Posts Tagged ‘United Footwear’

Turning into a Northern Girl

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

I am going to blame the sudden arrival of sunshine and warm weather for my recent brain malfunction. Today is the first day I have worn clothes that could suggest ‘Summer time’ and I am not wearing boots. I repeat; I am not wearing boots. Remarkable! So perhaps the excess interaction between my skin, oxygen and sunlight is what resulted in me entering United Footwear on Oldham Street today.

I had popped into Abakhan’s fabric store to look for crafting materials I decided to take the scenic route back to the office. This resulted in me walking past United Footwear, a shoe store whose window display I had revered on many occasions but I had never dared enter. Shoes of all shapes, sizes, colours and taste are carefully aligned in the window with how-can-they-be-that-cheap price tags along side. Something in my brain (perhaps my inner girl) decided that today would be the day that I would go inside and check out the goods on offer.

The shop extends further that I expected, with rows of shoe racks (boys on the left, girls on the right) leading you down to the back of the store. I walked down the aisles slowly, unable to believe what I was seeing. Pointy toes, stiletto heels, sparkles, spikes, straps, buckles and faux leather in every colour you could imagine. Sandals, boots, wedding shoes, dancing shoes, work shoes, and more. There was even a wall of grandma slippers and fake Dr Martin boots. Shoe prices start from £2.99 with most averaging £9. Plastic was the key ingredient and my feet started sweating just as I stood looking at the shoes. But some strange alien part of me came to the surface and encouraged me to try on a pair. Black closed-toe heels. Perfect for work, wedding and going out. Remarkably comfortable for a £7 pair of plastic shoes with heels that made me feel like I would fall over. For a brief second I contemplated purchasing these shoes to wear to one of the three weddings I am attending during the summer months. They were simple, neat and oh-so-cheap! I suddenly imagined myself buying these and more shoes from this magnificent shoe heaven. Soon I would have a shoe collection as impressive as my housemate’s, whose shoes are hidden in plastic boxes scattered around our apartment.

But my newly discovered Mancunian disappeared as quickly as she appeared, and I remembered that I can’t actually walk in high heels and I don’t like purple ankle boots with spiky silver studs. I like boring flat shoes, mostly in red, that won’t cut, destroy or blister my feet or encourage me to fall over. I’m not saying I have anything against anyone who does like and wear these shoes – to the contrary, good on them. I would just look ridiculous, stumbling down the road in shoes that I can’t walk in. And so I left without having made any purchases. Part of me is a little bit sad. Maybe I’ll go and buy a short lycra dress from Primark instead.