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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Age Old Question… Sneakers or Boots?

Vintage Tuesday will be moved to Wednesday as I am having serious issues with BLINK (high speed internet provider) and am forced to revert to the excruciatingly slow dial-up! Today 's topic is somewhat of a "vintage" though, inspired by a question from a masquerader on whether or not to wear boots or sneakers. My response below:

The Carnival devotees are somewhat split on which choice of footwear is more comfortable over which one looks better with your costume. For me, the choice is boots since I believe that you can have both the fabulous complement of boots and be comfortable at the same time. The key factor in choosing the right boot is finding one that fits well. Here are some tips on selection your mas boots:

1. Boots that have rounded toes (not pointy or square) where you have enough wiggle room.

2. Flat or low wedge heel. This is especially important for the ladies who do not wear heels every day. Some of you Carnival divas can pull of high heel and 3 inch platform boots, many of us cannot!

3. Flexible sole, rubber preferably. You do not want a stiff, un-bendable sole as you will be jumping and dancing in these boots and need something that moves with you. Also hard soles tend to be hard on the foot.

4. Cushioned insole. Even though you will be adding gel insoles for additional comfort, make sure the sole of the boot has some cushioning as thin insoles means you will be able to feel every pebble on the road.

5. Soft, lined boots. There are many boots that feel stiff to the touch while others are soft (yet sturdy) and have a soft inner lining. You do not want fur lined or insulated boots however. The faux suede boots tend to be soft and comfortable around your leg when zippered.

6. Get boots one size bigger and wear gel insoles. This is the single most important tip! The gel insoles make your feet feel as if they are floating on air.

7. Break in your boots before Carnival; try them on, wear them around the house making sure your feet are used to the feeling of boots and that they mold to your feet.

8. If having boots custom made, measure your bigger foot and leave room for insoles. Also make sure that the sole has adequate thickness.

9. For additional protection and comfort some masqueraders wrap their toes with cotton and bandages, wear extra socks, use moleskin from Dr Scholls

If you absolutely cannot wear boots or have no intention of forsaking your tried, true and tested sneakers the best way to have Fab footwear is to decorate the sneakers to match your costume, especially if you are playing frontline. Gold or silver sneakers, which you can find in those colours without having to spray them, will look nice and simple with most costumes. For a customized sneaker Afro Chic does an excellent job, but you have to book early as her deadline is next month.

So, the bottom line is finding footwear that you are comfortable in, be it boots or sneakers, and most importantly putting in the effort to have it complement your costume. Imagine wearing plain white or black sneakers with a costume such as Bird of Paradise frontline or Rays of Light after spending so much money on looking Fab from the ankles up!! It does not hurt to be Fab from head to toe.

All footwear are customized creations of Fab! Footwear Boots (and sneakers) by Afro Chic. You can view her website HERE.
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