Price Points: Old skool sneakers

Black old skool sneakers | H is for Home

My (only) pair of trainers are coming to the end of their life. I’ve had them for at least 15 years and the soles are worn down to the thickness of paper and the fabric is splitting across the vamp where the toe joints bend. They’re a pair of all-black Nikes and I’d like to replace them with something fairly similar.

I don’t like trainers that are too high-tech – you know, those made with colourful space-age material, aerodynamic shape, computer-engineered soles and all that. I just want a pair of old skool sneakers. ‘Sneakers’ must be an old fashioned word – my spell-check tells me it doesn’t exist!

I know exactly what I want from my new pair. I’d prefer if they were low-tech canvas or hemp. They need to be black all over, I don’t like black uppers with thick white sidewalls. This kind of style is so They can be worn with jeans, skirt or dress – really versatile.

I usually prefer the look of Pumas over other brands. However, I’m tempted by the £90 Nikes – they’re completely customisable. You can choose the material; the colour of the base, quarter, swoosh, laces, outsole and sidewalls; style of the tongue… you can even have customised text printed to the underside of the tongue!

  1. Old Skool Lite: £55, Vans
  2. Suede Classic+ trainers: £58, Puma
  3. Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski iD skateboarding shoe: £90, Nike

Price Points: Walking sandals

Walking sandals | H is for Home

After many years of loyal service, my current walking sandals – a pair of Keen Neports – died a death last summer. Despite that, I love them so much that I’ve glued the soles back together, then the laces snapped so I’ve knotted those back together…

Now that the weather’s become warm enough to transition from walking boots back to sandals, I’ve dragged the old faithfuls back out once again. If I’m honest, I’m flogging a dead horse, they’re now really tatty and won’t last until the end of this summer.

The new pair will see daily use, up to 3 dog walks per day… every day, and I’ll need a new pair that can cope with the moorland terrain. I love the look of most Keen sandals, so the orange pair above are my favoured replacements.

  1. Keen Clearwater CNX walking sandals: £72.28, Amazon
  2. Teva Kimtah leather sandals: £80.00, Millets
  3. Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve sandals: £85.00, Cotswold Outdoor

Gimme Five! Shoe stores

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selection of shoe store options

The room where I keep my clothes & shoes has slowly been taken over by boxes of shop stock. I also have shoes stored in drawers under the bed in our bedroom, shoes stored in drawers under the bed in another bedroom… these don’t include the walking boots and wellies stored under the bench in our porch.

I need one, proper place to store ALL my shoes; a single shoe store like one of these pictured above. I like shoes uniformly out on display – it’s easier to choose which ones to wear. Do you have shoes stored away in boxes, in overhead cupboards or under beds that you forgot you have? I know I do!

I don’t like the metal over-the-door racks you can get, I don’t like the cheap-looking hanging ones with plastic pockets either. I once had the idea of wrapping all my shoe boxes in pretty patterned paper and then snapping a Polaroid of each pair of shoes and taping it to the front of its box for quick identification. A very time-consuming option if you ask me.

The circular, rotating ‘Lazy Shoesan’ option is a great space saver and it stores more than 36 pairs. My favourite though has to be the antique one originally from a shoe factory. I love its industrial look, but the £800 price tag is eye-watering!

  1. Urbane Designs rotating shoe cabinet: £179.99, Wayfair
  2. nomess COPENHAGEN clear drawer: £18.50, John Lewis
  3. Wall mountable shoe rack: £18.99, eBay
  4. DIY lazy Susan shoe rack organiser pattern: £12.17 (or $299 USD + P&P ready-built), Etsy
  5. Vintage Shoe Trolley by Manon: £800, Notonthehighstreet

Wednesday Wish: Keen Newport sandals

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brown leather Keen Newport sandal
Keen Newport men’s walking sandals, £64.99, Amazon

Justin lost the majority of his footwear in last June’s flood – he kept all his walking gear in the porch just inside the front door. Now that we’re having a prolonged heatwave his walking boots (with socks) make his feet a tad warm to put it mildly. I’ve had a pair of these Keen Newport sandals for years and they’re so comfortable and durable I’ve talked him into getting himself a pair too. We’ll soon be only a a hair’s breadth away from rocking a pair of matching teddy bear jumpers! 🙂

Wednesday Wish: Espadrilles

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olive green espadrilles available from
Olive green espadrilles sewn in white – €22.00,

The clocks have gone forward, the sun’s been out – I’ve left the house without a coat twice this week – it’s officially spring!

Time for some new springtime footwear. Espadrilles are timeless, coming back into fashion almost every year. I already own pairs in bright Grecian blue, fuchsia pink and white which I team up with wide-legged, white linen trousers. This olive green pair would be perfect with khaki chinos or Bermuda shorts!

Wednesday Wish: 7 September 2011

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Marimekko CT OX Unikko print Converse sneaker

CT OX Unikko print Converse sneakers£64.99 from Ran (UK) & $75.00 from Converse (USA)

Converse and Marimekko have got together to produce a fabulous line of shoes for ladies. This Unikko print (originally designed by Maija & Kristina Isola in 1964) version is my favourite however I can’t find a retailer that stocks them in my size (UK size 9… I’m 5′ 11″ and have HUGE hands & feet!).

Each pair comes with a drawstring shoe bag in the same Unikko fabric!