Keli Gwyn
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Flashback Friday: Favorite Shoes

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes from days gone by, a pair you wish you still had?

When I think back on my days as a teen in the 70s (yes, I’m that old :-)), two pair come to mind.

I had a pair of Earth shoes I loved. They sported the famous “negative heel” said to make a wearer feel like she was walking barefoot in sand. Mine looked much like the ones in the picture, although they were dark brown. I wore my Earth shoes daily until there was no life left in them.

Another pair that stands out are the Famolare Get There wedge heels I just had to have. “Everyone” had them. I wanted to be in style, so I wheedled until my parents caved. I thought the four-wave heel was groovy. Unlike the Earth shoes, though, I was underwhelmed by the Famolares. But I wore them anyhow. Until the fad faded.

A few months ago I passed by the one shoe store in my small town. It’s what call a gourmet shoe store. They carry quality footwear, much of it imported from Europe. I’m not a shoe person like my daughter, but I went inside anyhow.

Boy, am I glad I did. Guess what brand they carry?

Yup. Earth shoes! Who knew they’d make a reappearance? I found a pair I couldn’t resist. Sure, they might not be the cutest shoes in the world, but I like them. They transport me to a time in my life when wrinkles were on my clothes, not my face, and when gray was the color of my grandmother’s hair, not mine.

The clerk brought out a pair. I slipped them on and took a stroll down Memory Lane. The young man looked at me like I’d lost it when I got all weepy, but I didn’t care. One day he might find himself wishing for a way to recapture some of the best memories of his youth. That’s what happens every time I slip into my Earth shoes. They put a spring in my step and a smile on my face.

Maybe I’m more of a shoe person than I thought. It just takes the right pair. Right?

• • •

Did you have a favorite pair of shoes whose passing you mourned?

Do you have a pair now that’s destined to become a treasured memory?

Keli Gwyn

21 Comments

  • Beth Vogt says:

    Keli, I got cold chills when I saw that Earth shoe photo.
    And not in a good way.
    (Are cold chills ever good?)
    My husband had a pair of Earth shoes that I finally killed off (so sorry for the verbiage) when they were way past their prime. I have no desire to go through that battle again. Enjoy your walk down memory lane, but my husband won’t be joining you.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Ack! You killed off a beloved pair of Earth shoes, Beth? Oh, my. Now I’m the one with cold chills. LOL I’ll have to remember to steer clear of you when I’m wearing mine since I want them to live a long and healthy life.

  • Char Chaffin says:

    Never had Earth Shoes, but I had a pair of buffalo sandals from India that I wore to death back in the day! I got them when I was sixteen (1970) and they finally fell apart on me when I was nineteen. By the time they went to Shoe Heaven, buffalo sandals were no longer available, which broke my heart. If only I’d bought two pair… but most sixteen-year-old girls don’t think ahead. Years and years (many years!) later I found them online, the same oiled sandals with the woven straps and the little toe ring. I was thrilled and ordered a pair. When they came I slipped them on and wore them in the shower (because that’s what you do with buffalo sandals, so they’ll mold themselves to your feet). Ah, psychedelic bliss! I still have them and I still wear them.

    Thanks for the memories, Keli!

    Char

  • When I was in high school, Doc Martens boots were the cool shoes to wear. I kept them for years and years. One day, I tried them on and learned my foot had grown a lot since high school. I couldn’t even get them on! They weighed a ton, but we all loved those clunky boots.

  • Erica Vetsch says:

    I miss my Converse tennis shoes. I wore them with my Toughskin jeans from Sears, and my favorite shirt (which had paisleys and bat-wing sleeves.)

    Ah, the good old days. 🙂

  • Ahh, shoes! How I love them. Only they don’t love me back. 🙂 I used to wear beautiful high heels all the time…3 inches and perfect! Then I got pregnant and switched to flip flops for comfort. And now my feet refuse to go back to the heels. Makes me weepy just thinking about it!

  • Wendy says:

    Fun post! I have a pair of Nike sandals I’m mourning (but still wearing!). They are ripping and the cushioned soles are poking out. But I still wear them. Can’t. Quite. Give. Them. Up. Yet. 😀
    ~ Wendy

  • Sherrinda says:

    LOL…I had a pair of Famolares and loved them. They were comfortable and so “stylish”. I used to love my white keds, but today they’d look kinda nerdy. 😉

    I love high heels and flip flops, but I’ve been having some feet issues and might need to check into those Earth shoes….especially if they are coming back in style! lol

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Sherrinda, sounds like you were one of the stylish folks I was trying to keep up with. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed your Famolares. Mine were better in theory than in reality, unfortunately. Maybe that’s because I was used to my “negative heel” Earth shoes and got light-headed when I wore the Get There shoes with their wavy wedge (much higher) heels. I won’t admit to stumbling more times than I want to recall due to the ridges catching on things as I walked. LOL

  • Loree Huebner says:

    Wow! You brought back some memories! (yes, I’m that old too) I was quite young when I had a pair of earth shoes. I loved them. I wore them until they wore out. Thanks for the fun memory.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Yay, Loree! Another fan of Earth shoes. I knew I couldn’t be the only one who liked them, not if they’re seeing a resurgence. I’d love to see another generation embrace them as enthusiastically as members of ours did, but my college-aged daughter, aka The Fashion Queen, took one look at my new pair and gave me one of those “You’ve got to be kidding, Mom” looks.

  • Anne Barton says:

    Yes, you’re a shoe person! 🙂 Your black Earth shoes are very cute.

    Anyone remember Vans? I had a pink and aqua pair. Very 80’s!

    • Char Chaffin says:

      Anne, my daughter had a pair of Vans. I can’t recall the color but she cherished those shoes. She also had a pair of the blackest, clunkiest Doc Martins I’ve ever seen. Her dad would see her walking around in those Docs and just shake his head, sadly. I’d then have to remind him that in the 70s, he wore those silly square-toed zip-up boots with the chunky heels. That usually shut him up in a hurry!

      Char

  • A pair of shoes I wish I’d kept? In my teens I had a pair of knee-high orange-ish brown suede boots with fringe and I swear I’d love to have them now. They look exactly like the Ugg boots I have now except they have fringe. I could kick myself when I think that I gave/threw them away. AACK! But, I’m creating new memories with my current Uggs which I intend to keep forever.
    Patti

  • Karen says:

    I love your Earth Shoes! I’m always looking for a comfortable, cute pair to wear to church since I currently put on miles there. (I’m children’s Sunday school/weekly activity president) Yeah, I don’t sit much these days.

    I, too, haven’t been a shoe person. Well, not in the sense of a favorite brand. If they are cute, comfortable and the right price, I’ll buy them. I’ll also wear them until they wear out. So I guess my shoe fashion all depends on what stage of ownership I am in. So, my current shoes say, “You need to go shopping!” Maybe I’ll look for a pair of Earth Shoes? 😉

  • Clogs, Earth shoes, wedges, espadrilles, Kangaroos (a type of tennis shoes that had a neat, little zipper compartment on the sides)…been there, done them all. Oh…and moccasins! I don’t mourn any of them too much, but I did find the Earth shoes the most comfortable. 🙂

  • I remember when Nike tennis shoes first came out. I had a pair of canvas, maroon ones with a silver stripe. So cool and to make it even better…friendship pins covered my shoe laces. Sniff. Sniff. 🙂

  • For almost twenty years my staple footwear was the original Dr. Scholl’s sandals, the ones with molded wooden soles and a single adjustable leather strap. I think they’re still readily available, so no nostalgia associated with them. Later I moved on to a more supple leather sole… I love my Birkenstocks. Unfortunately arthritis has me lacing up comfortable sneakers for shopping trips where I do a lot of walking, but I still use my Birkenstocks for slipping into at home and in the garden.

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