Yes, Cute, Comfy High Heels are Possible!!!

Hmmm…..many of us have given up on high heels in the pursuit of cute, comfy shoes. But,  alas, there is actually a very high heel that is comfy, the Oh! Tori. The mission of Oh! shoes is “to save women’s feet.” Yes, that is the exact wording of their mission statement on their website. http://www.Ohshoes.com.  It’s hard not to like a company that has that as their mission statement. And oh, they also call their shoes: “healthy sexy shoes.” Also, hard not to like that selling point either.

Now, saving women’s feet with sexy healthy shoes is not cheap. Their shoes are expensive, but the bargain shopper can find these jewels of saving women’s feet at a savings. Try 6pm.com, ebay, or amazon.com  where I have picked up these for MUCH less than other online stores.  I have purchased the purple pair for $50. on ebay and bought a second back-up pair (I do this sometimes when I love a pair of shoes) for $60. on 6pm. com. Hint: on 6pm.com the prices change on various days…I have seen this purple pair anywhere from $60.-$159.

Oh! Tori purple suede. Love the rich true purple color

Oh! Tori purple suede. Love the rich true purple color

oh tori reptile

Black Reptile Oh’ Tori with red soles and heel tip

The Oh! Tori also comes in black reptile, a greenish strange color suede (not my fav), and a gorgeous cheetah print that has not come down much in price. I AM getting the cheetah ones someday when the price gets more reasonable.

Oh! Tori Cheetah. Aren't they gorgeous!

Oh! Tori Cheetah. Aren’t they gorgeous!

I have the Oh! Tori in black suede and a really pretty purple suede. I often wear the purple suede with a solid black pants suit and inevitably someone will ask me about these very high dramatic beauties.  For the clergy types, the purple is perfect for Advent and Lent.

Yes, these heels are very high….about 4 inches, but they have a very deep platform that offsets the height of the heel. The toe of the shoes is also square, so the tootsies have lots of room to rove. Also, an added caveat is that the black suede and black reptile have red soles and a red tip on the heel, sort of like getting to wear Christian Louboutin’s without the pain to the soles or to the savings account.

It is so surprising that such a high heel could actually be so comfortable. Now, could I wear these for 8 hours and then go out dancing all night? No…but at least I could go dancing OR work for about 4-6 hours in them, but probably not both. 

If you need/want/must have a high heel and can’t stand the thought of painful piggies, try the Oh! Tori to save your soles. 

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Cute Comfy Booties: Sam Edelman Petty

Today, out of the clear blue someone asked me when I was going to post a new blog about cute comfy shoes. So, I considered it a message from the shoe heavens and I am obeying the call.

This seems to be the year of the bootie…you know, those shoes we used to call ankle boots. I have found some really cute comfy booties, one of which is Sam Edelman Petty. It comes in suede and leather and in a variety of colors. I love this bootie so much that several pairs enhance my closet and my feet with British Burgundy, Evergreen, Black, Taupe, and Cheetah (oh my, so cute!).

A nice rich burgundy color

A nice rich burgundy color

Oh so cute!

Oh so cute!

This boot is not considered in the comfy class, but it is. It has a sassy oval pointed toe with a western  two inch heel and a zipper that makes it easy to get off and on. It looks stylish with pants, jeans, and the young things wear them with dresses and short skirts (not so much for me). I wear them often and my feet never hurt or get tired. You could add a cushy insole or orthotic if you wish.

They have become my “go-to” boots. The bootie is fairly reasonably priced. I shop online and have purchased these beauties on ebay, 6pm, and Piperlime. I even scooped up a pair for less than $50.00 at a local store that sells overruns or close outs on stores. If you bargain hunt online with coupons and promotional codes, they can be found from $50.-$112. Alot of look for the money.

I wear a 9 or 9.5 medium and can’t stand to have my toes squished. I have purchased these booties in both sizes and they seem similar in length. These have never hurt my toes on the top or the sides. They are plenty wide in the toe area.

So, go ahead, get a pair of Sam Edelman Petty booties and see if they save your soles!

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Naot Kayla Sandals: Making the summer almost bearable!

My love affair with Naot Kayla sandals began several years ago, when I was more than blessed to go with the Coalition for Mutual Respect to Israel. What an amazing and meaningful trip to that holy place with Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian clergy and lay leaders.

While we were on a bus tour out in the Israeli countryside for the day, we stopped at  Kibbutz  Neot Mordechai in the area of Galilee. The tour guide began telling us to go inside and see the shoes being made at this kibbutz. I thought, oh my, now we are stuck as a captive audience on a bus with the tour guide making some extra shekels to line his pockets. Because I was tired of riding in the bus, I got out and hesitantly went into the large rather drab looking non-descript building, figuring that at least I could use a clean restroom and perhaps get a cold soft drink.

Naot Building, Israel

Wow, was I surprised.  The place was filled with hundreds, maybe thousands of pairs of shoes with an equal number of young people scooping up these shoes. I discovered that the name of this shoe company is Naot and they are made at this kibbutz. Well it was love at first wear. I bought a pair of navy blue Naot Kayla sandals for $35. with their signature suede lined cork insole and rubber sole. I wondered at the time if I was getting “taken,” but found out later I got a real bargain! Since that time, I have purchased numerous other sandals, boots, and shoes from Naot…but Kayla is my favorite.

They come in a variety of colors that are changed yearly. I have several pairs of Naot Kayla’s and I literally have walked miles in them. The Italian leather straps are so soft and the suede lined cork insole molds and conforms to your feet very quickly. It almost feels like velvet on the soles of your feet.

The only color that I have found not very soft was the cherry patent, a really pretty color of red, but not worn often as the stiff strap rubs my toes.  Last year Naot for some unknown reason made a copy of their own Kayla in a non-leather version, probably vinyl and they call it Naot Sharon. I don’t recommend them. They are alittle less expensive, but part of the charm of the Naot Kayla are the soft leather straps.

Naot Kayla Black Patent

Naot Kayla runs short, so instead of my usual size 40 European (9-9.5 US), I always purchase a 41. These are not inexpensive, but so worth it. The retail price is $135. Yes, you are right, it is alot of American hard earned dollars, but our feet are worth it. They do lots of hard work.  I never have paid full price for a pair of Naot Kayla. Google Naot Kayla and you are likely to get numerous online stores listed. When I first discovered Naot shoes, I had a difficult time locating them, but they are so popular now, they are in many online shoe stores.

Always remember to sign up with the online shoes stores by email for current sales. Often they will send you notices of sales and/or discounts. Also, always type in the name of the online store into Google and see if you can find some discount coupons or promotion codes. If you are part of some sort of airline point system like AAdvantage Shopping e-mall, check there before you purchase to see if your store also gives extra points.  At the end of the season, I have purchased them on 6pm. com reasonably. Also, sometimes I can find them on ebay for a good discount. Shop and compare prices online.

Naot Kayla sandals last several seasons and can take your tender toes through many miles of walking. Thank you trip to Israel for introducing me to these cute comfy sandals. Ahhhhhh!!! They almost make the summer bearable. Yes, sole salvation.

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Fly London Yala: More cute comfy shoes

I had just about decided to quit writing on cute comfy shoes as I wondered if being concerned about shoes seemed a bit or a lot too unspiritual. Gee, there are people who are starving, are homeless, and horribly abused…and I am worried about shoes?

But today, I had the joy of seeing an old friend of mine from seminary. Over the past couple of years she had two broken feet and she can only wear comfy shoes now. She had a pair of metallic Naot  Kayla sandals on and I said, “oh, I have those exact shoes!” She said, “I learned about them from your blog and bought some and they have been sole salvation to me” (or something to that effect!). [That post is  on the April 29, 2013 blog.]

So, I decided that maybe this could be a service to all us baby boomer women who are at the point that we still want cute shoes, but they must be comfy too. Cute and comfy is my mantra. Ok breath in “Cute” and breath out “comfy”…cute and comfy…cute and comfy…are you feeling the high yet?

My newest recommendation is my most favorite shoe in the world…Fly London Yala (used to be called YaYa, don’t know why the name change). They are a buttery soft leather shoe with a 2.5 inch rubber wedge, a peep toe, and an ankle strap that closes with velcro…no bending over and contorting your torso to try to buckle/unbuckle your ankle straps. Ok, you skinny pilates/triatholon/ yoga types would have no problem, but for the 90% of the rest of us curvaceous women, it is a struggle.

The ankle strap adds some style and sass. Every where I go, women stop me and ask me about the brand of my shoes. Yes, the strap is long enough for thicker ankles. I know firsthand. IMG_0001.JPG

If you look on Planetshoes. com or other places (listed below) that sell this shoe, the reviewers rave about Fly London Yala. If you like house shoes or slippers, you will love Fly London Yala.

The colors are great…silver, bronze, lead, black, red, yellow, khaki, off white, peacock, and pistachio among others with a whitish or black wedge. And yes, I have all those colors except yellow, off white, and khaki. I don’t wear yellow, it doesn’t look good with silver hair. (I know that it is on the other end of my body, but I don’t wear yellow in between my head and my toes).  Why wear off white shoes when you can wear pistachio or  peacock (I adore the peacock ones). And I have to stop somewhere from being obsessed with this shoe, so I  have not allowed myself to purchase the khaki, at least not yet. Mother Teresa should be proud of me.

Oh, by the way, they also come with a suede perforated top which I do not like…they remind me of my grandmother’s 1940ish shoes or maybe  even old-fashioned white nurses shoes. You might like them, just not for me. I have to admit that I have been tempted by the black suede perforated ones as they don’t look too WWII era, oh but that Mother Teresa tinge of guilt thing again. UPDATE ON PERFORATED STYLE AS OF 6-13-14: I bought a pair of the burgundy perforated suede ones…they are not good. They fit at least a half size smaller, are more narrow, and the ankle strap is shorter. I do NOT recommend purchase of the perforated style.

And sizing is pretty straight forward…I wear a 9/9.5 Medium and I always purchase a 40. The vamp can be a bit tight when you first put on these cushy cute shoes, but it stretches out very quickly.

Now, girls…the Fly London YaYa/Yala is NOT cheap. The going rate online is $150-175, hard-earned blood sweat and tears American dollars. Ouch. I know. But, I bargain shop online…and have not paid near that much for any of these pairs. And, anyway our feet are worth it, at least that is what I tell myself. I am worth it…I am worth it….

You can walk miles in these shoes and still be cute and fashionable. To purchase them, Google the Fly London brand name and you will find various shops online that sell these tempting beauties. Once you find the the online stores, sign up for their emails where you they will send you discounts/sales information and always, always, always Google the shop’s name for discount coupons, promo codes.

Now, I know for sure that at this point, Zappos, 6pm., and Shoebuy.com do NOT sell them. Try Planetshoes, onlineshoes, shoeparlor.com, hannigs.com, amazon.com, ebay  among others. And no, I do not get a kick back for putting their shop or brand name in my blog, but hey…that’s an idea. I could use some extra cash to buy those khaki ones…oh, no I can’t, Mother Teresa is looking over my shoulder and she is not smiling. But hey…maybe she would be if she had a pair of these cushy cuties.

Just remember…sole salvation…saving our soles. 

Image

Fly London Yala Pistachio and Peacock (my favorite). Attractive white tissue stuck in the shoes to keep the shape. And yes, I take it out before I wear them.

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Smurfs and Sons and Second Half of Life

Smurfs…those little elf-looking blue men with white caps and their blue wives named Smurfettes were invented in the late 1950′s, but they were born into American culture in 1981, the year that my first child was born. Those little blue people became an iconic symbol of the 1980′s and a thorn in my flesh.

I wanted to be a good Mom and I was told by my religious culture at the time that Smurfs were dangerous for children…they had a MAGIC flute,  they lived in a commune of mushrooms that “symbolized” getting high and they had a sorcerer/sage for their lead character. So, of course, as a good mother, I did not let my sons watch the Smurfs. To this day, I still often hear my guys tell their friends…”My Mom didn’t let me watch the Smurfs” and everyone looks pitifully at me like either I was a really right-wing Rush Limbaugh soccer Mom or like I was a controlling wacked out psycho Mom.

So, as I stand before the universe and before my sons…I was wrong.  I should have let you watch the Smurfs at home instead of having to sneak off to watch them at your preschool friends’ homes. You are the greatest guys in spite of your Mom’s quirky ways of parenting. 

The second half of life changes a person significantly. Most of us either become more mellow or more bitter. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan monk and the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM,  has a great recently published book, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life.  He says that in the first half of life, we are naturally and rightly preoccupied with establishing our identity-climbing, achieving, and performing. We eventually need to see ourselves in a different and more life-giving way. Rohr goes onto to say that the first half of life religion is almost always about various types of purity codes or “thou shalt nots” to keep us clear, clean, and together like good Boy and Girl Scouts. We are building a strong container in the first half of life to hold our deepest and fullest life.

One of my dear friends once said that she had changed her theological, cultural, and political views so radically over her life, that she was afraid to say anything in too dogmatic of language anymore and I know what she means. Life changes us. We start out with idealistic expectations of life, that one plus one always makes two, and discover through living, that things don’t always turn out like we expected…sometimes one plus one makes one or three or five. Sometimes life is  difficult and we discover that the answers to life are not always black and white, that there are some gray areas where answers don’t come easy. Sometimes life is way better than we ever dreamed and we rejoice in those blessings and we dance and sing and jump for joy at those good times. We come to realize that we need the good times and the times of bewilderment, wilderness, and suffering to make us into people with deep soul.

Sometimes we just need some blue people to come along and play their magic flute, embrace us in their commune of love, and speak their special language to us. It’s too bad that I did not know in the first half of life what I have learned from the ups and downs  of living. I am much more mellow and a free spirit in the second half of life…hopefully I won’t get “too out there” for my sons in their first half of life!

Oh and by the way, my beloved awesome sons…when you are home next…let’s download all the episodes of The Smurfs and sit down with some grown up drinks and watch them together…yes…we have come a long way baby!

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Putting the Fun Back into Fundamentalism

Well, it’s a slow week in the news and a jovial preacher has made the national headlines and has become a youtube sensation.

On July  23, 2011,  Rev. Joe Nelms of Family Baptist Church in Lebanon, Tennessee brought the opening prayer at the NASCAR Speedway in Nashville. He thanked God for Goodyear Tires, Ford, Toyota, Dodge and a host of other car racing products, then straight from one of my all time favorite movie scenes…in which not so brilliant race car driver Talladega Nights’ Ricky Bobby (AKA Will Ferrell)  offers a very sincere child-like prayer of grace over a meal with his family that invokes “Dear Tiny Little Baby Jesus” and thanks him for his smokin’ hot wife.

In like turn, Rev. Nelms in his now famous or infamous NASCAR prayer, also thanks Jesus  for his smokin’ hot wife Lisa. The rowdy, religious-for-a-moment,  race car crowd spontaneously roars  in laughter and cheers. He then concludes his prayer with boogity, boogity, boogity, Amen.

Now, I realize as a Mainline progressive pastor, that I probably should not have enjoyed that prayer…but I did. I have played it over and over on youtube and burst out laughing each time. He actually put the fun back in fundamentalism…and I can assure you that is not an easy feat.

The Gospels teach that Jesus as a roving Rabbi/Redeemer was always shocking the self-righteous by partying with the outcasts, telling jokes, breaking humanity’s interpretation of the 10 commandments, and turning the  uptight on end.

Is that the type of prayer that would be appropriate in a church worship service, NO…but in a NASCAR setting, heck, why not…because in reality, why in the world would we have an invocation there anyway? Sort of like Rome’s favorite temple priest at the packed-out Coliseum invoking a prayer to Venus and Jupiter before a record-breaking chariot race.

I struggle with some fundamentalist  pastors who don’t seem to have a sense of humor and constantly remind the congregants each week or so of “family values” and the corresponding “greatest commandment” from Ephesians 5:21-23 to keep the little missus’ home with a submissive ‘tude. But something about the Rev. seems a bit endearing…now if I hear that Big Joe’s  mistreating his smokin’ hot wife at home, he will definitely be dealing with little baby Jesus and perhaps a few other feisty, egalitarian types like me soon.

I’m a little uncomfortable with his prayers that pay with carefully placed endorsements, but for now…I join Ricky Bobby and Rev. Joe Nelms in thanking little tiny baby Jesus (I don’t know what size or age the Christ of the cosmos comes in, if you find out, please drop me a line) for a fun and joyful ride,  kind  and patient spouse, and  Naot shoes. Amen.

A much better, cleaned up version of Ricky Bobby’s prayer of grace at dinner: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVJSEEOybIw

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