My love affair with this simple slip on shoe may have begun decades and decades ago when I was a young child. It was the late 1970s and early 1980s - the era of the bell bottom, peace love and happiness which flowed into the early days of disco and jumpsuits. I'm referring to, of course, the clog - my beloved leather topped and wooden soled clogs. I had two pairs in my during my early, formative years. The first pair I owned were my made by MIA. They were brown leather with a braided bit that ran across the top from side to side. I had a pair in Navy suede as well. These were the coolest shoes I had ever owned up to that point in my life. And by wearing them, I too had somehow crossed the threshold of cool. They gave my short frame a couple of extra inches which I loved. (I couldn't have been more than 10 when I got my first pair.)
I have two very vivid memories of these simple slide-ons. My first memory is quite a painful one, and still makes me flinch. Every time my foot would accidentally slip back and out of the shoe the soft tender part of my instep would land on the incredibly hard and sharp edge of the wooden heel which sent shooting pains up and down my entire body and often had me seeing stars... (The same things happened when I wore my beloved Dr. Scholl's sandals in the summertime.)
My other memory is that of my mother yelling at me as I clomp-clomp-clomped across our apartment. We had a gorgeous and quite large apartment in an old prewar building with mostly exposed wood floors - save for the bedrooms. Those particularly loud shoes worn by a kid who walked like an elephant even in soft pink ballet slippers. Wooden clogs worn by heavy-footed 10 year old girls were not a pleasant combination! And so therefore, upon entry, my shoes had to immediately come off. Like all fashion fads the clog eventually slipped into a quiet oblivion only to replaced by something else.
The mule made a graceful comeback in the 1990s with a much sleeker and more elegant design. They could be found in flat, kitten heel or higher and generally had a pointy toe. These were my favorites, and I have and wear many still, today as they are classics and will never fade from style.
Today, the mule is making a comeback once again but the styles are much more varied. I love this style of shoe for so many reasons.
- The modern mule is incredibly flexible and can be worn with anything from skirts and shorts to jeans to black tie dresses.
- They transition perfectly from night to day and from season to season.
- They look as lovely with dresses worn in summer as they do with jackets and pants in the cooler months.
- You can slip into them with ease and they fit just about any foot.
- This backless shoe will save your feet from many a blister.
- They're quite flattering to all legs and feet.
- They're very easy to pack and therefore make a great travel shoe (though do stick to the flat versions for long periods of walking.)
- One can never own too many pairs of mules!