Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My Wife's Collection: Arturo Chang Kitten-Heeled Sandals

Being married, one would probably think I spend a considerable amount of time in my wife's closet, but the truth is there aren't many examples of trashed and abused shoes in there, hence the reason I feverishly search elsewhere.  It should be easy to believe my wife's shoes are very worn- she's not the kind of woman to mindlessly buy shoes as a hobby, so she makes do with what she has until she ends up needing to replace a pair or two.  But even that isn't the case because she's not very hard on her shoes.  Standing 5'4" and weighing about 115 pounds, she lacks the physical presence necessary to ruin shoes in a short amount of time.  She's been known to have shoes in her regular rotation that last for years and still look similar to the way they did when they first came out of the box.  When a pair finally gets worn down to the point where it's a little embarrassing (to her), she'll retire them to a garbage bag destined for the nearest donation bin.

This pair of size 7M Arturo Chang kitten-heeled sandals is an exception, and they're still in the closest partially because my wife has a slight inkling of my interest in trashed and abused shoes.  Back when we were dating, I remember her having a pair of sandals- nothing special, just braided leather straps and an unflattering block heel- that happened to develop a huge crack across the rubber outsole.  I told her that she should give the shoes to me under some goofy premise that they'd allow me to maintain a connection to her when we were apart and she fell for it.  That led to me accumulating a few more pairs of her shoes, although I'm sure she never had a hint of my level of fascination with them.  My wife always loved these sandals more that most, wearing them summer after summer, and when they reached a point that exceeded what she usually accepted of her shoes, was ready to give them up before I intervened.  She hasn't worn them in a while but I'm confident I've expressed enough love for them that she'll always think twice about getting rid of them, or at least think to let me know when they're about to go (at which point I would have to find a way to rescue them).

I have to say, I love these things, and I love the way they look on my wife's feet.  I wish she'd wear them all the time, especially because they seem to be very well-constructed and despite showing obvious signs of wear, don't seem to be on the verge of falling apart.  In fact, when on the feet, the shoes don't even look very trashed and abused.  It's only when you get a closer look do cracks start to appear in the facade.

I envy her being able to slide her feet into these.  Women probably don't think twice such things?  My wife must not walk on the sides of her feet because when left standing on their own, the sandals are perfectly upright.  No oddly-worn top pieces here.

The straps are leather and covered with a fuzzy material that's probably supposed to lend some authenticity to the leopard prints.  Even with a good camera, it was difficult to capture the way the straps are getting worn down.  The upper strap in the top part of the photo is your best chance to see what I'm talking about.  Yet even with that being the case, everything looks good from a distance.

The leather insoles are worn smooth but in generally good condition, and even has some softness to it.  In this light, it's possible to see the outlines of toe prints.  Any worn pair of sandals or flip flops worth anything has visible toe prints!

Despite my wife having worn these things during the hot summer months, the sweat from her feet didn't seem to have an effect on the glue keeping everything together.  Nothing is separating, including the black leather sole that's developed a nice sheen over the years.

The real damage becomes apparent when the shoes are flipped over.  The outsoles are real leather instead of the typical rubber or plastic and because of that, they tend to look more worn than they are because of discoloration.  Still, a closer look will reveal some obvious signs of wear.

My wife must apply a lot of weight to her big toes because it's obvious that the areas of the outsoles underneath where her big toes sit are extremely worn, as if they were in contact with the ground three times as much as the rest of her feet, or even dragged a bit as she walked.  The leather is completely worn away in some spots, exposing the material that makes up the bottoms of the insoles.

Looking at the shoes from the side, it's easy to see how thin the outsoles have been worn in those spots.  On the far edges, the black leather is the only thing separating the bottom of the toe from the ground below.  I've seen this kind of wear pattern on some of my wife's other shoes but never like this.

At least the top pieces are in good shape, despite being original.  Very rarely does my wife wear her top pieces down to nothing- most wear appears underneath the toes, and even then it's never enough to send a pair of shoes into retirement.  She's given up on pairs with a lot less wear than these, with only a few booties making it to the point where these sandals are at these days.  And when I find those bootoes, you know I'll be sharing.


  1. That you say is true ..i beleve you boecause. I have this fetish and many shoe worn. Have a nice experience !

  2. Thanks. I love this pair of shoes but to be honest, didn't think they would be such a popular addition to the blog. I've had more offers to sell these shoes to readers of this blog than any others I've featured.