Gemma Cartwright ponders what to pack in her suitcase this Summer...
With less than a month to go before I head off for two weeks in the sun, I've had to start thinking about what to pack. I'm off on holiday with the friend who is partly responsible for turning me into such a shoe whore in the first place. She can wear heels all day without complaining and knows all the tricks for avoiding or treating blisters. But even she is a slave to her Havaianas once she's poolside. The pool glam 'heels and a bikini' look favoured by rap video girls and pageant stars just doesn't work in an apartment complex in Gran Canaria. But that doesn't mean we should get lazy...
Summer is the worst time for shoes, because so many nightmares come out the woodwork in the name of keeping cool, looking 'sexy' or dealing with the damp. Here are just three of the nightmares you might encounter in the next few months...
1. Crocs, jellies and waterproof 'novelty' shoes.
My hatred of Crocs has been documented many times before. I know they're comfy, I know they're fun, I know they're practical. That doesn't stop them being fugly. Why anyone would want to make their feet look like big rainbow coloured boats covered in holes, I don't know. I also hate jellies. They get sticky and sweaty, they rub and they get grubby very quickly. Yes, they're waterproof, but so are Havaianas and the new wave of rubber-based flip-flops, which are also far more aesthetically pleasing.
2. Ridiculously strappy Gladiator / Roman sandals
You have to have the ankles of a supermodel to get away with anything that ties this many times around the foot...but what drives me mad is the temptation to keep continuing the straps up the leg like a Roman soldier. It's a recipe for disaster and shoes like this should be avoided at all costs. Not only do you look like you're in fancy dress, but you're asking for some very interesting tan lines. Shoes like this look cheap and nasty, and should be left to D-list celebs craving attention.
3. Super-high slides
What perplexes me about these is not so much the style, but the fact that 90% of the people who wear them can't walk in them. Teaming a super-high stiletto heel with a tiny bit of fabric across the vamp is asking for a broken ankle. Just say no, trust me! Go for something between this and the above...you need some kind of support, but one ankle strap will do!
What to go for instead:**
- simple flat sandals, perhaps with a bit of embellishment
- classic wedges. Not too much of a platform, but plenty of support
- flip-flops are perfect for the beach - you decide if you'd wear them in the city too
- ballet pumps. They do get sweaty in Summer, so buy a new pair each year
- espadrilles. Again, buy a new pair if your old ones are dirty, and don't pay a lot
- A mid heel strappy sandal in black or white with a matching / wooden heel and sole
- canvas plimsolls / keds - for travelling, messing around and teaming with jeans
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