A girl’s right to cheap shoes
I know that Rebecca is in search of a shoe that fits her size 10 feet. And I know she is going to hate to hear this, but my perfect size 8 feet leave me to the burden of picking the right shoe at the right price.I am not really a shoe person. I don’t window shop or think about the next season’s fashion- I just want a pair of shoes that are semi-comfortable and reasonably priced.
In Israel I expect shoes that are cheap- forget a good bargain, I want to pay close to nothing because chances are the shoes will fall apart before they are broken in. Shoes in Israel may look fashionable but they are built to fall apart.
I might be exaggerating, but unless you are willing to pay NIS 400 for a pair of shoes, you can pretty much bet on your shoes falling apart about three months after purchase.
Last year I bought a pair of the cutest boots and even talked the salesman down NIS 50. I walked out feeling I got the best bargain at NIS 150, which was only reinforced by my friends’ ooohhhhing and ahhhhing. Of course The only ahhhhs I heard two days later was me as my boots fell apart on a Shabbat walk home- I still had a half hour left in the not so cute boots.
That same winter I bought a pair of yellow rain boots from Bizarre Straus in Talpiot. Bizarre Straus is like a tiny Target, it has almost everything and the extra random stuff but it is about 1/8 the size of Target. Like Target, their prices are cheap and ridiculously cheap. I bought the yellow rain boots for NIS 30. And they lasted all winter. So there is an exception to my generalization and thank god!
This year’s boot battle is just beginning. While it is still not quite boot weather in Jerusalem, I am certainly done with open-toed shoes. This leaves me with shopping for the perfect in-between shoe.
I started at the bottom of Jaffa Rd. and made my way up the street searching every store for the right shoe at the right price. It seemed to me there were two options of ladies fancy footwear- you could either wear the Haredi-style Mary Janes, with flower and chunky bottom platform or you could where the prostitute high heel in colors that should be banned from the color wheel.
Not only that but most shoes were priced at NIS 350 or a sales price of NIS 200. I just want a shoe that will last me the winter so I am not paying more than NIS 150. Especially since all shoes are made in the same sweat shop- I couldn’t believe some shoes had the nerve to be priced at NIS 500.
Stores began to look the same. Shoes blurred together as I passed through the too trendy shop Scoop, and in to the stores without a name.
I had given up by the last store and decided I would just pick something even if I didn’t like it because the prices were reasonable. And then suddenly there they were: Cheap pleather ankle boots for NIS 50. And because I am a size 8 they actually had a pair left in the color I wanted.
Now you can’t beat NIS 50 for shoes that have an expected lifetime of one winter season. It is good the have normal size feet so you can get not so normal priced shoes. Sorry Rebecca!