The European Shoe Dilemma

I have some new shoes, I also have the best Mom ever.


I ordered this beautiful pair of Born’s from but they would not ship overseas. So! I sent them to my Mom’s house. Thankfully, she took time out of her day and $35 dollars out of her wallet to mail these beauties to me.


The best part of these shoes: the price. Regular price $95, but on amazon $33.21. I have no idea why, it only applied to select sizes and colors, but my size eight foot and I are very happy (Size 8’s are back up to $95 now). Even with the  extra shipping it still cost less than if I would have walked into Nordstroms. It’s all in the game of scouring Amazon, may the odds be ever in your favor.


I  busted the zipper on my favorite pair of boots, the shoes I’ve been wearing almost everyday (seasonally) for three years.  I needed a sturdy, fashionable shoe and fast, through my searches I found the brand Rieker. They started making boots in Southern Germany in 1874, but now the company is based in Switzerland.


Great boots, but I noticed the shoes in the American market are 1) more expensive and 2) clunky. So look on if you’re interested, even with the shipping they will be cheaper than the US models.


I can always spot American tourists by their shoes. Whether they are sneakers, TOMS, Frye’s, or flip-flops, we are an easy people to categorize.

Taste is shoes definitely separates our two sects of Western Society. I have been struggling ever since I moved to France to fit in with my footware, but again and again I notice the disapproving grimmaces of proper French ladies.. oor even worse their 8 year old daughters.


I wanted shoes that would help me go unnoticed, in a way my TOMS, flip-flops, and rain boots just haven’t allowed so far.

When I was home for Thanksgiving, a couple of girls that never even talked to me in high school gushed over “how euro” I looked and dressed. For a second my inner sophomore swelled with pride at the attention. Then I started to think how absurd it was, I am perpetually intimidated by French women and their fashion. I constantly feel like I am the sore thumb sticking out, inadequate in the ways of taste. For me to be getting compliments at home seemed like a sham.


Don’t get me wrong, I am a professional phony, but feeling comfortable in my own skin let alone the clothes that cover it is something I cannot fake.


2 thoughts on “The European Shoe Dilemma

  1. True that, Whitney. Whenever we go to France I stick out like a sore thumb…layered in bandages! I feel ya! On my first visit I had just wrangled 2 kids (Nate 9 years and Will 3 years) on an overnight flight and met Richards French family first thing…no shower…cut offs (omg). We immediately stopped at the shoe store because the children were wearing undesirable shoes….sport shoes that I had just spent a few hundred dollars on…Richards Aunt explained these shoes were undesirable because children should only wear these while playing sports. My cut offs were a big no-no too ( this I now understand). Once we finally got to our flat and I could shower and dress for dinner I received a wonderful compliment from Aunt Jacqueline, “tres Parisienne”. We became fabulous friends and I treasure all the moments I was able to spend with her. I love France and every moment I get to spend there.

    • This is awesome! I have to say, if anyone could pull off cut offs in 1990’s Paris it would be you. I’m trying to persuade Will into spending some of his vacation time this year on a trip to France, you should join in!! The food in Lyon is amazing… not to mention the wine of Chez Carret!

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