I never used to class myself as a lover of shoes, they were simply something I wore to protect my feet.  In fact, I used to enjoy walking barefoot when I was growing up and still like going without shoes during the summer months; I’d like to start barefoot running as it’s meant to reduce the number of injuries but, ironically, injury is what’s preventing me from running at the moment.

On leaving work to have children, I no longer had a reason to wear high heels and so swapped them for flatties. Somewhere along the line however, I decided that I wanted to inject some glamour back into my life and I looked to stilettos once more.  The only problem was, my feet had grown a full size thanks to childbirth, taking me from a UK size 4 to a 5.  This was hugely inconvenient as all my old work shoes were too small, so it meant I had to go shopping; secondhand shopping obviously.  For anyone who is now cringing at the thought of wearing someone else’s shoes, it’s easy enough to disinfect or sanatise the shoes if you feel it’s necessary.

I bought my first pair from Cancer Research UK in Tunbridge Wells.  They couldn’t exactly be described as practical every day shoes but I fell in love with them and put them in my wardrobe for the rare occasion when we went out somewhere grand…….the fact that they remain in such good condition 12 years later will tell you that such occasions were very rare indeed.

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Still one of my favourite pairs of shoes

The other, possibly more important issue was that I’d forgotten how to walk in heels!

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Who can forget Naomi Campbell’s infamous fall?!

My solution was to wear high heeled shoes whilst doing the school run: I used to walk three quarters of a mile each way to my children’s  school, and I would use the buggy to lean on…….it was like having something between a baby walker and a zimmer frame.  I never once fell off my heels or twisted my ankle, and even learnt to run in them (not just fast walking, but proper running at speed), both with and without the buggy!  In fact, the only occasions on which I have twisted my ankle as an adult have been whilst running in dedicated running shoes or playing badminton, both supposedly healthy pursuits for which I now wear an ankle support in order to prevent further injury.

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I feel like Bionic Women when I’m wearing one of these

I bought a stunning pair of 4″ heels on Sunday at the bootfair and it’s been hilarious watching my children try them on and attempt to walk in them (all except my 13 year old son who outgrew me a year or so ago and is now a size 8!).  Both daughters looked as ungainly and unsteady as Bambi learning to walk, but by far the funniest was my 7 year old son who shuffled round in them whilst dressed in his pyjamas.  I foolishly forgot to take a photograph!

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Despite their extreme height, these are one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I own

I have amassed a respectable collection of shoes over the last few years, not to mention a larger number of pairs of boots.  As you’d expect all were bought at charity shops and bootfairs and are reasonable makes such as LK Bennett, Nine West, Next, Solo…..  All were in excellent condition when I bought them, though some now need re-healing, which incidentally will cost considerably more than the shoes did.  No single pair cost more than £5, which were the most recent sky scrapers from Nine West, having only been worn once (too high apparently!); most pairs cost an average of £1.

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My all time favourite pair of sandals by Next bought for £5 at a bootfair

Even Richard has perfected the art of buying me shoes: last year’s birthday present from a charity shop, also by Next

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Strangers have stopped me in the street to admire these, another bootfair find costing £3

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A last minute buy for £1 at an otherwise disappointing bootfair; my daughters covet my shoes and I can see myself having to fight for the right to wear them in a few years time

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At £1, these had never even been worn: I wear them once and they end up scuffed!

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I doubt I would have bought these in a “real” shop but secondhand shopping means I’m more willing to try something as it’s a minimal loss if it proves to be unsuitable; these proved to be perfect

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My all time best charity shop bargain: a £129 pair of LK Bennett slingbacks for £1

I have changed from someone who didn’t understand why women would swoon over a pair of Jimmy Choos to someone who has a Pinterest board dedicated to shoes and boots.

Talking of boots….no, I daren’t start…….that would be a whole other blog.  Not to mention flatties, flip flops, sports footwear……….

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