Destination Vacation Shoe

The windows of my favorite shoe store are stocked with fringed boots, trail running shoes, embellished pumps and sturdy Mary Janes. Though I’m a fan of all of the above, lately they just annoy me. I know it’s January but I’m shopping for sandals — not that there are any sandals to be found.

Kiki by MissMe, available at Amazon

Kiki by MissMe, available at Amazon

I’m not crazy. I’m planning a vacation to Mexico in a few short weeks. In Mexico, it will be 85 degrees and sunny, my pasty legs will have to quickly adjust to shorts (all I have to say about that is, thank God for Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer — the one that promises to reduce the appearance of cellulite) and my toes will bare all in new sandals.

The sandals I have my heart set on are strappy flat Gladiators, the very model that has topped must-have lists for the past several seasons. Finding them in the chill of late January is a whole different story, however. My local stores aren’t stocking their shelves with summery styles yet, and though the chain retailers do carry a small selection of sandals, they smack of last year’s cast-offs. Not exactly the tone I want for my heard-earned vacation.


Sam Edelman's Ginnie, at Piperlime

So, my lunch breaks have become online-shopping excursions, scoping out the best offerings at not just the usual suspects (Zappos and Piperlime) but also on sites I don’t normally turn to for footwear (Amazon). At this point, in all honesty, I’d buy sandals from an auto parts store if I could find a good deal, low shipping cost and a guarantee that they’d
A) fit and
B) not rub my toes raw while I’m exploring Chichen Itza.

I have learned a few things in my research. First, Customer reviews help, especially in lieu of actually being able to try a pair of sandals on. If a pair of sandals doesn’t have a review on one site, I search for a review on others. The cute two-toned Key Largo style by Palladium? One reviewer complained the shoes were more than a whole size too large. Bullet dodged.


Warwicks by Minnetonka, as seen on Zappos

Secondly, online images don’t distinguish between manmade materials and real leather. While I’m a fool for a citrus-hued style by Classified (available on Ebay), the synthetic patent straps are a red flag. Had I not scoured the description, I probably would have pounced first, nursed blisters later.

Finally, I’ve learned that new styles do appear daily. There are shoe designers out there who release styles for winter cruisers, spring breakers, and the rest of us who are taking advantage of off-season price breaks in vacation destinations. Obsessive checking of Zappos has turned up recent releases by Diba and Sergio Rossi.


Steve Madden's Trinnity, from Gotham City

Meanwhile, discontinued styles in never-worn condition can be found at Gotham City — my new favorite shoe seller. The web retailer specializes in showroom floor models. Sure, they might have a scuffmark here or there, but these are designer specimens at outlet prices. I have my eye on a pair of black Steve Madden Trinnity sandals that I can imagine not just in my vacation suitcase, but also as regulars in my spring wardrobe.


1 Response to “Destination Vacation Shoe”

  1. 1 santana61
    February 15, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Do any of the Santana Shoes work for this kind of casual trip? Seems like some of his should go well in Mexico! 🙂

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