Twenty years ago I used to go out with this very tall, blond, long-haired radical tree-hugger guy who I had met while volunteering at the animal shelter. He was very approving of my style, a granola girl in black hardware-store wellies, but on our first date he was a bit disappointed to discover that I had make-up on my face and I was wearing leather shoes. Make-up is but a mask, he declared with a very serious face. He was transitioning to vegan shoes, and he clearly felt like (but would not say) I was holding him back, although I wasn’t in any way, I was just skeptical it could be done, in fact. On the second date we went horse riding, so I could sport my beautiful rubber riding boots and an appealing familiarity with pitchforks and stables supplies in general. As a reward, he cooked for me a lovely vegetarian dinner. But as weeks went by, he realized I owned more than one pair of leather shoes, as well as a small but undeniably cruel collection of leather bags, and things became tense when he found a pack of Tempo tissues in one of said leather bags. This affected me a little bit I have to say, and I haven’t bought tissues since.
I have no idea where he is now, but he would definitely be proud of me. A couple of years ago I bought a pair of Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Melissa Ultragirl in his honour, they were on a sale, in teal. I wasn’t expecting to use them a lot, but it turns out melissas are perfect for heatwaves. Hot weather makes them particularly pliant, soft and comfortable. The hotter the better, while in cooler weather they are ok, but they can give me the occasional blister at the heel. They don’t feel any stiffer in cool weather, but they probably are after all. Another plus of heatwave use is that as soon as you get home, sweaty and miserable in the 39° C afternoon, you can wash them. With leather sandals you just put them somewhere out of sight and hope they will revive somehow. But you can actually wash melissas, with cool water a little bit of soap, and find them shining and clean the next time you need them. It’s a nice sensation, like you’re washing away the long day of work and errands.
The are also excellent for traveling, as they are never ruined by being in the luggage. And its recyclable plastic (or at least labelled as so).