Thursday, 29 May 2008

Comme Il Faut vous mettre au courant

So, an update on my very expensive new shoes. I took my CiFs out for the first time this week, on a day when I was terribly tired before I started dancing, but had really good dances and felt less tired afterwards. One of those evenings - a good one.

The soles feel extremely thin. They really need the gel ball-of-foot pads, I'm sure I would get a burning pain without them, but that's OK because I routinely put them in all my shoes anyway. With the pads they feel fine. I wouldn't want to walk on concrete, but no problems on a wooden floor. I also noticed that the label on the sole has prominent edges and digs into the skin; that was easily solved with heel cushions, which I also use, but less routinely. So equipped, they're very comfortable. The floor on their first evening out happened to be slightly sticky, so the slipperiness of new soles wasn't a problem.

Street shoes with a strap across always have it fixed with elastic. This is never the case with dancing shoes, and it isn't here. That would have alarmed me as a beginner, but I know now that the thing to do is do up the buckle loosely; dancing shoes don't rub and don't need elastic, or to be tightly fastened.

They do feel incredibly light. I'm not quite sure yet how much I like this, but it's definitely good to have the option. At first it felt like flimsiness, but then a few things bounced off them and I started to suspect they were (as I am) physically tougher than their delicate build suggests.

I'm still puzzled by the fact that they're exactly the same height as my favourite pair of shoes, but they look higher. At first they felt higher, too, but I think it's something to do with the balance. Once I got used to this, and to the lightness, it was sort of floaty, and I may well grow to like this a lot.

I feel they are balanced quite strongly towards the middle, increasing the tendency to dance on the inner side of the ball of the foot. This is probably good rather than bad, but I must take care to stop if it hurts.

The heels are pretty lethal. Luckily I was more careful with them than some of my leaders; I pulled back a few times before a touch turned into a stab.

Overall, the functional performance was very good and there's no reason not to wear them whenever they go with my clothes - and maybe sometimes when they don't.

The way they look has really grown on me. I like the colour and the peep-toe, which is my favourite toe style. But the thing that struck me most about the experience of wearing them was how much more than ever before the women sitting beside the dance floor stared openly at my feet. I suppose this is expected, and is rather the point, but the degree of it downright startled me. I was having a good night, with some good leads, but there was no real difference in my dancing. Just the shoes!


Psyche said...

I spend a lot of time shoe-watching. :) It's one of my favourite pastimes when not dancing.

Mtnhighmama said...


I too find my eyes drawn to the CIFs. I wonder though, partly, if it's because it is often the better dancers wearing them?

There are some people that I watch as they pass me until I can no longer see them, and wait anxiously for them to return, which has nothing to do with their shoes, of course. And, if I think about it, I can't even tell you what shoes those couples were wearing.

msHedgehog said...

There are certainly people I watch like that - both men and women. And it's probably true that when people are happy with the quality of their dancing, one of the things they do to celebrate (and advertise) is buy fancier shoes.

Of course it's possible to advertise untruthfully. I was going to say there's no incentive to do so, but thinking about it, I'm not sure. Once you consider the possibilites of delusion - one's own and other people's - it gets quite interesting.

cindy said...

i love my gretafloras- the black suede t-strap with the flower. they do make my demure dark lace CiF look like a brazilian bikini...