Growing up, I wore pretty much exclusively cheap shoes. And okay, cheap clothes, too. I went with the theory that spending less meant having more – more clothes to choose from, more shoes, more handbags. It seemed like simple math.
It wasn’t until I was a grown, married woman that I started to consider the idea of quality over quantity. It happened with shoes first. After hearing the words “my feet hurt” one time too many, my husband informed me bluntly that it was because I wore cheap shoes with no arches. He assured me that if I got myself a good pair of shoes that my feet would feel a lot better – and probably my back, too. He started me out with a ridiculously heavy pair of keen hiking shoes that I hated because they were (in my opinion) ugly but loved because my feet had never felt so good. I begrudgingly chose them over my other shoes each morning because apparently comfort was winning over style. Suddenly the girl who “never wore sneakers” because they were ugly, was wearing them on a daily basis.
Eventually that old pair of Keen shoes began to give out and I started looking into a replacement. I was determined to find a pair of shoes that were as comfortable as my Keens but cuter, please! It took a bit of trial and error to find a shoe that fit within the constraints of aesthetically pleasing, comfortable good quality and also, price. I was willing to spend more, but only so much more. After conquering the world of sneakers (with an insanely comfy pair of Sketchers if you’ll believe it) , I moved onto dressier clogs, winter boots – I discovered brands like Dansko, Aerosoles, Clarks, Naturalizer, etc. – and eventually sandals.
Sandals gave me a bit of trouble. Some were so outrageously expensive that I just couldn’t stomach it, particularly after having just spent so much on my other shoes. But in the summer months and often spring and fall, too, I tend to live in a good pair of sandals so I was determined to find something that would work. I tried a pair from Lands End for not too much money, assuming that Lands End must equal good quality. They were cute and fairly comfortable but to my dismay they completely wore out after one summer. Unacceptable when the Birkenstock folk can wear their sandals for years and years.
This year I was feeling stingy and still a bit burnt after my Lands End sandals experience – I hadn’t decided whether I wanted to replace them or look into repairing them and how much would I let myself spend, when one day I was walking through my local Walmart and spotted these. Why I was even in the shoe department of a Walmart, I honestly cannot tell you. I have never had luck buying shoes there, but I spotted these sandals by Earth Spirit and several other pairs by them as well. Walmart carries several styles of Earth Spirit shoes and each cost between $20-25. Seriously. I was skeptical and assumed they were cheap and / or not as comfortable as they looked but I hesitantly tried a pair on and… oh. Not bad. I showed this pair to my husband saying something like, “Look, cute – cheap – comfortable – arches?” and he looked them over and agreed – they looked like great sandals. And for the price he agreed I should give them a shot. If they don’t work out, I can always buy something else later.
Well guys, it’s been a few months now and I can now say with confidence that I adore my Earth Spirit sandals! They were comfortable out the door for basic daily walking and after living in them for awhile I can now do fairly long walks in them, too with little complaint. My sneakers are wondering why I almost never put them on any more and the answer is Earth Spirit. Ridiculously comfortable, so cute (seriously, these might be cuter than my Lands End pair) and SO affordable. I am sold.
Have you tried Earth Spirit sandals? What did you think of them? What’s your favorite shoe brand?