe after a minor stroke a few years back. When they go on sale, or jackpot, finds them on clearance, he buys in multiples.  

Footwear seems to be a personal thing.  I admit to being one of those people that while I don't mind a hand me down or a vintage piece of clothing, I want to be the first wearer of a pair of shoes. I also have a fondness for tall leather/suede boots to wear with jeans and dresses.  I have a large calf, so rarely can I get these on sale, other than the annual Macy's boot sale each October.  I figure I can make a pair last three years, and I am starting year number three with my present pair.  Knowing I'll need to replace, means I'll scrimp in other clothing areas the rest of the year so I can hit the boot sale next fall.  How do you manage footwear at the change of seasons? If it is your biggest clothing cost, what ideas do you have to keep your budget manageable? Can you be a slave to style, or does practicality and comfort win out every time?

Our little guy makes sure we are out rain or shine.

He is always sure to find something that smells interesting.

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