This weird-looking thing is a FootFitter Boot Stretcher. And if your feet are AT ALL wider than “medium,” you want one. (In fact, you want two, but you can get away with one.)
I finally broke down and bought one late last year and have now managed to rescue several pairs of shoes that were previously too painfully narrow to wear. Using it couldn’t be simpler: fill a spray bottle with 50% water/50% rubbing alcohol, spritz the inside of the shoe or boot you want to stretch, and insert device. Turn handle to stretch. (The black bobbles in the picture are inserted into the holes in the fitter to add extra stretchy to accommodate corresponding bumps on your own feet.)
Although this particular model is spendy ($50!) it’s still way cheaper and faster than taking shoes to the cobbler to be stretched. The only downside is that having this is enabling my “buy vintage roper boots on Etsy” habit something awful. There’s also a cheaper model that’s shoes-only, and another model that will stretch both length- and width-wise.
Sorry, people with narrow feet … there’s no corresponding shoe-shrinker. You’ll just have to be satisfied with being able to find vintage super-narrow Delman and Bally shoes everywhere you look …
[If you are all “ew, used shoes!” that’s totally fine by me, leaves more for me to buy.]
Another day, another Heidi:
This one was mentioned briefly back in 2010:
I think that this fabric fell into the category of “there isn’t possibly enough for a full-skirted dress but I love it so much I will buy it anyway,” and then voila! there was enough for a Heidi. It’s a nice crisp corded cotton with a gorgeous hand. In my opinion, there is not enough corded cotton in the world. Why doesn’t Liberty make corded cotton? I shall write a letter.
The side zip, pretty good:
And the back view.
I wore this one on Sunday with these sandals, which are, in my opinion, the coolest and most comfortable ones I’ve ever owned (they seem pricey now but they were on sale a while back):
Amazingly comfortable and really good for those of us with wider feet — they can be adjusted at both the ankle and toe, so you don’t have that thing where your ankles are swimming and your toes are pinched, which is the worst. Highly recommended. I got the black; if there are any in my size left at the end of summer sale I may be tempted to get the brown or even the denim-y blue colorways …
I finally finished another one of these in this, and only after I put it on to head out the door did I realize that I don't really have any brown flat shoes. (Or any mauve shoes at all, which is surprising given the number of different pairs of pink shoes I DO own.) Thank goodness for those hoarding tendencies, because I realized that I could haul out these blue-and-cream numbers (which I love, but never wear). They're very comfortable (you can't see the 2+ heel height from this "point the cell phone at your feet" vantage point).
Not sure what I will wear this dress with for non-heels occasions. I suppose there's always these or these …
I know at least two folks sent me this link — Tricia, and someone else [Lisa?], feel free to step forward in the comments — and, well, wow.
These would be so much fun to pair with a stunt dress … you know, if I had a spare $795 (!) plus whatever it costs these days to hire four strong men to carry you on a litter. Because they’re also FOUR INCHES HIGH (100mm). (For what it’s worth, I do have a couple of pairs of four-inch heels which I wear on occasion. Occasions where I will be mostly sitting down, which are fewer and farther between these days.)
The older I get the more I value mobility over beauty (perhaps I’ve come to believe there’s more beauty in mobility?). Last Tuesday (according to my pedometer) I walked more than ten miles; last Wednesday more than seven, and on both days that walking time was prime thinking time, and I was thinking about something other than “jeez, my feet really hurt!”
Late last Wednesday night, round about mile 6, I passed a well-dressed couple on the street and overheard the woman say to the man, “I don’t think you have any idea of how much my feet hurt right now!” When I looked at his impatient face (and his comfortable shoes) it was clear that he didn’t. And her shoes weren’t anywhere near this high.
Let’s have a poll!