Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Clog's Tale

So look, here's the thing with clogs: I just can't quit them.

I don't know what it is about those blocky, sturdy, husky little fuckers, but my heart swells when I see a pair of clogs go stomping by. Any pair. I can't explain it. I can't pretend it's a noble or even interesting preoccupation. Abandon hope, all ye naysayers. Here's my clog rundown.


If you hadn't heard, Swedish Hasbeens are an unholy menace. I tossed my sandal pair because they fell apart (never having gotten completely comfortable), and the red pair lives under my desk. Every once in a while I'll put them on for an hour, then remove them and angrily stuff them back under my desk. Useless. Waste of money. Horrible things.

Then, I branched out into the clog boot world with this Nina Z pair. After adding a gel insert, these guys became a staple pair of shoes for me. The soles did wear down to the wood, so I took them to the cobbler and they look and feel like new again. Love Nina Z.

Somehow, I found a pair of Rachel Comey clogs on supppperrrr sallleeee so I hopped to it. I usually only wear these for fancy events, because I'm scared I'll ruin them. They're also pretty high, but padded for comfort. Lovely.

In Paris last year, I grabbed a pair of Kerstin Adolphson sandals in beige. I think they were a sample and marked down, so they ended up costing something ludicrous like $40. I wore them all summer with very little breaking in to do. Unfortunately, the wood completely splintered and the straps stretched out, so they have since moved on to the Great Shoe Closet in the sky.

THEN one day it occurred to me that No. 6 clogs were not as impossible as they'd once been. While their boots were crazy expensive, the Old School Clog was... attainable. Not cheap, but not a fuck-you price, either. And they looked real good: the perfect height, beautifully understated design, seriously worth it. (Understand, I've spent years trying to nail down a simple, mid-heeled baby made out of materials that will last. No. 6 is really the only place that can do it.)


For months, I'd find myself longingly staring at these goddamn clogs on the No. 6 site, or breathlessly searching the brand and size plus "sale," or ebaying frantically when the mood struck. Then one day I went, oh for fuck's sake. I'm a 27-year-old adult type. I just got a raise. [ed: I had.] I'm getting some goddamn fucking clogs and that's the end of it.

So I did.

And they are wonderful.

The story is, I decided to get them on my first free weekend, which ended up being the day I found my wedding dress. It was a gorgeous, sunny afternoon, and I meandered from the West Village through Washington Square Park and finally ended at the No. 6 store. You have to buzz in.

The inside is vair Scandi chic. All the ladies wear Rachel Comey and Acne—both shoppers and sales people, obviously. It's the kind of place where women show up, impulse buy four pairs of shoes and then drift off to set fire to a Birkin, or something.

I tried on the softer, nubuck leather and my feet just wept. Glorious. Even the wood is higher quality, and they're treated with a finish to keep the whole thing weatherproof and solid.

Ultimately, I preferred the look of the stiffer, classic leather. How's the sizing? I decided to go about true to size/slightly size up, so for my 9.5/10 feet I went with a 41. The store has to order the exact pair, and then you pick them up a week or two later.

I'm not going to sugar coat this: they take a few weeks to break in. To start, I wore them around the office with socks. Then with bandaids. THEN I wore them au naturale, and I knew they were ready for the Subway Test.


As a New Yorker, I treat my shoes like utter shit. I walk everywhere, literally run into things, step in stuff, regularly fall up and down stairs. These guys handled everything with aplomb. My only issue is the openings are stiffer than the rest of the shoe, so one unfortunate tumble—I tripped on the stairs, the shoe fought my tender flesh, the shoe won—ended with a pretty sizeable gash in my ankle.

I did also chip the back of one shoe, but because the wood is so tough, it didn't splinter. My cobbler simply glued the piece back and refinished it, and we're in business.

And that's it, really. It's more of a clog saga. I am fully, utterly in love with No. 6, and I am saving my pennies for the open toe weave guys. Any clog stories to share? I am all ears, and hooves.

1 comment:

moira said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my svens. I have a couple of pairs (thanks, mom!) and have been wearing them for years. I also live in NYC and also beat/wear the crap out of my shoes. I've had multiple pairs resoled several times and they just keep going. And, they were comfy right out of the box. I think sven makes the No. 6s, which I covet. I swoon when I see them. Santa hears everything, right??

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