So I despise Crocs and Uggs; this is a known fact about me. But I’m not a complete ugly shoe racist. I have always loved Doc Martens. And now I am going to proudly add two more to the list: Toms (no apostrophe, so don’t even think about correcting my punctuation) and FitFlops.
First, let’s discuss Toms. Chances are you’ve seen Toms shoes and haven’t realized it. They’re sort of unobtrusive. They’ve sneakily worked their way into the mainstream shoe-wearing community. They have been darlings of fashion editors for a few years now, but this is the first year that I’m really seeing them everywhere. And let’s admit it—when a trend appears on the Upper West Side, well, it will probably stick around for a while.
Toms are sort of this generation’s Keds, but with a conscience. Their schtick is that for every pair you buy, they will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need. And yes, tons of jokes have been made about the fact that even poor children think they’re ugly. So don’t bother. They come in nylon, cotton, canvas, linen, vegan (I don’t know what that means either). The original style is a simple slip on. But they’re not cheap. They run from $45 to $75. They come in enough patterns and colors that you are certain to find a pair you like. Find them on the UWS at (this is random) Whole Foods (97th and Columbus) and Tip Top Shoes (72nd between Amsterdam and Columbus).
I was a bit of an early adopter of the FitFlop. They only came in utilitarian black and red when I bought my first pair. They are one of the more gimmicky pairs of shoes I own, but I am unapologetic. They claim to do all sorts of magical things. I’m sorry to say I don’t look anything like this:
Here’s what they have going for them. They’re really comfortable. The thick sole means that my feet do not get disgusting while walking through the streets of NYC the way they do while wearing more traditional flip flops. And yes, I actually feel my legs working a bit harder when I walk in these. Everyone needs casual summer shoes; one cannot wear platforms and stilettos everyday. (Wait, did I just say that?) Find an enormous selection at Tip Top Shoes on 72nd Street. After two years, I bought a new pair, the “Rebel.” I’m tough, bitches.