Dutch Donderdag – Dutch Shoe Formula

Well I haven’t been out & about much these last two weeks. Last week I managed to put my leg into spasm & I spent my days hobbling around like a little old lady. This week I have been sampling the delights of Dutch flu… kindly provided by my boyfriend. Anyway today’s blog entry is related to my leg spasm…

I have a lot of shoes. I have been referred to many a time as Imelda Marcos although, to be fair, my shoe collection comes nowhere near hers. I also have a penchant for heels… the more brightly coloured the better. However, with it’s pretty cobbled streets, heels are not the best footwear for Amsterdam. So my task recently was to try & find a nice pair of coloured wedges, a shoe with all of the hight but none of the danger of getting stuck in a crack & twisting my ankle. Now hear-in lies the problem… colour. Dutch shoes seem to come in two colours, black or tan. Look in any high-street shoe-shop & you will see rows & rows of mainly tan shoes, with a smattering of black (don’t even get me started on the prevalence of cowboy boots, yuck!). I’m surprised I wasn’t handed a pair of tan, low-heeled cowboy boots when I registered my residency…. “welcome to Holland… here’s your mandatory footwear”. If you want coloured shoes then that’s fine, as long as you can walk in stilettos… which is nigh on impossible on Amsterdam’s pavements.

An example of “compulsory” Dutch footwear

The next problem is price. Shoes are so darn expensive in this country. I come from the land of New Look, Matalan & Shoe Express. A place where you can get a decent & pretty pair of shoes for about £15 – £20. Here in the Netherlands these dull shoes will set you back at least €45 (about £40)… that’s UK high-end high-street price like Office or River Island.

So with this in mind I tackled the shoe-shops of Amsterdam. To cut a long search story short it took 2 days of looking, interspersed with a blizzard, before I finally found a decent pair is Sacha that ticked all the boxes; coloured, wedge, a sole with grip (most wedges in this country have zero grip which is not good on slippery cobbles) & non-cowboy boot shaped. They still cost close to €50 but hey, I can’t complain too much.

Dutch shoe formula finally completed… wedge heel + non-slip sole – black colouring – brown colouring =

This brings me to my gippy leg. I wore my lovely new boots out the other week. The trouble is, in heels, I am a toe-walker. I walk on the balls of my feet instead of walking heel to toe which, unsurprisingly, makes the balls of my feet hurt. So I tried to compensate for this & walk “properly”. Unfortunately the muscles in my leg weren’t used to this movement & cramped up, so by the time I got home I had shooting pain through my leg & spine & spent the next few days barely able to walk.

Well, as they say, “no pain no gain” & I gained a pair of pretty boots to stand out from the crowd. Even if it means I can’t stand for the rest of the week.


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