(The angels wanna wear my) red shoes
When I was in culinary school, I had a pair of black Emeril clogs that I wore a whole lot more than I watched Emeril's show. Leather uppers, non-skid heels, closed back, and so comfortable that I wore them until they wore out. Then came the Age of the Orange Croc, during which Mario Batali made it acceptable —nay, culinarily chic — to wear twin neon pontoons instead of actual shoes on one's feet. An aesthetic nightmare, but at least the camp factor was high. (See M. Ruhlman and A. Bourdain; Press Release! The Golden Clog.) Let's just say that I didn't buy shoes for a long time. But my dog finally chewed through my last pair of old comfy shoes the other day, so I asked Corina Weibel, chef-owner of Canele in Atwater Village — and inveterate clog-wearer — where to go shoe shopping. She sent me to a little shop in Larchmont, where I found perhaps the coolest clogs ever (above).
Made by Pennsylvania-based Dansko for nurses, chefs and other on-your-feet professionals (yes, like writers: don't forget all that nervous pacing), they've got stapled leather uppers, polyethylene heels, thermoplastic polyurethane toe boxes, Poliyou footbeds, rocker-bottom outsoles... whatever. They're red patent leather. Sorry, claret patent leather. My daughter stared at them silently for a moment, said, "Follow the yellow brick road," and left the room. Your Judy Garland, my Elvis Costello. (Click here to hear the Costello song, circa 1977.)
Dansko Professionals, about $120 at Village Footwear, 248 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 461-3619. Or check the Dansko website for a retail locator.
— Amy Scattergood
Photo credit: Dansko.