April 10, 2012

Rome. October, 1980

Long before bling became a thing here in the states, the Romans were high-stepping with these extravagant, twinkling heels. And while they may not be made for distance walking, these little accessories sure did light up the window of this shoe store (one of many in shoe-conscious Rome.) Why didn’t this glittery high-heel “look” ever catch on here stateside? Different strokes. I was once told that the only sure-fire way to spot a tourist in Italy or Spain is to look at his or her shoes. Try it, as I have, and I think you’ll find this axiom valid. The German tourists wear practical and completely unfashionable hiking shoes. Ditto the English and, mercy, the Swiss. The French must be taken on a case-by-case basis. I should talk. I wear sneakers almost all the time because of the great amount of walking I do. (I switch to black sneakers for evening wear.) But no one beats the Italians and the Spanish. The old, the young, even in the supermarket or out walking the dog, these leather lovers sport loafers, lace-ups and boots that command respect and set them apart.

1 comment:

  1. I love your insights into tourist footwear. At the Tomb of Tutankhamun, I saw sweaty US and Euro tourists trudge into the tomb wearing every sort of grotty boots and sneakers you describe. Then suddenly, a woman in high heels descended the dusty steps, leading a group of Italian tourists -- all dressed al dente and looking fabulous. Well, it IS a royal tomb, after all!