It’s officially open-toe season and you know what that means, folks: FEAR – abject, unadulterated fear and a side of loathing for good measure.
It’s a well-known fact that I loathe summer shoes and the attendant prospect thereof. Once the mercury begins to rise and spring has sprung from winter’s slumber I’m getting the jitters. By mid-summer, I’m in the throes of obsessive-compulsive behaviour, cross-referencing my calendar against Accuweather and any prospective events that may involve obligatory toe exposure. Allow me to explain.
In 2006 I attended a friend’s wedding in Greece. Having always been self-conscious about my feet, I spent most of my adult life successfully circumventing circumstances involving bare tootsies including but not limited to public swimming pools, spa days, group beach outings, pedicures, grape treading (just in case) and any sort of open-toe footwear. Aside from the winemaking, this was no mean feat (no pun intended), a fact on which I silently congratulated myself. Pulling the switcheroo on plans gets tedious as do DIY pedicures which is why I decided to face my fears when invited on a leisurely boat trip around Navarone Bay.
Forty-degree heat and a glass bottom view of the Aegean Sea later, I find myself braving it barefoot. No weird looks, no summons for offensive conduct, no nothing; just a port-side seat and a superlative view until…
The woman sitting next to me tapped me on the shoulder and told me there was ‘something that could be done about my feet’ offering me the contact details of her Harley Street podiatrist.
Ergo my near-pathological fear of sandals, flip-flops and peep-toe traitors. I’d like to say with the help of self-love I’ve put the past behind me but my neurosis if so ingrained I’d sooner #freethenipple than #freethefeet. In the meantime, I’ve managed to find certain styles that lend themselves to warm weather without having to undergo intensive therapy sessions. When life hands you hammertoes…
THE SUMMER LOAFER
THE SMART SLIDE
THE BRAIDED SLIPPER
THE ESPADRILLE WEDGE
THE FANCY PANTS MULE