Old soles

December 15, 2011

The Soles for Souls campaign has been off to a great start. We’ve collected hundreds of pairs of shoes at both stores, and as we get closer to Christmas we’ve seen more and more folks come by to drop off their gently used shoes and boots for donation. We love seeing what types of shoes come in! Over the years we have seen everything from stilettoes to Irish dance shoes, from steel-toe rig boots to Bond street wingtips. This year has been no exception so we thought we might share a few of our more interesting donations!
These boots are the real deal. They were handmade in Italy, probably sometime in the mid-seventies. They are full grain 2.5mm leather uppers, and lined in calfskin. Seriously, they don’t make them like this anymore. These boots were designed with mountains in mind, and it looks as if they’ve seen a few- but with life enough in them for many more! It’s fun to imagine an old-timey mountaineer in the Italian Dolomites, (with a coil of hemp rope and a smoking pipe) lacing up these boots in the pre-dawn alpenglow getting ready for an adventure. It’s even more fun to imagine where these boots will end up…

I’ve never seen anything like these wedges. They sport a 3” clear acrylic heel, and soft jet black textile uppers. I’m assuming these would have been all the rage somewhere around 1992, but it’s hard to say- unique looks like this pop up every now and again; the toe shape is pretty close to today’s trend. These would pair nicely with a loose-knit tunic and hot pink leggings. Or perhaps they are better suited to a unicorn riding warrior princess in rainbow land.

The tiny oxfords featured above are pretty special. They were designed and manufactured by Savage Shoes right here in Canada, probably in the late seventies. Aside from being a classic men’s style that you could wear with anything (assuming you are around 3 years old), they share a common history with Kunitz Shoes. Dwane Kunitz, owner and founder of Kunitz Shoes, worked for Savage Shoes at the same time these shoes were produced; it is probable that he had a hand somewhere in the supply and distribution chain that brought these shoes to Edmonton. I guess it’s true what they say: what goes around comes around.

For more information about how you can help with Soles for Souls see here.