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Strictures at an Exposition (Shoe Collection Blog)


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The concept of this blog seems very simple, but how to begin? At least I managed to come up with a wacky title.

I have been meaning to feature the following shoes for a long time because they are among the first heels I ever purchased with a serious intent to wear them in public. They have also turned out to be, thus far, my most durable pair of heels.

Though I have mentioned them many times in passing over the years, let me formally introduce you to my Nine West “Sizzle” oxfords in plain black leather. I purchased them on January 4, 2013. Going back through my records, I evidently paid $99 for them from Amazon. This was probably pretty close to full price, which is something I never do anymore. However, in retrospect, I can’t say that I didn’t get my money’s worth.

My motivation for buying these particular shoes has been lost to the sands of time, but I can tell you that this was my second pair of this model. The first pair I had was black patent, rather than just plain black, and was U.S. Women’s size 9. I always thought that they were a bit too tight, and so I got rid of them and got the instant shoes in a size 9 1/2. I did that often in those days, that is, bought stuff in 9 1/2 or even 10. I am not sure why, but I would never make that mistake today. I am pretty clearly and solidly a size 9. As a result, I have to wear thick socks with these oxfords. This is simultaneously a plus and a minus. I hate how the shoes are really too big, but on the other hand, the cushioning provided by thick socks may be the secret to why they are an any occasion, all-the-time shoe--in the winter, anyway. Just so you know, just so you do not doubt my proclivities, I never wear these, ever, from about mid-May to mid-October.

What would a Melrose expository post be without statistics? Here are the numbers: 4 3/4” heel, 3/4” platform, for an effective steepness of right at 4 inches. Diameter of the heels is about 3/4”. I have had them reheeled three times, and am very, very close to needing No. 4. I have walked 191 documented miles in these, plus any number of undocumented/incidental miles. I feel like they are going to fail sometime on the next reheel, and I will be sad when they do.

I think I have worn these in every situation that I normally encounter in life, and some that I don’t normally encounter. I have worn these with men’s suits to church, and I have worn them with jeans for my neighborhood constitutionals. I know I have worn them on at least one occasion to work the “big” farmer’s market, which involves standing for five hours. I have worn them on a walk that exceeded 5 miles, 6.1 to be exact. I have only ever done this with 3 pairs of shoes over the past 11 years. After all this use, they still shine up pretty well!




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  • 3 weeks later...

This thread is starting off like a herd of turtles! Part of it is because I just don't have a lot of material at the moment. It's cold outside now, it's a busy time of year in general. I'm not really stopping to take pictures like I have in the past.

However, I do have some news about the Nine West "Sizzle" oxfords in the original post. They have been resoled and reheeled (5th set of heels). I was beginning to think that the shank was giving out on the right shoe, but my cobbler thought it was all right, he said my soles were so worn out that he wasn't surprised that they felt a little "off." A 2 mile test confirms that they definitely feel way more solid now. Who knows, maybe they're good for another 200 miles! Not holding my breath on that one. I'm back to posting pictures from the top of my washing machine for now.


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