Back in the Saddle (Shoes) Again!!

You know, it’s funny.  I was thinking about walking.  Not for exercise, but in general.  When out and about during the summer, my main choice of footwear is sandals.  I love them and my feet are always happy to have some much-needed freedom during the warmer months.

Image result for atypical60 sandals

Whether I’m wearing my Rondini sandals or..

 My Palm Beach sandals–my feet love the freedom that the summer allows!

When at work, I love my pointy-toed heels or ballet flats or perhaps a shoe with an edge. It depends on my mood and if I’m going casual or all-out professional.

Re-inventing the (w)heel

Heel to the Queen!!  That’s what they say when they see me coming into the closet every morning!

During the winter, it’s pretty-much the same, I don’t wear boots as much as I used to.  They feel very cumbersome on my feet if worn too long.  I keep the boots for short-term wearing.

Sneakers?  I have one pair.  Converse All-Stars.  A special low-top slip on. They are comfortable and, in the fall, and spring I wear them quite often.  But—after long periods of time walking around, the comfort level subsides.

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These cute Conversa All-Stars are the only sneakers I own and I love them, but they aren’t the most comfortable for walking around ALL day!

Loafers?  Yes!  I adore my old, broken, in Bass Weejuns and wear them on a constant basis.  As you know, I’m not a socks person so in the winter my feet get a bit cold—especially when we’re in New York or DC or even locally in Philly hoofing it on city streets.

Image result for atypical60 bass weejuns

These Weejuns are twenty years old.  Purchased in 1998 and I need to bring them to be repaired.  I can’t let go.  They are just so broken in but not the best shoe for walking around without socks in January or February!

And so…I started to think some more.

Hmmmm.  Let me think…….

Trust me, my closet is full of footwear and I don’t even need to make any purchases for the upcoming fall/winter season.  But…I wanted a shoe that would be comfortable for walking and yet fashionable.  A shoe that I could tie—being that my feet are narrow, I don’t want anything that’ll slide right off my feet.  In addition to that, we’ll be walking all over Paris in November.  I swear to you, I can’t stand sneakers—and I don’t want to spend the day walking around in Repetto ballet flats either because by the end of the day, the dogs can start to bark.

Image result for atypical60 repetto

I love my Repettos and wear them constantly but won’t spend the day walking in them!

What to do?  What to do?  And as I pondered, I thought about the shoes of my life.  The shoes I wore as a child to school.  The shoes I wore with my uniform.  And it hit me.  Why not saddle shoes?

Why not?  Who says that only schoolgirls can wear these?

These black and white oxfords have always looked good.  Wearing them with a uniform skirt, they were never “on trend” but they were never hideous enough to despise.

I dunno what school she goes to but the nuns would not allow us to wear red sweaters or tights because they were the color of the devil.  I think the “bad” color has changed to orange!

In the Forties and Fifties, they were a staple in both young girls and mature women’s wardrobe.  Maybe they were never considered chic or elegant, but they were more than a trend.  They were a classic look.

This photo was taken in 1939.  We all know who the cool girl is here–don’t we?

How come they aren’t popular anymore?  And what did I care if they were popular or not?  The saddle shoe seemed like a very pragmatic choice for me.  They could be dressed down, or casually dressed up a notch.

Now these ladies have a sense of style.  Loafers and saddle shoes–right up my alley, especially the brown oxfords–I had a pair of those one year that was worn with the uniform.  And those blouses–I want one!

And so, I hit the internet to see what, if any, kinds of saddle shoes could be found.  I found them alright.  And the price was a lot different than back when I was a student at St. Patrick’s School in Bay Shore, NY!

If saddle shoes were still $3.98, I have multiples!

The more I looked at them, the more I wanted a pair.

Imagine. I could play “A My Name Is Alice” with a pink Spalding ball while wearing Spalding saddle shoes!

And didn’t I hit pay dirt at Nordstrom Rack!  The day after I perused the net, I ran to Nordstrom Rack after work—it was by chance, actually.  I had to pick up some makeup at Ulta, and being that Nordstrom Rack is next store, I sauntered on over.

Being more of a “miss” day in the clothing department, I headed over to the shoes.  And what did I see?  In a box?  In the size 8 ½?  The Eastland Saddle Shoes I saw on the net.  For a fraction of the price!

Look what mommy found!!!

I tried them on.  They fit beautifully.  I ran to the cashier and upon entering my whip (that’s cool talk for car), I took them out of the box and caressed them like a mother caresses a newborn.  They felt so good.

And what happened when I wore them?  Due to the “Active Memory Foam” the shoes are lined with; my feet were miraculously comfy.  But the best is that I received compliments by the tons.

Oh look!  Eastland shoes are the same age as me!!  But boy is this Active Memory Foam comfortable.  It’s almost like wearing slippers!

And the foam is lined throughout the shoes!

The first time I wore them, I expected an eye-roll from the Frenchman.  However, Bonaparte mentioned that they were rather nice on my feet.  And when I went into Wegman’s to do some grocery shopping a couple of women stopped me to tell me that they loved my shoes because they brought back memories!

I’m dressed like a human Saddle Shoe!  White shorts. Black Tee.  Saddle Shoes!

When I wore them to work—everyone had something nice to say about these special shoes!  Again, women smiled as they said the shoes reminded them of their school days.  Quite a few women wanted to know where I bought them.

True. I wore them to work and everyone was so happy!  These shoes put everyone in a good mood!

And on our recent trip to DC (which I’m still working on another post about), I had a woman at the hotel go crazy with delight over the shoes.  At the Holocaust museum, my saddle shoes were the bright spot of a very somber visit.  Even at a quiet, reflective museum that tells a horrific story, women smiled and came up to me to tell me how much they loved my shoes.

I wore this outfit to DC and the next day to the Holocaust museum. It is very unusual to have so many random strangers approach me so favorably about my saddle shoes!  They need to be a little dirtied up though!

It dawned on me that these saddle shoes I bought made people happy because these plain, and rather unfashionable shoes brought memories to many.  Good memories.  Memories of a time when the only stress we had was if we studied enough for a test.

Ha cha cha cha cha!!!  I love these shoes!!!!

It’s amazing how one article of footwear can make so many smile—isn’t it?  And you know what?  I’m glad that I bought these.  During the winter, my saddle shoes will be getting a lot of wear, and I think they’ll make me, my feet, and everyone who spots them happy!

It’s fun to wear something that brings good memories.  These are for the bit of nostalgia in us all!

Don’t be afraid to wear something that isn’t presently in style—chances are, at one point it was.  Besides that, it may make others smile!

This song reminds me of how I felt when I first put these shoes on as an adult.  Huey Lewis and The News.  It’s Hip to be Square.   It certainly is!!


About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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39 Responses to Back in the Saddle (Shoes) Again!!

  1. lifelessons says:

    You look darling in your saddle shoes. I haven’t seen any of those since the 50’s!!! Have they done a reissue? Yours look pristine. I remember those laborious nights with the white polish dauber, trying not to get any white polish on the black part and vice versa. And what to do about the holes?

  2. Beverley says:

    I adore your saddle shoes. Perfectly chic, absolutely functional, and forever cool. I’ve wanted a pair since the early ‘60’s, Now that I’m in my ‘60’s, I’d better get on it. 😉

    Great find!!

    • Catherine says:

      LOL!! Beverley….you must get a pair!!!!!! You will love them and people will love them on you!!! XOXOXOXO

      • Beverley says:

        Reporting back with an update: thanks to, a pair of long-awaited Eastland saddle shoes are in my closet. They feel heavenly. You are truly an Influencer/Enabler 😉😜

  3. Momcat says:

    Oh I soooo hated mine! My mother forced me to wear them…and don’t we hate anything we are forced to wear or do?? Mine were of the early sixties and I don’t know if I had some masochistic thing going on but I used to yell at my mom to tie the laces tighter! She was afraid to cut off my circulation!! Yours are pretty cute and look comfy I remember mine as stiff and soo uncomfortable. But then I spent my summers barefoot at the cottage and to go back to school and the confinement of those shoes AND a uniform… argh! Enjoy. I am all about my boots, booties and (supportive) high tops come the cold weather but I have say that I remember Ma, back in the day rockin’ her saddle shoes with her plaid ‘slims’ . Motoring around in the Vauxhall with a smoke in one hand and shifting gears with the other!! Now that’s a memory!!!

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Momcat!! Good to hear from you and I hope all is well! I don’t think you had a masochistic thing going on–I was of the tight shoelace club as well. I NEEDED those laces tied as tight as could be. I’m still like that to a point! Tee hee–your mom sounds cool!!!! XOXOXOXOXO

  4. Nancy says:

    Ha! I love them! And I love, heel to the Queen!😂😂😂

  5. Peggy says:

    Birkenstocks are my saddles. Worn for years……my daughters used to laugh now they want them

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Peggy. You know–I wasn’t crazy about Birks when I was younger but I have considered getting them now. I’m no sock person to be sure but—I love the way Birkenstocks look with socks. A strange thing indeed!!!! XOXOXOXO

  6. Pingback: Back in the Saddle (Shoes) Again!! | Atypical 60 – International Badass Activists

  7. eveange33 says:

    Oh I always admired these shoes, even though we are not having them in France: at my catholic school we had some kind of dark (navy or black) brogues. Quite shapeless I might add.
    But the saddle shoes are very elegant in my eyes and, when in Paris, you’ll be the only one to wear them, lucky you. They do seem to be very comfortable.
    I still have difficulties to understand the difference between brogues and oxfords, in english. To me they look the same and I can’t really get the difference. I also like spectator and two tones shoes, very elegant as well and quite comfortable. Actually, for the time being, my shoes of choice are loafers, worn barefoot or with tights. Or derbies (brogues?). Or ballet flats. I admire your collection of pumps.
    Anyway, the saddle shoes are really beautiful and you are wearing them very well.

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Eve!! How have you been???? I’m definitely bringing those saddle shoes with me to Paris..but I have aways been confused by the brogues/oxford thing. A Brogue in my family is an Irish accent–not a shoe!!! LOL!!! Hope all is well with you!! XOXOXOXO

  8. Susan says:

    Hi Catherine!!!!! I went to Paris this summer and I wore my Converse sneakers. I did put in an over the counter arch support in them and I was able to walk all day almost every day in them without a problem!!!! I did go to the Repetto store but unfortunately their shoes didn’t fit me. I am in between sizes. Oh well!!!! I hope one day to purchase a pair of Rondini sandals!!!!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Susan! Duh!!!!! You gave me the greatest tip. I’m going to get a pair of arch supports for my converse sneakers. The thought never occured to me! Paris and NYC–two greatest cities for walking–oh..and New Orleans!!! Hope you loved Paris!!! XOXOXOXO

  9. janowrite says:

    LOVE saddle shoes – P.S. I wear your size 🙂 🙂

  10. Carla says:

    Absolutely love your shoes – they look fabulous. ‘Saddle shoes’ is not a term I’m familiar with; in England we’d call them ‘Oxfords’ and they were not school shoes! Lucky you …

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Carla. Yeah. I wonder where the term Saddle came from for those shoes anyway!! They are quite the happy little nuggets. Glad you love the shoes!!!! XOXOXOXOXO

  11. These shoes look really cute on you! Thanks to my Catholic school days, I wouldn’t be caught dead in them 🙂 However, there’s a cute Etsy shop that makes and sells a modern version of the saddle. Love those!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Maribeth! LOL–you sound like many of my girlfriends who went to Catholic school with me. They couldn’t stand the shoes or the blazers or the limited colors of knee socks we wore!!! XOXOXOXO

  12. Anne says:

    Your saddle shoes look like they fit you so well and sure look comfy on the insides. Will definitely keep your feet warmer in the cold months. Any particular reason you don’t wear socks? I have poor circulation in my legs and my feet would freeze in the winter without socks I usually wear suede tie shoes and socks.
    I am curious as to why you tie your saddle shoes to one side and not in the middle? That would drive me crazy! Lol!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Anne! I don’t wear socks because I don’t like the way they feel on my feet–it’s weird. I don’t wear panty hose either. I’ll wear tights but not hose!! That is so funny you noticed how I tie on the side. There is no logical answer for that because I’ve done it since I was a child. It drove my mother crazy. One day when she was volunteering at school she actually retied my shoes in front of the entire class. It was so humiliating!!! XOXOXOXO

  13. Charlotte Peck says:

    What a find! Funny how life brings us exactly what we “need”. They look fabulous on you and what a great thing to make people smile with shoes!

  14. hipchick66 says:

    Ahh saddle shoes! I wore mine unlaced and my socks pushed down. Totally against the dress code, but then I’ve always been a rebel! Go rock those shoes girl, you look fab!

  15. I think you are on to something here! I remember my saddle shoes very well and I love them all the ways you are wearing them. I think I may need a pair – I’m thinking how cute they would be with all of my pants and jeans! Trendsetter you!!!

  16. Juliet says:

    So cute – in terms of visual style I think we are sole sisters, I adore them. never seen them in NZ or UK but they are so sweet! I am on the lookout for some good comfortable, sturdy but non awful-looking shoes for winter – plain brogues I am hoping for. BTW and completely off topic, have you read Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky? I thought it was incredible (and very sad back story) I gather there is also a film but I have never seen it

  17. Karen says:

    I loved this post. I must confess though….my mother made me wear these when they were not really in style (I’ll be 60 next month) and I was embarrassed because I thought it made us look poor (which me might have slightly been–LOL) I always felt guilty for not appreciating that my mom was just trying to get me a good sturdy shoe at a good price and I was an ingrate!!! That’s my thought when I see them. BUT, I love them on you, Cathe! XOXO

    • Catherine says:

      LOL. Hi Karen!!! I think we were all ingrates at one point or another. But boy, just reading that word made me laugh out loud. I cannot even count how many times my parents referred to me and my siblings as ingrates! That’s a word that brings back childhood/teen memories for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXOX

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  19. Dean says:

    I just want to say I think you are very beautiful in them and if you ever want other prayers like that there’s a website called Muffy’s that’s so saddle shoes. If I saw a woman wearing style shoes I knew she was single I would ask her out I think that women that wear them are very beautiful it makes them look young once again so I want to see her very beautiful lady very very beautiful lady. If I ever ran into a lady like you she was single I would love to be the lady who worked out of shoes

  20. Dean says:

    I think you look really cute in those, I think any lady anywhere saddle shoes should feel younger when they wear them. I think you look very beautiful in them and I would you want that would love to go dancing with you with you wearing them and date somebody would love to wear saddle shoes I think so really cool and women should start wearing them more really bring them back like I said I think you look very beautiful in them and if you ever are looking for more saddle shoes you should try out a website called Muffy’s she sells all different kinds of saddle shoes and different colors. If I ever saw a woman who I knew it was single or was when I sell shoes I would definitely ask her out and then a woman who would wear shoes

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