TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Walking in Some Kind of Style

I have bad feet due to a couple of injuries and genetics, so comfort is always my criteria in finding a shoe that I will wear. Yet, I admit to a certain shoe fetish, especially when looking at how ethnic cultures around the world use natural materials to weave, carve, sew or solder footwear. The Field Museum in Chicago has a wall of these shoes, a fascinating exhibit. So, when a friend sent me an email with these shoe photos, I just had to post them. There was no info on the provenance of the photos. If you know where they came from, please leave a comment at the bottom of the post.

Shoes that Hurt

I guess that these shoes just push the limits of design. Your feet affect your back which affects the rest of your body. Wearing high heels on a regular basis shortens your tendons which create all kinds of long term health problems. Why, oh why, subject poor feet to this torture? I know that I would not even be able to stand up straight in them, so I guess something must be said about the acrobatic feat in being mobile in these instruments of torture.

Shoes Inspired by Nature

Most of these actually look potentially comfortable. We often see floral designs on summery shoes and animal slippers have been a favorite kid gift for a long time now. But, these shoes go a step further taking these ideas from cute to realistic, sometimes in a grotesque way.

My Favorite!

Of all of these, the only one that I would even think of trying on is this grassy pair of flip-flops. It's like walking outside without worrying about dog poop...

So, what do you wear? My most comfortable shoe ever is a recent pair of Skechers.
Definitely not sexy or shocking in any way. I'll let other people expand the boundaries of shoe design. My feet may be bad, but they are the only two I have, so I try to pamper them with things that make them feel good.


  1. The giraffe ones are genius. The others...a little odd.

  2. Too weird to me...
    Try the Vibram Five Fingers Shoes if you're into comfort

    You'll thank me!!


“Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth.”

“Whatever you say, say it with conviction.”

(Both by the master, Mark Twain)

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