From Dorothy’s sparkling ruby slippers to Carrie Bradshaw’s Manolo Blahnik stilettos, women’s love affair with shoes is legend. Blame it on the dopamine, that feel-good juice that floods the brain after scoring new kicks on sale or skiing a double black diamond. Jackson Hole is not immune to women, and men, who like to make a statement with their shoes. The News&Guide caught up with some of Jackson’s fashionistas to see what’s in their closets and to hear the stories behind their fervor. Clare Payne Symmons, owner of consulting company Strategy, didn’t start out her life in tiny sets of shiny patent leather Mary Janes like so many little girls. She was born with a club foot, a condition where the front of the foot is twisted inward and as a result walking is difficult and painful. Her feet were confined to orthopedic shoes until the second grade. Then came freedom. “My mom took me to the store, ” Symmons said, “and I picked out these shoes that were red and blue suede with white leather stars on them because they were the loudest thing I could find. “I was so happy to get out of hideous, orthopedic-style shoes. It goes isabel marant sneakers back that far. ”Looking at a small selection pulled from her closet, it’s clear she’s still enamored with a whimsical pair of shoes. One set of Gucci heels, covered in black satin with a floral explosion of reds, pinks, purples and yellows, are the crown jewels in a crowd of blacks and browns. The rest of the caboodle is only conservative in color. Stiletto heels as tall as 4 inches peep over a pair of chunky, two-tone menswear platforms measuring in at about 3 and a half inches tall. A pair of black suede, snakeskin-embossed pumps embellished with crystals isabel marant at the heel rest next to classic oxblood Mary Janes. Symmons admired her collection for a moment, then pointed Isabel Marant Bobby Suede Wedge Sneaker Camel to her feet clad in ballet slippers. A lifetime of walking on 3-inch stilts led to bone spurs in her feet and surgery to remove them. Now she sticks to flats. Her heels have become a museum of her past, except for special occasions. “I never thought of consequences, ” she said. “I’ve sort of gone Isabel Marant Bayley Wedge Sneakers In Red full circle. ”When Symmons does wear heels nowadays, it’s for a night out with her husband, Mike, who kindly drops her off in front of the establishment while he parks the car. When asked what he thinks of her shoes, he replies, “I don’t. ”Symmons’ is a cautionary tale, but most women do not think about the drawbacks of thrusting their feet into a shoe that throws all their weight on the ball of the foot. At least not until the end of the night, when they are pulsating in agony. Not only are her feet comfortable, but Symmons is ahead of the fashion curve. In a November 2012 issue, the Wall Street Journal declared “power flats” as heels’ new, chic replacement in the boardroom. Designers have been sending edgy studded flats, tailored oxfords and velvet smoking slippers down the runway in an effort to reform the demure style.
Isabel Marant A walk in her shoes