I’m only just starting to get my head around espadrilles as “the shoe style” of the summer season. You see for me they’ve been around since the year dot – which I know means I’m totally showing my age. Only last year I binned two pairs – one because the sole had come away from the heel (have you not heard of glue. Idiot) and one because the buckle came off (again, Timpsons. Doh.) But I’m sure that someone had commented somewhere that they were a bit outdated and frumpy. I tell you though, put those Carvela snake print babies on my feet this summer and I would have been the height of cool.
What I really want to know is this. Why, given all of the many, many clothes and shoes that I could have got rid of, did I have to part with the only two pairs of shoes that I wish I hadn’t parted with? That is, I guess, what you call the law of sod.
For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you will know that I have now become the proud owner of a pair of gold shimmie espadrilles from Air & Grace (£99)
Now, before you balk at the price, just hear me out on this one. As most of you will know, I am very much a High Street girl. I’m not one for paying a lot for clothes or shoes just because they have a fancy label – it’s just not something I’ve ever subscribed to. If my clothes are slightly more high end (by this I mean Jigsaw, Whistles etc) then I wait for the sales or for a gift card to come my way from the hubby. I could no more pay £200 for a pair of jeans that I could go to McDonalds to eat (said slightly tongue in cheek – don’t judge me. It just never crosses my mind to go there.)
The only exception to this is if something is going to do an amazing job for me, such as keeping me exceptionally warm, or dry, or keeping me comfortable when running or walking a long way. Then I’m happy to pay a bit more. And that’s what appealed to me about the Air & Grace espadrilles, which are made with patent pending Tender Loving Air technology, which has three layers of memory foam cushioning hidden away in the sole.
Leopard Print Shimmie (£119)
I often look on amazed at women who wear high shoes – particularly those walking through town in their 60s, in heels. Amanda Holden was at QVC when I was there earlier in the week and she was positively whizzing round the Green Room in her very high nude stilettoes. Meanwhile I sat nerdily in the corner in my trainers. In fact the longest that I ever wear heels for is when I’m on TV or at a Style Event otherwise, silver Adidas Superstars it is. It’s not just that my foot is at an angle, or that the soles are rigid but also the pressure of stiff leather on the top of my feet can make them hurt. I also hate my pace and stride length being compromised to the point that I get irritated by “normal” shoes.
H&M espadrilles (£34.99) for those who don’t have the same shoe issues as me!
So anyway, that’s what finally prompted me to order the shoes and my words when I put them on, literally, were “Oh Lordy me!” They are so comfortable – soft and cushioned and maybe, at long last, I’ve found an alternative to trainers or flip flops. If you’re minded to try them, I suggest that you do. There’s free delivery on orders over £100 and free returns too.
The other option for espadrilles is Castaner a Spanish, family run company, who have been making espadrilles since 1927. They first found notoriety in the 1960s, having created an espadrille wedge for YSL and now that Pippa Middleton has been spotted in them, well, say no more! Off the scale they go (but in which direction?!)
Castaner in Tropical from Rubber Sole (£81.99)
Castaner Carina from Matches £80
Then again, I know that not everyone likes the idea of ties around their legs, although I have to say that unlike some shoes I have with ties, these don’t come undone. However, for those who would prefer a buckle, look no further than these…
…the Jigsaw Florrie heeled espadrille (£98).
So there you go – you can rock your inner Kate/Pippa Middleton in espadrilles or style them like the true fashionistas that you all are!