The Correct Shoes

Having the right tools for the task is essential. Shoes can make all the difference if you are going for a night on the town, hiking, or even standing a lot at work.

On Saturday, we took the long scenic drive on back roads over to Weaverville to have dinner at the Glass Onion. Along the way, we took a detour through our newest State Park, Rocky Fork. I am so grateful that we are preserving this treasured piece of land for others to enjoy.

Since day one, as a blogger, I have gotten negative comments about my shoe choices. If I wear heels, I am told I shouldn’t. If I wear flats, I am told I look frumpy. Shoes are strictly a personal choice, as are handbags. I enjoy wearing heels, but I do not wear them when I am doing requires a different shoe type. Note: The photos of the park above were taken from the car. I will be hiking to a waterfall later this week, but I do have the proper gear for that task. Shown below are my new hiking shoes and socks. I have hiked many portions of the Appalachian Trail alone, and I am a PADI Certified Open Water Diver, so I know the importance of having the correct gear for what you are doing. (A knife is a vital tool when you are far away from civilization, be it underwater or on land.)

I will share more about our delightful evening in Weaverville with you on Wednesday because this post was getting much too long to include everything here.

  1. Beautiful park; please be very careful hiking alone. It can be very good for the mind but scary at the same time. Keep up the good work

    1. After slipping on wet rocks and falling, landing on my back on boulders by a raging river, I stopped hiking alone. That’s a lesson I don’t need to learn twice!

  2. Never in a million years would I wear most of the shoes you wear. They are not my style, and my feet would scream in complaint. But they are lovely on you! Clearly you know what is appropriate and comfortable for your particular and elegant clothing choices and lifestyle. As for hiking gear, your new boots are perfect. I have many good memories of hiking and backpacking in the high Sierra above Yosemite Valley (wearing proper boots, of course). So just in case you need a seal of approval for your boots (which you don’t) here is mine. (Maybe you could try a joke post that shows hiking boots with a going-out-to-dinner outfit??)

  3. Good Morning Sweet Susan (as we say here in Texas)!

    I so appreciate your blog! It is beautiful and informative. We need more women our age with a voice of fashion and encouragement in the social media forum.
    For the women who criticize what you wear, how you wear it etc. they are those who think if they don’t like it, then no one else should either. They are everywhere…and I for one pay them on attention. The majority of us who read your blog are mature enough (emotionally) to know that what works for you or someone else for that matter may not work for me…but I appreciate how it looks on you. I know you have said this numerous times on your blog….just remember the majority of your supporters know this too!

  4. I like your new shoes, hiking boots! There is nothing like a walk in the woods. I am impressed that you have walked parts of the Appalachian Trail and you dive. You live an interesting life.

  5. Dear Susan
    I do so enjoy your wonderful posts and this one is no exception! I’m known as the shoe queen of my family and agree that one should wear the type of shoe/boot/sandal that suits oneself!

    Those who continually critisise should find themselves another blog to follow and be happy in their shapeless joggers for all occasions!

    Please keep up the good work which reaches to the other side of the world in Australia
    Kind regards

  6. Some folks just weren’t listening when their parents told them “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” What value is there in criticizing your shoes, or any other piece of an outfit you so graciously post? Your’re sharing your style, not demanding that everyone be your fashion twin!

    You alway pull together very nice outfits, shoes included. Many I wouldn’t chose for myself, but I have different coloring and size than you, and a much more casual style. As in, my Merrell hiking shoes get more wear than any other shoes I own… they’re great for more than hiking.

    That being said, I recently thought of you when buying shoes to wear for a wedding. Stepped a little outside my “style zone” and received so many compliments! Thanks for the inspiration and keep blogging!

  7. I know I have commented on you choice of shoes, but hopefully not in a critical way. I’d say more of an envious way because you always look fabulous in your high heels and I can’t wear anything over 2 inches due to foot surgery I had nearly 35 years ago. My only concern about your choice of footwear is due to my foot surgeon holding up a pair of heels with a very reasonable height and saying “why do you women ruin your feet wearing these things?” He’d probably have cardiac arrest if he saw the stilettos women are wearing today. At any rate, you wear exactly what you want and don’t worry about the critics. I might ask for a lower heel or casual shoe suggestion, but it doesn’t come from being intentionally critical. Thank you for allowing us to have glimpses into your life and don’t let others dictate what you do or wear

  8. you can’t please all of the people all of the time, you can please some of the people some of the time, and sometimes those are iffy. I love your shoe’s. you always put the right shoe to the outfit with perfection. I have learned so much from your blog, and the places you visit gives me a chance to see country inns and lodges I would never see otherwise. I look foreward to your blog every morning.

  9. I use Zappos for shoes. They have more styles and sizes than department stores. Easy returns and fast delivery.
    I find that the last of the shoe really matters. So for example Rockport heels were doable.

  10. I follow your blog because I like your style. In no way would I copy your outfit exactly. My body has different criteria than yours. I try to use your helpful suggestions and general “classiess” as a guide.Are these critical woman just flexing their annonomous crabbiness? Can’t they think outside the box , picking the shoes that they find comfortable? There many other blogs out there. For these pitiful ,crabby woman , finding a new blog could be the answer. Please continue to be yourself . I find you charming and inspiring. God bless you.

  11. Good morning Susan

    Love your new hiking boots. That park is breathtaking.
    I love love when you wear high heels! I’ve always found high heels so very feminine. I know everyone can’t still wear them, but I enjoy seeing them on you 🙂
    Have a great day

  12. I love all of your shoe choices. As my grandmother told me once, “Don’t you know that birds always peck at the very best fruit.” Remember that.

    1. Janet, I love this saying, which I’ve never heard before! But isn’t it so true?

      Susan, I’m delighted to see all these positive messages from your followers who have such a great attitude about enjoying your blog! Wouldn’t it be great if we could all meet? Well, minus the crabby best-fruit peckers!;-)

  13. I love the shoes you wear Susan. I’d wear them in a heartbeat if I could. But most women even over forty can’t wear shoes like that. You have been blessed with good feet to wear them!!! I think you should wear them if they suit you and your feet are not in pain. So we will not be able to duplicate the looks you post even if we wanted to but we can incorporate some of your ideas. I’m a plus size and I can’t fit into many of the things you post about but I can find other sources for similar items. I can find many cute shoes with low heels at Zappos or other places.

  14. This is great! I have to wear extremely sensible shoes with a leg brace on one leg/foot. I’ve decided to look cool anyway so use Susan’s tips for everything from the knees up.

  15. Beautiful pictures, you must of had a wonderful and rejuvenating time out in nature. Keep doing what you do Susan, your thoughtful posts and stylish advice is appreciated by me. I’ll bet you were the best looking 60 something out there with your style and grace. Being comfortable, with a smile and enjoying life, that’s what it’s all about.

  16. Have always loved your looks in heels! Great catalog..thanks for so often going out of your way & taking the time to show modified looks. Sort of like the exercise videos that have someone in the group doing the modified version. Has helped me out a lot & my shoe selection now covers more bases. Sad news here..clothes dryer went on the fritz & needs replacing. Glad news is that I found the bra that has been missing 6 mos! Pretty photos of the rushing water…I can just hear it. Cute new hiker & happy trails!

  17. I always love how you style your outfits, including the shoes. In fact, I’ve recently been looking to add a few new styles that your looks have inspired me to seek out. 🙂

    I don’t understand why people come to someone’s page then criticizes what they’re sharing. To each his (or her) own!

  18. Sigh! As one post said…”If you can’t say something nice”…..very true! You have been an inspiration to many women. Keep doing what you do well, and that is this blog! Your clothing, shoe, and accessory choices are perfect for you, and give all of us “food for thought” in our style choices…for the better, for sure. You always look simple and elegant…You’ve got this!Looking forward to attending one of your fashion seminars in Knoxville!

  19. I’ve also had good luck with Eileen Fisher Shoes. For sandals I highly recommend FitFlops, a brand name. At around $100.00+ they’re not inexpensive but comfortable with great arch support for wearing around the house, walking or shopping.

  20. Susan, you are such an inspiration! You always look fabulous and very put together. I know you don’t let the negative comments cramp your style. Be true to yourself!!

  21. Susan, time and time again I learn new incredible things about you. Reading that you are a PADI (had to look that one up) certified is something I would have never guessed. You are so feminine and love fashion so much that it comes as a surprise. Just as learning you were in the Navy surprised me also. Bravo to you!! You have broken barriers in your lifetime, but remain true to being proud of being a woman. BTW, love this shoe post. Thank you.

  22. Thank you Susan for exposing me to more shoe options. I dislike shopping in stores and without fail, every online source you’re provided has been exceptional.

  23. Very nice post. And Pooh to those that have negative comments about your shoes. I have yet to see you look frumpy in any shoe. I only wish I could wear heels like you do. Beautiful State Park.

  24. I love to see your outfits, and attempt my own version. Recently I saw some very low heeled sandals, similar to your higher styles, and I plan to buy a couple pair. Thanks for the tips, suggestions and photos. Have fun hiking in your new shoes–love those, too.

  25. As someone whose entire day can be ruined by the wrong choice of footwear, I can certainly assume that you are no exception and choose carefully what is best, based on a variety of factors.
    Frankly, unless someone “walks in your shoes”, they should keep their negative comments to themselves! I’d love to be able to wear some of the higher heels that you wear with much style, alas those days are gone (at least for any extended period of time)! I enjoy your blog, your tips and your shop and keep my limitations in mind when reviewing the options that might work for me!
    Keep up the good work!!

  26. I’m always wrestling with shoe choices, especially now that my feet don’t love being in high heels. At the same time, I love the look of higher heels with certain styles — not to mention the extra height they give when you need it. As I age, my feet don’t agree. I’m also a bilateral hip replacement survivor … So I really do seek out shoe designers who offer stylish but comfortable and healthy footwear choices.

    Eileen Fisher’s shoes are expensive but comfortable, and, like her clothing, they have an artsy edge to them. I like Gentle Souls, and recently discovered Munro American, which don’t look as clunky/frumpy as most comfort brands.

    Thank you for bringing up this topic. I notice that a lot of over-50 fashion bloggers seem to favor high heels, which aren’t always practical for day to day wear.

  27. Just a quick note to let you know your blog is now the only fashion blog I follow. Your body shape, hair color and complection are very similar to mine. Fortunately I found your blog. I was floundering through websites and stores trying to find how best to dress my 67 year old body. And making expensive mistakes! Your blog is an inspiration and the one thing I look forward to reading​ every morning.
    I can no longer wear heels over two inches but the cage shoes you feature are manufactured by many companies and come in all heel heights from flat to wedges to yes, two inches! No problems. Thank you for taking the time and care to show us how we can dress beautifully with style and grace for any occasion at any age.

    Best wishes for continued success,
    Phyllis from Arizona

  28. I have always enjoyed your shoe choices! I was surprised to hear people have made comments on those. Keep on doing what you’re doing, it’s all great! On shoes, I’d like to advise looking into Vionic brand shoes. I have lower back, right problems, right hip arthritis, and my arches get fatigued if standing for too long. When I started wearing Vionic, (sandals at first, but have moved onto loafers, booties and semi-heels), the aches and pains have lessened and in my hip, it hardly bothers me, any more. (I thought I was going to have to have a hip replacement in the near future the pain was so bad, but not any more.) I think their open toed and sandlas run a little large but not their closed toe, if anyone decides to try them.

    1. There are no rules. Wear what you are comfortable in both physically and emotionally. You can wear a pair of heels with jeans and a blazer. A pair of lace-up canvas shoes can be worn with a black tank dress and a jean jacket one day, and that same black tank dress can be worn with heels and a short satin bomber jacket on another night. It all depends on where you are going and what you are comfortable wearing.

  29. How sad that people have to say negative things about the shoes YOU wear!

    I agree it is a personal choice, and I always look forward to your outfits, even thought sometimes I know they would not be right for me, I give you lots of credit for sharing your taste.

    I guess it is easy for people to sit and read and see what you are doing, while they hide behind their computers and judge. They need to get out and enjoy life, like you demonstrate each time you blog!!

    Keep going and showing, we love it!!!!!!!!

  30. I love all the shoes you wear! They’re edgy and cute and give every outfit a stylish and youthful flair. I believe a shoe can often times make the outfit, with an attitude and an edge, to make even the simplest look sharp.

  31. Susan, ignore the negative comments – you are such a savvy woman. Knowing the right shoe for the right outing is a given and I am grateful that you wear shoes of different kinds and if you are doing yoga – no shoes are required! You go girl, from a Texas admirer

  32. I agree with what others have said here! I love your shoes!! I am a teacher, so super high heels don’t work for me, but I can still admire them on other people. I think you always look chic and you are a great inspiration to me!! Thank you and keep up the great work!

  33. I moved from Virginia to England this winter. I live in the Southern part of the lake district known for it’s hiking among other things. (Beatrix Potter). Who makes the hiking boots and do they run true to size? As I have said before, you have to ignore the mean spirited criticisms.

  34. I do not understand the psyche of people who read a blog and feel it is their place to write comments critical of the blogger. Blogs are not required reading. I’ve ready many –once– and decided that the writer just wasn’t for me. I never felt the need to write critical comments. I just never went back to that blog site. It is to your credit that you can slough off these negative remarks and go right on. I happen to really enjoy your blog and I love your sense of style. I am filled with admiration at the height of your heels, although 2 inches is all I can handle. They say haters gotta hate and I guess critics gotta criticize. Small people with nothing better to do.

  35. Who knew that shoes could be so controversial!

    I’ve always loved shoes. So many choices: something for everyone and every outfit. There is no one right choice. Just as it would be silly to think one pair of eyeglasses suits every face, there is the right time and place for many shoes. We are all different shapes and sizes, with feet that can be extra narrow to extra wide, short or long. It’s all about finding the right fit, proportions and colors to suit our lifestyles and personal taste. Variety is the spice of life!

  36. I love your shoes! And you look amazing in all of them. I can no longer wear heels over 3 inches, and I find that 2 inch or 2.5 inch heels are perfect. I still wear heels for work and special occasions. I just had to replace the higher heels with medium heels. I also have lot of flats – ballet, sandals, walking shoes, trainers, etc. I also love wedges. I really love many of your shoe choices, and I have been able to find similar styles with heel heights I can wear. I have been following your blog for about a year now, and I love it. It is wonderful! Thank you!

  37. Oh Susan,

    I only wish I could wear those beautiful heels. When I see a pair at DSW I do try them on and walk around the store. Unfortunately I don’t have the balance anymore or have anywhere to wear them. You are so lucky you can and I know you know that. The others are just jealous. Keep wearing them as long as you can.

    Love your blog!

  38. Susan, I don’t leave comments often, but when I do, it has always been to encourage you to continue sharing your ideas and to thank you for your transparency on your blog. I never cease to be surprised (and rather aggravated) at how quickly people criticize your style, yet rarely compliment your exquisite style or share their own style on a blog. As I have heard it said, “Hurting people, hurt other people.” People are much too quick to criticize others! ( I think that their negative comments are a way for them to ease the hurts in their own life?!) Thank you for your blog and for sharing your life, ideas, & style with those of us who love you!
    Also, I love your shoes! I am 67 years old and still wear stylish shoes with high heels, not as often as I did before retirement, but usually to church and when we go out to dinner. Like you, I often get comments from others about my shoes, but the positive comments come from other stylish dressers! Keep rocking those shoes!

  39. I love your shoe choices! I would be wearing cute (high) heels if I could! Almost 61 and 5 feet tall! I had a surgery on my foot and haven’t been able to wear high heels for over 10 years. I try kitten heels and the new block heels help tremendously. Found a brand called Earth, some pretty comfortable and stylish shoes finally are out there. You rock Susan! Love your blog!

  40. Dear Susan,

    I enjoy seeing you in your beautiful heels, even though I can no longer wear them. Unfortunately, orthotics are a way of life for me. From the ankles down I just pretend I look elegant. But from the ankles up, look out!


  41. From day one, I would not criticize anything you wear or do. I am here and tune in to just enjoy and observe a beautiful persons life. Thank you for your time, creativity, southern drawl, and sharing your Mr. Mickey in lovely photos.


  42. Hi Susan. Are these Oboz hiking boots? If so, then I would like to add that I have an identical looking pair and I am addicted to them. It’s difficult to see the brand name on your boots but I’m convinced that they’re Oboz. I’ve had mine since 2012 and the minute I put them on, I can feel a difference in my posture. My hips seem to be in perfect alignment and while I’m wearing them, I do not experience any pain with the osteo arthritis in my left foot or ankles. In fact, I seem to run around like an 18 year old with the Oboz boots because they have superior ankle support. Many regards, Di (Australia).

  43. Gotta say those that are ‘picking’ on you are most probably very jealous of your style, your class, your elegance in all situations. I am ‘jealous’ but in a good way — you are spurring me to re-look at my closet and to assess the things I buy … and I thank you … so very glad I found this blog. Keep on classing us up, Susan … the critics hate themselves … (ok that’s from a movie and I can’t remember which one!) LOL

  44. Shoes are my nemesis!
    Broad feet, a mild neuropathy problem that causes foot burning and pain, cannot walk in heels to save my life plus I’m vegetarian so don’t wear animal product shoes. You can imagine store assistants love me!
    So even though I’ll never wear shoes like yours, certainly never have your elegance, I do love the way you can put a whole outfit together so perfectly.

    Any tips on making flats look even slightly elegant would be great!

  45. These are all fabulous shoes. You are so right, shoes are an individual choice. Most of my friends only wear flats, but I’m not comfortable wearing flats all the time because I’m 5’4″ tall and need height. I have an abundance of wedges because it’s a compromise of a high heel and “safe” heel without looking frumpy. I have some very dressy 2-1/2″ heels and dressy wedges that I feel comfortable in. Flats often make me feel like someone’s daughter. I love your sage advice but especially your tact. Thank you.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.