But some take more out of you than others, and this week’s was a pip. Loyal reader Debbie H, who lives in New York and works in media, was just diagnosed by her doctor with a herniated disc, and restricted to wearing only sneakers—always, everywhere. ”I have had no luck finding something appropriate/hip/comfortable enough so far,” she wrote, adding that she’d be willing to spend a lot on the right pair. I feel Debbie’s dilemma rather acutely, as the New York media world’s very life force is uber-groomed women in heels—and it is easy to feel like a galumph among gazelles if you are not similarly kitted out. The challenge of being restricted to our most casual form of footwear while living among those for whom the notion of leaving the house looking simply polished is considered a nice starting point is a daunting one indeed. But not insurmountable. My first thought is, if you’re going splurge-y, don’t go trendy. Instead, take advantage of the fact that so many big designers are making more streamlined, feminine versions of classic shapes. Like this Lanvin suede and patent leather pair.
Supergas are great—sort of like Chuck Taylors for grown-ups. This pair is rather schmancy—it’s cashmere, and part of a collaboration with The Row. The super-luxe material adds a certain richness I like, but regular old canvas Supergas are fantastic too. They’ll only set you back $65, and come in every color imaginable. All with matching laces instead of white, which keeps things nice and streamlined.
You could also just forego laces altogether with some classic Vans slip ons.
And then, because the Vans clock in nicely at close to $50, you could buy them and still get all splurgy with this sparkle patent leather pair from Jimmy Choo. For dress-up.
And here’s one more splurgy option, which would be nice and flattering in warmer weather with bare legs. Isn’t the touch of espadrille trim charming?