A Proper Pair of Shoes

Am I the only one who gets stressed out by their handknit socks?

Maybe? Yes? Maybe it is a just a manifestation of the fact that I sometimes get stressed about not being stressed, but my socks can be quite involved. Have I knit enough. Have I knit too many. Are they diverse in color. Do they all pool the same way. Are they too stripey. And the number one concern? Can I wear them with these shoes?

I know there are knitters out there who only wear their handknit socks at certain times. They have specific shoes that are handknit friendly and they knit their socks accordingly. I am not one of those knitters. I wear handknit socks almost every day, no matter the weather or the temperature. My work dress code requires close-toed shoes, and the fact I'm on my feet requires that they have good support. This means that unless I'm wearing flats, I probably knit the socks on my feet.

A few months ago my regular work shoes finally started to give out and I started the hunt for a new pair. My old pair was very bright and colorful (the upper was made of recycled rice bags) and sometimes the color conflicted with the craziness of my socks. So this time around I decided to look for a pair that was more sedate. I also wanted to make sure that the top of the heel was soft, as that is where my socks start to wear out first. And I wanted some that look like actual shoes just in case I end up working somewhere that crazy colors is not considered the norm. I was planning on getting good shoes and they needed to last me a few years. Oh, and let's not forget that handknit socks are thicker than regular socks, so I needed to account for some extra room.

If you wear your socks regularly, this criteria probably seems logical. But if you are not a sock person this might seem to be a little over-thought. And it is. But I had worn my previous pair of shoes to work almost every day for the past two and a half years, so I had a lot of time to think about this. While I was home the day finally came and we made the trek to the discount shoe store to make my selection (What? You guys should not be at all surprised that I shop cheap). The result?

Keen Barika Lace in Chocolate Chip. Yes, this is my third pair of Keens, but I wear them until they are full of holes, and then it is only because the manufacturer won't resole their shoes that I need a new pair. These are the most practical shoes I have bought in years, but they still have some charm in the leaf detail. And they fit all of my criteria -- comfortable, cushioned back, and sensible when necessary.

Most importantly? They look great with handknit socks.

What about you? Are you a sock wearer? If so I'd love to hear your thoughts on sock friendly shoes in the comments!