I have always jokingly observed that I have a foot fetish. Perhaps it is true though it’s not something about which I have consulted a professional. I confess I rather like feet all other things being equal. By that I mean I obviously only applaud the well-maintained and naturally crafted feet. There are for example some dreadful renditions of feet caused by arthritis and neglect. Those poor feet are not what I’m talking about at all, not at all!
Without lingering on the subject to the point of obsession, I might be permitted to observe that ears and hands fall into the same general category for me as feet. The ear-thing is perhaps a little strange and less easy to explain; it’s somehow associated with hair (the ears and hair so often complement one another in my view). I could spew some rubbish about being a piano player (I hate the word “pianist”) and how that has inspired me to notice hands over the years, but it is nothing of the sort. I just like hands the same way I like feet. Nice hands, nice feet.
Anyway…the extension of this moderate perversion is that I am also terribly fond of footwear, shoes and half-Wellingtons in particular, and of course mostly in leather (though sometimes canvass but not generally rubber). In my present circumstances I have no occasion on which to wear anything other than extremely comfortable footwear, basically leisure footwear. For almost the entire year I am in a warm or hot climate which of course doesn’t lend itself to heavier shoes and certainly not boots. The last pair of boots I bought for Autumn was a pair of Blundstone (Tasmania Australia 1870):
These boots are exceedingly popular with the horsey set because they can go from the barn to the stirrup and everything in between and they are besides terribly comfortable. My pair is in the closet at home in Canada where they will likely stay forever. They are too much leather for what I do these days. My shoe of choice is now the deck shoe. The primary reason is that they are comfortable (read: sloppy). They can be put on and taken off with a minimum of trouble. They can be worn with short pants (of course) but also long pants; and with or without socks. The industry leader is Sperry but SAS (San Antonio Shoemaker) is making in-roads in particular because they carry W (wide) and WW (double-wide) sizes not just the standard M (medium):
The brand is manufactured in the USA and has some higher-quality fittings and finishing than others of a similar style.
If I were to wear something dressier it would unquestionably be the Brogue and preferably the loafer:
The loafer has the advantage of admitting to more casual wear as well. Interestingly the look was blended with the half-Wellington by Doc Martens:
I once had a pair of those but they were more commendable for their fashion than their comfort (even though people used to swear by them).
About forty years ago when I was just discovering the delight of making (and spending) money, I had two pairs of boots made for me. At the same time I was having my suits and dress shirts made for me. They all have one thing in common – more trouble than it’s worth. The only exception to tailor-made stuff would be the pair of Highland evening wear trousers I commissioned to complement my Bonnie Prince Charlie jacket and waistcoat.
When it comes to paraphernalia there is nothing quite like Scottish regalia. There is in addition to the clothing the Sgian-Dubh, sterling silver neck cup, sporran, kilt pin, flask and sock flags. The mandatory shoes for Highland evening wear are a variation on the Ghillie Brogue:
I get breathless recalling this stuff! It is no wonder I have opted over the years to abandon the complications of footwear.