Summer shoes for well under $100

July 11th, 2008

I just came back from the health club where I was running on the treadmill (it’s a sickness) and watching “The View” (it’s another kind of sickness). They had this perky spokesmodel with a $500 haircut in an $800 dress hawking SUMMER SHOES FOR UNDER $100!

Really. Not even considering the fact that the best summer footwear is, well, your feet, I’m horrified, and then I wonder, Am I the only spoilsport who thinks this segment is unbelievably inane and insenstive in this day and age? SHOES FOR UNDER $100 is a newsmaker? In the SUMMER, no less?

And I immediately inventoried my own summer footwear finds, which were not only acquired for well under $100 but remain in every way utterly worthless, which for me evokes the true essence of summer.

Take these, for instance, which I picked up for $3 four years ago. I wear them every morning when I make the rounds in the yard to pick up dog poop:

Which always reminds me not to wear these while picking up dog poop.

Or these pink poolside classics, $5 at Wal-Mart three years ago:

Did you notice they are pink? They’re bloody screaming pink! Maybe that’s why even Wal-Mart had them on sale, you silly!

And these are my good running shoes. They aren’t my really good running shoes because those boats cost over $100, good grief, and I pound through them like putty:

No, these running shoes are old, worn out, dirty and so heavy that when you step on that unreliable bathroom scale you can automatically take, oh, 29 pounds off your weight.

In my view, that’s a steal.


  1. Karen,
    Delightful post! I am sooo with you on this. And I love the picture of your poop-picking-up shoes right next to…could it be? a pile of poop?
    Love it!

    Comment by Phyllis Mathis — July 11, 2008 @ 4:40 pm

  2. Yes on the poop-pick-up shoes. I learned the hard way. I still wear my high stop Converse from my Sophomore year of high school. I’m 38 years old. Enough said.

    Comment by Kristin H. — July 11, 2008 @ 5:22 pm

  3. My favorite pair of shoes is a pair of flip flops (the bamboo sort) that I picked up for $3. I wore them on the beach in Hawaii, and the salt water softened them or something. They are worn out, perfect, and I wouldn’t even consider selling them for $100.

    Comment by Mama Zen — July 11, 2008 @ 5:25 pm

  4. i love many of my shoes, and I do mean love, in a crazy sort of way.
    of course, what I wear most summer is a pair of old navy flip flops which cost less than three bucks.
    nice pics. 🙂

    Comment by bella — July 11, 2008 @ 5:33 pm

  5. Okay, I’ll admit it: shoes are the one thing I don’t mind splurging on, but not because I buy the fancy-dancy ones you’d see on The View. Instead, I walk so much, I figure I definitely get my money’s worth out of any comfortable, well-supported pair of walking shoes/sandals I buy. I think of a good pair of walking shoes as being like my “other car,” so I want a pair that will give me many miles of reliable comfort.

    During the summer, I alternate between my Keen Newport H2s (which cost about $90 when I bought them three or four years ago), a pair of Rockport sandals I picked up on sale for about $30, and a pair of flip-flops I got at Target for $1. The flip-flops are my house slippers, the Rockports are my “dressy” summer sandals, and the Newports are the footwear equivalent of a mud-spattered Jeep: what I wear to stomp through mud & go “off roading.” 🙂

    Given the mileage I’ve gotten out of my Newports, they’ve more than paid for themselves. And like my car, I plan to “drive” them until they literally fall apart.

    Comment by Lorianne — July 11, 2008 @ 6:16 pm

  6. Great post! Made me smile and nod in agreement.

    I’m sitting here in my $5 clearance sneakers from Target. And will soon be searching through my closet to find my 20 year old shoes to match a new (to me) hand-me-down dress that I plan to take with me to BlogHer next week :-0

    Comment by lisa — July 11, 2008 @ 7:41 pm

  7. I caught that segment of The View while I was loading the dishwasher. It wasn’t the price tag that shocked me as much as the height of some of those heels! How do they walk in heels like that? And your poop picture is great! My oldest daughter was very impressed when I took her to the city to an exhibit I was a part of. I said, “Do you think all I do all day is pick up dog poop?” It has become a family joke.

    Comment by Kathleen Botsford — July 11, 2008 @ 8:36 pm

  8. Thanks for the much needed laugh. Hey is that really dog poop in the photo?

    Comment by Wendy — July 11, 2008 @ 9:21 pm

  9. Friends, do you really think that I would spare you the poop? What kind of zen would that be??

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — July 11, 2008 @ 9:30 pm

  10. Great post! Loved the dog poop shot, the “offending item in situ”.Speaking of shoes, I must take my camera and do a post on some of the crazy vintage shoes in the charity/bric-a-brac shops.You’ve started me on a quest.Some of them are 70’s madness,vinyl attrocoties, or fake leopard wonderments, with a chunky heel that must have weighed heavy on the way to the Elton John concert.Guess you not going to see the Sex and the City film to be rivetted by what surrounds the sole of their feet? Me either.

    Comment by Pam — July 11, 2008 @ 10:40 pm

  11. as much as i love the looks of beautiful shoes, my closet looks like everyone else’s. flip flops, falling apart shoes that are just comfortable. I admired the footwear and fashions in SATC and love to try on every pair of my sister’s shoes when i’m at her house. but always go home again in my old navy flip flops or my 4 year old lands end shoes that are so well aged that you can see the awkward roll to my stride in the wear on the sole.
    but regarding your comment on “this day and age”…isn’t that part of the problem? as much as people are burdened by their finances, few really stop the downward spiral. it takes a great deal of conviction and sacrifice to say enough or no or that’s too expensive or i don’t really need that.

    Comment by Sarah — July 12, 2008 @ 12:13 am

  12. right on Target with this post…

    shoes for less than $100…hmm, considering today’s economy, perhaps they should’ve found a segment, shoes for under $20! nope, the view was certainly not in tune with the times with this….

    Comment by rebecca — July 12, 2008 @ 1:35 am

  13. Oh, shoes. I wear my shoes until they are beat up and worn out, holes in the bottom, little puppet mouths where the soles should attach, straps just snap.

    But shoes are the one thing I am willing to spend money on. I have waited tables for so many years, I know the value of a good pair of shoes. However, money does not make them good shoes. Good shoes fit right and are comfortable and make you feel good.

    I have gotten those kinds of shoes for over a hundred dollars (Born shoes rock) but I have also bought them for 3$ at a Salvation Army.

    If I could figure out a formula for which shoes were good and which weren’t, I would be so happy.

    Comment by Rowena — July 12, 2008 @ 3:40 am

  14. Definitely, subtract 29 lbs. 🙂

    Comment by Mary Ann — July 12, 2008 @ 3:58 am

  15. What is the saying? Just because you CAN afford something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

    I like good shoes. But I only have two feet. So I only need two shoes. 🙂

    Comment by denise — July 12, 2008 @ 5:35 am

  16. Since I’m over 6′ tall shoes for three dollars never come my way. But its not like I look at $100 shoes either. The guilt kicks in at 30. The horror at 40.

    Comment by mapelba — July 12, 2008 @ 5:48 pm

  17. Oh, but to run in your shoes!

    Comment by Jena Strong — July 12, 2008 @ 10:43 pm

  18. I’m with you on thinking the prices are ridiculous! You have lovely toes by the way.

    I like your blog and I’ve nominated you for an award on my blog.

    Comment by Allison — July 13, 2008 @ 4:54 am

  19. You pick up the poop every day? What a brilliant idea, then it’s not all over to be stepped in …

    I broke my favorite and only flip flops, but who needs them? They make the skin on my feet fall apart!

    Barefoot it is for me, where ever they’ll let me, until the snow falls again … and maybe even then.

    Comment by Mrs. B. Roth — July 14, 2008 @ 6:26 pm

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