April 25th, 2005

Sandals: on the cutting edge of fashion

Sandals. Summer. Freedom. Foot-binding.

Foot-binding? you ask. What does that have to do with sandals, summer, freedom?

Well, I would have thought the answer to be: nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Or, perhaps: opposite. But apparently, I would be wrong.

I am flabbergasted by this article in today’s NY Times about the lengths to which women apparently still go for fashion. Having been raised in the era of the obligatory girdle, for example, I know that fashion has always involved elements of pain, and probably always will. But–the sandal? To me, the sandal has always represented the opportunity to liberate the foot from winter restrictions, from chafing and binding and tightness.

But something has happened to the sandal. They’ve buried Birkenstocks, trumped Tevas, nixed Naots. They have found a way to make sandals remarkably painful, and at a remarkable price, too. Ah, progress!

Eva Gajzer, who sells shoes and clothing at Kirna Zabête, a SoHo boutique, has witnessed the casualties. “Band-Aids, I see them all the time,” Ms. Gajzer said.

Suddenly women are pulling out shoes with straps “like little knives,” she said. “They walk into the store with their feet completely covered in blood.”

Ms. Gajzer faults the shoemaker, not the wearer. “When you’re paying between $300 and $600 for a pair of sandals, you expect them to be remotely comfortable,” she said. “Otherwise the designer should be smacked.”

I’m not so sure the designer of $600 sandals shouldn’t be smacked–just a teeny bit, anyway–even if the sandals are “remotely comfortable,” but that’s not the point. Straps, like little knives? That’s taking “cutting edge of fashion” to a whole other dimension.

11 Responses to “Sandals: on the cutting edge of fashion”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Don’t condemn a designer until you have walked a mile in her sandals, eh?

  2. Paul Says:

    “There’s language in her eye, her cheek, her lip;Nay, her foot speaks.” – Wm. Shakespeare.

  3. Bookworm Says:

    As Louisa May Alcott said in Little Women, “My dear, we must suffer to be beautiful.”

    My poor daughter — she’d like me to be dolled up in skirts and heels, but I stick resolutely to my skirts and comfortable flat pants. It’s not flattering, but corns, bunions, blisters and back pain aren’t very flattering either.

  4. gatorbait Says:

    Morocco, land of hijab and stilettoes. .mmmm Talk about jarring contrasts. It is fascinating how much damage to one’s feet fashion demands.

  5. Emmunah Says:

    Brian…the Kurds and the Jews are working together on the project that anonymous brought up and the Kurds know you are friends to them so it was a way of asking for help. Please understand? And help if you can?

    I will tell you this, I grew of age during those 6 inch heel torture devices and I have NO, NADA, ZIPPO desire to put on anything that is going to hurt my feet EVER again. I’m done enough damage as it is…hip replacement is definately in my future LOL!

  6. Bryan J Weitzel Says:


    Huh?! I thought we were talking about shoes and/or legs?

    But back on point, as a part-time fashion and glamour photographer I have to say that high-heeled sandals are a definite necessity. I had a shoot with one model wannabe who brought 19 pairs of flip-flops and one pair of heels. I just shook my head, took the pictures, and had a little talk with her manager afterwards.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Please read this article and judge for yourself if anti-semitism against both kurds and jews are in increase


  8. Independent George Says:

    What would the Manolo say?

  9. Dan M Says:

    I don’t know anything about the sandal thing, that is.

    You see, just thinking of legs made me lose track of my thought.

  10. Dan M Says:

    I don’t anything about the sandal thing. But women in heels look hot, they set the curve of their legs off, big time.

    And I approve!!!!!!!!!!!

    Neo, finally checked out your website, looks great.

    Your posts about Vietnam were great.

  11. fred Says:

    This has nothing to do with sandals. It is a link to an amazing column in today’s WSJ and on the WSJ’s Opinion Journal website. May it be so. As Michael Ledeen says, Faster please.


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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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