Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Temptation Tuesday - Shoes!

Is there anything more tempting than the quest for the perfect shoe? Or anything more satisfying that the elation of having found it? While our columnist Annie West has a modest collection of footwear, she’s heard the siren call herself and she has friends with more shoes than they will ever wear. This week she celebrates one of our most popular temptations: the shoe!

I suspect it’s not coincidence that one of the western world’s most enduring fairy tales centres around a gal who wears glass slippers (yes, I know they were originally fur, but I was brought up on the translated version) and who finally wins her prince, her happiness (and a cushy life of luxury in a palace) after she finds her missing footwear. This story has imprinted on millions of women, which perhaps explains our fascination, as a group, with the humble shoe.
The prosaic among us will say it’s just that we need to be comfortable. If your shoes don’t fit well you won’t enjoy whatever occasion you’ve gone to – or not for long. Surely it’s worth persevering to find the perfect ones.

And that’s not an easy task – there are so many types. Shoes for walking, jogging, basketball, soccer, tennis, skating. For climbing, hiking, dancing (various), for gardening, wading, walking through snow, for protection at work, for dressing up or dressing down, for adding inches or showing off a great pair of legs, for keeping warm, for business, for seduction. You name it - there are shoes for every occasion.

I pondered the idea of giving an erudite potted history of the shoe, of how they’ve been around for some 9,000 years or more, and how they’ve developed over time. Then there’s the fascinating insights shoes can give us about the society in which they’re produced. But instead I succumbed to the temptation of just enjoying them, as you’ll see from the pictures. I thought it best to let the shoes speak for themselves.

I look at these few assembled here and can’t help but wonder about the people who might wear them. What a huge range of stories!
My own favourites (bearing in mind that in Australia we’re coming out of the cooler months)are a pair of long suede boots in midnight blue which are as comfy as well-loved slippers and lovely and warm in winter. I always feel great when I wear them and I could walk for miles...

Are you obsessed with shoes? Or are you a more sensible shopper, resisting the lure of the exotic or even the bizarre in favour of sensible, functional footwear? What is your favourite pair of shoes?

Annie had to include a picture of Arabian slippers as she’s getting excited about the release of her book The Desert King’s Pregnant Bride in the UK next month. You can read an excerpt of Maggie and Khalid's story on her website or buy a copy from Harlequin Mills and Boon.

20 comments:

  1. Annie, people have such a treat ahead of them with the Desert King's Pregnant Bride hitting the shelves. That Khalid - hubba hubba. And yes, I am gloating because I've read it ;-)

    What a fun post. Sadly these days, I only look at shoes like the ones you've included with longing and not with my credit card. My feet have such a low tolerance for pain, I tend to go the sensible route. I look back on my stiletto-clad salad days in the '80s and sigh very loudly!

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  2. I adore shoes, Annie!

    My favourites are a pair of red, low-heeled, sandals with jewels on them. Bought them last summer and rarely took them off!
    Got loads of comments, even from guys!
    The funny bit? They're Hush Puppies!!!
    So built for comfort too.

    Love the sound of your boots!

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  3. I confess - I'm a bit of a shoe fiend. I love to buy glamour shoes on sale - just too gorgeous to pass up! Even if, living in a beach community, 98% of the time I where flatties.

    Yes, Annie, your boots sound heavenly!!

    So looking forward to reading your latest!

    Robbie

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  4. Hi, Annie! Congrats on your eighth sale!

    I love the sound of your blue suede boots. All winter I looked for black, low-heeled, knee-high boots comfortable enough to trek to work in (a 6-kilometre round trip). No luck.

    I've dragged out my favourite espadrille wedges for the spring months. They're not exactly hiking shoes either, but they do look good...

    Vanessa

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  5. I'm no good with shoes, but I love good boots.
    I've got a pair of kick-ass, lace-up, knee-high chunky black leather boots that make me feel like I'm half-way to invincible, but my absolute favourite pair of boots are my snowboarding boots.
    They're pink!

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  6. Ooh, Annie, you're a wicked woman.

    My Doc Martin boots are probably my favourites. But I do have a fab pair of green and white polka dot sandals that I adore.

    Love the picture of the Arabian slippers - shouldn't mind a pair of those.

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  7. Annie, gorgeous post! Hmm, shouldn't your favourite shoes be DESERT boots?? Congrats on THE DESERT KING'S PREGNANT BRIDE!!

    Love the sound of those suede boots, Annie. Personally, I like a shoe that's comfortable and stylish and I adore my Spanish black boots, which I can get away with in a business setting as well as casual. I also love my red kitten heels with the diamante hearts--that was serendipity. They were on sale at a time when I was looking for shoes for RWA National. Perfect!

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  8. Hi Annie, loved your post.
    And what a coincidence -- I've been looking at Arabian shoes today, too, for my heroine.
    You might enjoy this article and the pics -- it's before my era, and not the least bit Arabian, but I lerrrve the pink and black shoes at the bottom of the article.
    http://tinyurl.com/4a46qn

    Blue suede boots, eh? Don't s'pose you want anyone to step on them, coz they're made for walkin'--right? heh, heh.
    I remember the boots you wore to Melbourne in August -- they were pretty cool.
    Looking forward to the new book.

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  9. Hi Anna,

    Yes, it's sad when stiletto heeled exotic shoes are just a memory. But then you do a lot of walking and you need something comfortable!

    Having a quiet giggle at your 'Hubba Hubba' for Khalid. It made me think of a bubble pipe! But you're right. He's certainly got appeal - at least Maggie thinks so, and you, and me...Can't wait to hear what other readers think when it's been out for a while.

    Annie

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  10. Nic, red heeled jewelled shoes? How exotic. They sound just the sort of shoes to inpsire a sexy romance!

    Annie

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  11. Hi Robbie, I have to say the boots are just heaven to wear. As comfy as slippers but the look a whole lot better.

    Hope you enjoy Khalid and Maggie's story. I've got some of yours on my tbr pile I have to catch up with.

    Annie

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  12. Vanessa, I hear you on the search for the perfect boots. It seems to me that when I know exactly what I want I can never buy it. My best shoe purchases have been unexpected, often at sales, and often things that aren't my usual. Hope you find those elusive boots next winter.

    Annie

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  13. Kiki,

    Those boots of yours sound incredible! I wonder if your attitude and behaviour changes when you wear them? Now that would be a fun study - how shoes affect your attitudes. I bet there'd be lots of volunteers.

    Annie

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  14. Michelle,

    I have a pair of Turkish slippers like the ones in the picture, though with red pom poms on the end, and lovely striped brocade. They don't get too much use but they're such fun.

    Love the sound of your polka dots!

    Annie

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  15. Ooh, Christine, I think I've seen those Spanish boots of yours. The Spanish shoes I've seen in the past have been of such incredibly soft leather. They looked terrific. Red kitten heels. Sounds like you and Nic have a lot in common!

    Annie

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  16. Anne, how terrifid - thanks so much for that link. I'd discovered the Bata Shoe Museum when I wrote this blog, but I hadn't seen this page. Yes to the pink and black pair - just sensational! Wouldn't you love hand made silk shoes, knowing you'd never be required to get them dirty? Actually, I'd probably want a pair of wellies so I could go outside and do just that, but playing princess would be fun for a while!

    I wondered how long it would be before someone made a shoe pun. Should have known it would be you (G)! I was expecting an Elvis reference.

    Off to bed now to dream of more gorgeous shoes perhaps.

    Annie

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  17. Annie, loved the post. I've been told I own a lot of shoes but my daughter Keri tops the list and they are fabulous!

    Anna, you are so correct, Annie's latest sheikh book is wonderful and like you've I've had the priviledge of reading it as well.

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  18. I look forward to autumn every year so I can bring out my boots. I collect. LOL The summer is simple sandals and flip-flops, but I have gorgeous boots all winter long...

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  19. Marilyn, do you and your daughter share shoes? Do you take the same size? I remember my best friend at school - she, her mother and 2 sisters all took the same size. They mixed and matched all the time and it looked such fun (particularly as they were mostly even-tempered and didn't seem to squabble about it).

    So glad you enjoyed THE DESERT KING'S PREGANT BRIDE! It's a bit different to my other sheikh stories, and intensely emotional to write.

    Annie

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  20. Jenna, aren't boots terrific? No wonder you look forward to the change of season. I have a pair of flat, short boots that I wear under trousers. I've had them for more years than I can count and they are just so comfortable. Unfortunately I've worn them so much I think this will be their last season. They're getting beyond the ability of my shoe-repairer to fix.

    Annie

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