Posted by: seekingacademia | May 30, 2011

My Mother’s Shoes

I am shopping for a pair of shoes before I leave for fieldwork this summer. Last summer, I lucked out and found a pair of comfy shoes that I wore out throughout the summer. They were ugly though. They were brown, and I mostly wear black things.

My plan for summers in the fields require lots of moving about and not wanting to carry a lot of crap with me. Last summer I was determined to go only with a small pilot case. I had three pairs of shoes. Black closed walking, brown sandals, and flip flops for shower. I brought less than two weeks of clothes and washed things often and brought things that matched well. I also bought things there, bc I love shopping in outdoor markets.

And now I am back to getting ready again. And I need shoes. I have scoured the interwebs. This is what I am looking for in a pair of shoes:

1) less than 20 dollars. The less I pay the more I would be happy

2) comfortable, padded footbed

3) flat, no heal at all

4) black

Is that so hard to find? Apparently yes. Especially since I do not want to wear shoes that close via velcro and look like grandma shoes. Look, some velcro is fine, I mean last year’s sandals closed via velcro, but it was thin straps and were not all velcro and yah, they did not look like grandma shoes.

And as I was looking online again tonight, thinking I might find a deal what with Memorial day, I remembered my mom’s summer shoes. For more summers than I can remember, my mom always bought a similar pair of shoes with her to home country. We would always go to Kmart to shop for the summer trip, basically shorts, a bathing suit, and sandals. Before I knew that shopping at Kmart was uncool, I thought it was so fun. All the clothes, and really, its the only place we shopped as kids, so it was the only clothes shopping time! Though I went through a phase of embarrassed of Kmart, I love it now, having come to terms with liking it in college. Anyway, so yah, she would buy the shoes at Kmart. Comfy, squishy padded footbed, leather straps (yah Kmart sold real leather), straps (ie not slip ons but won’t fall off) and in white and other colors. When we were in homecountry, I would anger my mom by wearing her shoes around the house. They were so comfy! And I could pretend do be grown up too.

So those are my dream shoes. Comfy, flat sandals with a strap that I can wear everyday for like 16 hours that are black. I am going to be in very urban environments and very rural desert type places. So I need sandals that will last, be comfy and strong enough to go over hills and rocks, and still look classy in the city.

I am not an old lady who needs orthopedic shoes, nor do I want trendy cage shoes with like 4 inches of heel. Is there nothing in between ages 20 and 60? Can I buy my mother’s shoes from 1980?


  1. I have been looking for the same pair of shoes! But <$20 is hard to come by, even for the cheapy ones that aren't so comfy. 🙂

    • frustrating, yah?! i’ll let you know if I find anything, you do the same!

  2. Have you looked at I saw these sandals on the front page for $19.95, and they come in many sizes. If those don’t work for you, there are a ton of inexpensive shoes on that site.

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