Experiences of an American woman who was married to a Serb.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Current Serbian Shoe Fashions: lower, elegant, streamlined

The first thing I do when arriving in any foreign country is check out women's shoes. Men don't seem to understand this at all -- but I'm endlessly fascinated by it. Based on the Belgrade Bus Station (admittedly not a high fashion center) and nearly a week now in cafes in Sombor downtown (perhaps provincial, but better than nothing at all) I can tell you, unlike the US, high spikey heels are out. I didn't see anyone aside from a 14-year old in what were obviously hand-me-downs wearing thin heels taller than say 2 inches.

However, plenty of wedges are in, albeit at an average 2-3 inches, still a bit lower than I've seen in similar date-night street scenes back home where some women wobble more than walk. Also, I've seen plenty of kitten heels, especially as sandles. You won't see typical American plastic flip-flops, that's to casual for the women here whose sandles are equally comfortable and flat heeled, but slightly more elegant.

On the sneaker front, everything is very, very streamlined and also low-heeled. It's more like a sneaker genetically crossed with a ballet flat. A pair of US sneakers would look comically bulbous in their midst.

Lastly, although one store known for "sports shoes" has a couple of crok-look-alikes in the window, I've not seen anyone wearing Croks (real or faux.) And I doubt very much, aside from perhaps very small children's shoes, that Croks will ever make much headway in this land where they expect good looks just as much as comfort. Which is fine - the astounding $145 million that North Americans apparently spent on Croks in the last fiscal quarter (March-June) was one of the reasons I've decided to travel to foreign lands. OK, well, my husband handing me a ticket and saying 'We're going now" was the main one....

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