Ooh! Sneakers!

Are these, or are they not, insufferably adorable? Seriously, these are the cutest things I've seen since my son was two.

And I know, I know, I've sworn undying devotion to the shoes of Jack Purcell, but a girl can LOOK, can't she?

I think it's the extremely low vamp, which I think always looks feminine and dainty. (YES, no matter HOW big your feet are. Seriously.) In fact, this reminds me of a holy-grail pair of shoes: the very-low-vamp saddle shoe. There was a girl in my junior high who had a pair, and damned if I can remember her name, what she looked like, whether she was even in any of my classes … but I remember the low-cut two-tone she had. In detail. It was a sad, sad day when I finally figured out where she got them (Thom McAn! Back when they had standalone stores!) and got my folks to take me to the mall … only to find they were sold out of my size.

Anyway, nostalgic digression aside, these are some darn cute sneakers. (Click on the image if your first reaction is OMG MUST HAVE NOW.) And if you were one of the folks who emailed me last summer about what sneakers go well with skirts? Here's the answer. (But, purist that I am … I'd put laces in 'em.)

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0 thoughts on “Ooh! Sneakers!

  1. Oh, these are Vans! How incredibly cute! I loved saddle shoes back in the day, too. They’ll be back someday.These shoes remind me of my grandmother’s “everyday” shoes, which had a low vamp and two-hole laces. She was a very well-dressed person, even when casual at home, so I’m kind of thinking I’m in the MUST HAVE NOW group. Thanks!

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  2. I think Vans may actually have a team of scientists working on the problem of how to make big feet look less clunky. I wear a size 11, and their sneakers are the only ones that don’t make me look like I’m walking on boats.Another style that I’ve been lusting after are these: print!

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  3. Aaahhh, saddle shoes. The school colors of one of the high schools I attended were maroon & white, and there was a girl who had saddle shoes that were white with the perfect shade of maroon saddle and I wanted a pair so much! But I never even made it as far as the shoe store since my Mom was into brown Hush Puppies. (!!) These Vans are so cute they might make up for that. I’m not sure I’d put laces in them, but meanwhile, here are some shoelaces that might be perfect for these, Erin.

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  4. Hurray for linking to Muffy’s! Muffy’s is the bomb. Best customer service I’ve ever received from an online vendor.

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  5. I am more of a Skechers girl. I like the maryjaney types of sneakers that have the zigzag velcro across the top. Since I wear a lot of teeshirty dresses and sundresses over the summer, I prefer sneakershoes or flat sandals to dressier shoes or sandals. It just feels right to have “play shoes” on in a “play dress.” I do not like to have dress “businessy” at all in the summer!

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  6. I had saddle shoes in grade school.I was always getting the whitepart scuffed and dirty so mymother died them navy and thenI got teased by the other kids forwearing ‘boys’ shoes!Haven’t thought about that in years.

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  7. I wear saddle shoes all the time. I found a pair on clearance at hot topic a few years ago and love them…unfortunately they are way too clunky to wear with a dress, but they give a little extra fun to a pair of black pants or jeans!

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  8. Okay Erin, my work webbrowser restricted access to your deadly linkage website – bombscience is clearly a deadly website. 8 (Instead I went to Zappos and found these:

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  9. I love that shade of blue.My local fabric store has got a cotton in exactly that blue with white dots (sightly smaller than those on the shoe). I don’t quite know what to use it for yet; perhaps a circle skirt, a bag or a bolero?

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  10. Sorry, I never got to wear saddle shoes(though I worshipped them from afar). I got to wear genu-wine Girl Scout oxfords all the way through elementary school To say they were ugly is putting it in its best light. But those sneakers are just ‘teh awesome’.

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  11. I love them, love them, love them. Either I must have them or I must create them.I think create will end up being what happens.

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  12. I always tell my daughters that the lower the vamp, the tinier the feet appear to be. Then my youngest tells me that your “toe cracks” can’t show….does anyone speak teenager fluently?

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  13. Marianne—I agree! I wear a size 10 and my Vans make me so happy. What does not make me happy is to see that the site Erin linked to only has them in stock up to a size 8. Sadness. Guess I’m on the hunt now—wish me luck!

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  14. My favorite pair of shoes is my saddles! I’ve worn down the soles pretty bad, so I’m getting them resoled as soon as sandal weather starts.On that note, anyone know where I can find low vamp saddles? They sound sensational!

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  15. ANDMajor inspiration moment.I may have to attempt to make some of these cute little shoes. I have the book by Mary Wales Loomis. I have been stalled by the finding heels and shanks step for making my own pumps. (Taking just one pair of cheapo shoes apart for these supplies proved to be many hours of work and the plastic heels sucked.)But these little beauties don’t require either…Oh the wheels of unrealized creative possibility are turning!!!!

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  16. I don’t want to tempt you unnecessarily, but the Liberty Print Jack Purcells are on clearance at Converse. They’re down to $57 (limited sizes, yadda yadda yadda).I love your blog by the way. I don’t wear dresses often (yet) but I think you’re making me a convert….

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  17. Oh, I had a pair of saddle shoes in grade school, they were grey suede with a darker grey smooth saddle. They had red crepe soles and black and grey plaid laces. They were so perfect and I would just die to have a pair again. Muffy’s emailed me a notice on a grey and black pair they would be bringing in, but it’s not on their site, yet.I absolutely love the little sneakers that are available this spring. I bought the Black Bluebird from the Keds Eleanor line (what’s in a name? They’re blue and red, with flocked cherries!) and a pair of the Sugar Maryjane Round. White, with black hearts. I’d buy more, but they didn’t have my size in some of the others…

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  18. You bet I clicked through right away! Polka dots are my theme for summer – I’ve already made a reversible wrap skirt, red with dime-sized white dots on one side, and taupey-grey with smaller white dots on the other. Yay! Dots make me happy (esp. NOT on a white backround). I’m with you on the low vamp; I was already eyeing these sneaks to wear with dresses this summer: I also like these two as well: bad I can’t justify more than one pair…

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  19. These are the shoes I wanted this summer (see how I cleverly waited until they were out of my size). A 37 = 6.5 American.

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  20. I tried to click through on them, but for some reason my office has that website blocked. Why? Is graffiti bad? Do they think we’re secretly building bombs to blow up the office? (I work at a publishing company.)But now that I know they’re Vans I can google ’em.

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  21. I have the cutest pair of patent leather saddle shoes with a high chunky heel in black and burgundy. They make me very happy.

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  22. Lorwill, OMG, I have the same book! I present to you: your shoemaking … “pleasure.” Which I hope it will be. Honestly, if you look, you will find lots of other people interested in MAKING shoes as well as buying them, and happy to share information on where to find materials, etc. I didn’t put more than that one link, but if you google on “shoemaking supplies and materials,” you should find a bunch of links to get you started. Do let us know how that turns out! You’ll be making shoes to match all your dresses!I am searching for those lovely little ballet sneakers – um, “skimmers” – in every permutation I can find. It’s a sneaker! It’s a ballet flat! It’s a sneaker which is pretty, and a ballet flat which is comfy! Since I have arches like the Golden Gate, and feet cleverly shaped like chisels, I will be adding either grommets or little metal “eyes” to my ballet sneakers so they stay on my narrow, chisel-like feet.Wundermary, WHOA. Wish the nuns at school found saddle shoes where YOU did. Those sound lovely. I never thought to check – does Keds have a website for printed pretties?

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  23. Lorwill, OMG, I have the same book! I present to you: your shoemaking … “pleasure.” Which I hope it will be. Honestly, if you look, you will find lots of other people interested in MAKING shoes as well as buying them, and happy to share information on where to find materials, etc. I didn’t put more than that one link, but if you google on “shoemaking supplies and materials,” you should find a bunch of links to get you started. Do let us know how that turns out! You’ll be making shoes to match all your dresses!I am searching for those lovely little ballet sneakers – um, “skimmers” – in every permutation I can find. It’s a sneaker! It’s a ballet flat! It’s a sneaker which is pretty, and a ballet flat which is comfy! Since I have arches like the Golden Gate, and feet cleverly shaped like chisels, I will be adding either grommets or little metal “eyes” to my ballet sneakers so they stay on my narrow, chisel-like feet.Wundermary, WHOA. Wish the nuns at school found saddle shoes where YOU did. Those sound lovely. I never thought to check – does Keds have a website for printed pretties?

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  24. Lorwill, I have a couple of other sites that I found when I thought that the Internet had eaten my post; I have more, but I don’t want to run away with the post!1. . . weekend-long courses in Virginia EXCELLENT LINKS to supplies and leather (and a link to the above!)4. youtube.com/watch?v=tqQ9zWxBfg8 – 87k Apparently, Youtube has a whole video series on shoemaking!5. SUPPLIES6. TIPS on faking7. Footwear of the Middle Ages highly adaptable techniques for making your own shoes (Marc Carlson has unbelievably detailed knowledge which he shares willingly) in fact, if you google Marc Carlson, you will find a bunch of sites that are either his, or refer to him. He has many, many useful tips on shoe construction.We now return you to your regularly scheduled dresses.(If you want the other sites, just let me know.)

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  25. You are a saint for posting the saddle shoes link. I’ve been dreaming of a pair of the red and whites for many many months now. I think I might be in trouble, looking at what’s available here… Hugs and thanks!!

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  26. You are a saint for posting the saddle shoes link. I’ve been dreaming of a pair of the red and whites for many many months now. I think I might be in trouble, looking at what’s available here… Hugs and thanks!!

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  27. La BellaDonna! Ha, I have no idea where my mom got those shoes, she was hooked into some tremendous network of hand-me-downs. They just appeared one day, I wish another pair would! I think Keds does have a site, but I bought mine from Piperlime.com. I bought a pair of Sugars and a pair of Keds. they have a good sale, but the sizes are getting whittled down. A word of warning on the fit! I have narrow feet and the Sugars fit about like regular width shoes usually do. But, the Keds are a bit snug, I almost wish I’d bought a half size up. So, the Keds must run small, to actually be tight on me.Oh, these shoe making links: Something I’ve always wanted to try! When does a person say “enough!” to the dabbling?

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  28. la belladonna thank you so much!!! Yes I will take all the information I can get. When I did my initial search I found a lot of cowboy boots making people but most of the shoe making people and their supplies were in Europe. Anyhoo, you could post any info you want in the comments on my blog so we don’t completely threadjack here :-)Unless Erin would like to do another shoe (and shoe making) entry…hint…hint…cause dresses and shoes, you know.

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  29. Blogger deleted my earlier post and I am having serious difficulties right now. Trying for the third time.Thank you a bunch la belladonaa. Please post any and all info you may have in the comments on my blog.Don’t want to be a thread jacker.(oh please great blogger gods, let this post)

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  30. Cute shoes! I also feel strangely attracted to the prison issue Vans with Velcro closures. These are much more girly cute though. Thanks for sharing!

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  31. Hey Erin! Are you still planning to come to London – what happened to plans for the tea-shop reunion? If you’re into Saddle Shoes in a big way, you may want to check out the London Swing Dance Society () website which stocks amazing mary jane heeled saddle shoes which make me happy. You could even go to their event on the Saturday night by St Paul’s cathedral to pick them up in person. Highly recommended and almost as fun as rollerskating!xx

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  32. I hate you for showing these.Because I have white farbic with blue polka dots and blue fabric with white polka dots I’m making summer dresses from and these would match them both.Just because the only way you can order from them if you live in Sweden is by sending an envelope with dollar bills and I don’t do that. And I can’t find them anywhere else.

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  33. For those who are fond of trad summer fabrics– here’s a link to another great pair of (more casual surely) shoes! your choice Erin.

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