My Sole Inspiration

Look at me– one solitary evening spent in strappy metallic high heels and now I have a burgeoning shoe addiction. I’m such a pushover! (Literally. My balance on heels is not so great.)

Just kidding. I don’t have a compulsive need to shop for shoes just yet, though one brand of shoes does make me swell with admiration and secretly yearn to be one of those women who can glide effortlessly through their fabulous lives wearing fabulous heels:


Marty's beloved Derby Swirls-- a classic Fluevog style

I don’t know when, exactly, I got it in my head that Fluevogs were the classiest, coolest, cramp-worthiest shoes in the galaxy, but it goes back to my days in Calgary and my time spent wistfully window shopping along 17th Avenue. There was one shoe store there, in particular– Gravity Pope— that attracted hipsters like vinegar attracts fruit flies, and the thought of being stylish and wealthy enough to breeze into the store and actually buy something one day hypnotized me. As it stood, I was either a poor high school student or a poor early university student at the time, and the best I could manage was to walk into the store with a semblance of confidence and/or richness, fondle a number of Fluevog display shoes, and be on my merry way. I don’t recall ever being brave enough to even try on a pair of shoes in Gravity Pope. I knew, deep down in my heart, that they were way out of my reach, price-wise, and I couldn’t muster up enough gall to waste the employees’ time by trying on things that both they– and I– knew I couldn’t afford.

And there is my sad story about not being able to spend $300 on a pair of shoes while scholarships paid my way through my privileged university existence. Ahem.

Anyway… Fluevogs came back into my sphere of existence when I was volunteering at a local sexual health organization. We each put in four-hour shifts at the front desk as volunteers, answering phones and speaking to clients about all sorts of sexual-health-related things. (For the record: that was the best volunteering position EVER.) My shift was in the afternoon, and the volunteer I would trade off with owned the most fabulous pair of shoes I had ever seen. Naturally, they were Fluevogs.

Her shoes were slip on flats, androgynous in style– a swirling mixture of navy blue and kelly green leather panels. The toes were round and bulbous. The stitching was done just so. I loved those shoes. She spoke of having to buy greenish shoe polish for when she scuffed up the toe on one shoe, and I nodded in admiration (like I had ever owned a pair of shoes that required polishing period, let alone with a kelly green polish). She wore these shoes so nonchalantly, without fail on Monday mornings during her volunteering stint, and to me they sparkled like emeralds on her feet. It was probably then that I developed the most hushed reverence for Fluevogs. One day, they would be mine.

You know– that was ten years ago. And even though my first, unfiltered thought when I landed my first salaried position was, “Now I can buy Fluevogs and finally be cool!”, the reality of my paltry, non-profit paycheque quickly sunk in and the Fluevogs were not to be. Sadly, a whole decade of my life passed, and not once in those ten years did I feel I could be totally decadent and treat myself to a pair of Fluevogs. (Cue single tear.) 🙂

Now that we live on the West Coast, we’ve spent some time at one of the actual, dedicated Fluevog stores in Vancouver. Last year, Marty confidently purchased his first pair of Fluevogs (the aforementioned Derby Swirls) without much fuss, but I still couldn’t muster up enough courage to do anything more than caress a few sample shoes. (Once again, for reasons that escape me, I couldn’t even bring myself to try anything on. It’s ridiculous! Truly.) I just found myself staring breathlessly and longingly up the stairs into the Fluevog Design Studio:

John Fluevog Design Studio, in the Gastown location. There is one of those velvet ropes at the bottom of the staircase, politely letting people like me know that visitors are not allowed upstairs, lest they pollute the creative space with their gross displays of adoration.

The Design Studio is huge, open, gleaming with light, and oh, so off-access. But so inspiring! Seeing the place where Mr. Fluevog actually designs his masterpieces made me even more enamoured with the brand. Not enamoured enough to try anything on or commit financially, mind you, but enamoured enough to build up The Idea of Fluevogs in my mind. Maybe once, they were just simple ‘Fluevogs’ to me– meh– but now, they were definitely !!!! F-L-U-E-V-O-G-S !!!!, with all the accompanying loops and swirls and fanfare.

Marty's second pair of Fluevogs, the cherished Earl of Warwick "Wessex" boots. Image captured on the fly while he was trying them on in the store.

So you’re all probably thinking ‘get to the point,’ right? 🙂 OK.

On our last trip to the Big City, Marty convinced me to try on a pair of Fluevog shoes while we were hanging out in Gastown, and of course as soon as the shoes were on my feet, it was like they had been permanently welded on (in the most comfortable and satiny/buttery/luxurious sense of the term). Of course I had to take them home with me.

And that is how I ended up buying another pair of heels! ME!!!

These are MINE!!!

Not just any heels, though, no no no. FLUEVOG HEELS!!

These heels seem like they were designed with people like me in mind. 1) They fit a little wider and have a wide elastic strap across the front to hold your foot in place comfortably. No pinching, no strappy straps digging into your feet. Just a velvety foot embrace from buttery leather. 2) Avocado green and brown?! HELLO! (They also come in lilac and bright orange, or classic black and cream colours.) 3) They have rubber soles, not just on the ball part, but on the heel part, too! Seeing as I am an awkward, walking disaster in heels, I think these rubber soles will come in ultra handy, no?

Check out these soles! Fully replaceable rubber, too! The slight scuffing on them is because I strutted-- literally WORKED IT-- around the entire store and showed the shoes off to all of the staff members and customers for about ten minutes before I agreed to take them off and put them in a soft cotton bag to come home with me.

I know it’s shallow and materialistic of me to say this, but these new shoes make me so happy. I HAVE FLUEVOGS!!! These shoes have a special, inaugural event planned for them (which I’ll tell you about early next week), but after that, I imagine that they will be my ‘lounging casually in a chic coffee shop with Marty, looking hot and watching the days go by’ shoes. I secretly hope that these shoes will be envied by all of the passersby, but I will wear them nonchalantly, pretending that they aren’t THE GREATEST SHOES I’VE EVER OWNED. I’ve only waited, what– ten years to do this? I deserve it! 🙂

5 responses

  1. At least equally shallow confession: I am completely jealous. I have waffled between wanting Fluevog heels and Fluevog boots since moving here. That said, I suspect I could not pull them off nearly as well as you will. 🙂

  2. Ooohhhhh……Fluevog’s. I too have wanted a pair for years but haven’t given in yet. The are so ‘Sassy’ (did you read that magazine?) to me. Those black boots of Marty’s scream SASSY.
    One day, one day…..

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