Whither Worishofers?

You guys are cute and all. I just don’t think it’s going to work out.

After a recent shoe debacle that involved a pair of red Timberlands, the soles of my feet, and blisters the size of the drachma before Greece switched to the Euro, I began anew a quest for red sandals.

While on my journey I found myself regularly seeing these cute, well-priced cherry-red sandals by some brand called Worishofer. (When I went to Google them I remembered the brand as “Warshofsky” and found out about David Warshofsky who apparently is a TV actor who gets a lot of work, and also about Keith Warshofsky who is a criminal attorney in Tampa whom I hope I never have to call but you never know.). Then, I started noticing them on feet tooling up and down 7th Avenue in Park Slope the other day. Suddenly, they were everywhere.

Anyway, these sandals looked like the consummate old-lady shoes.  A little pattern cut into the leather. Thick-corked soles. Other styles had laces. They even had a medical-looking “plus” sign branding them as orthopedic shoes. So I just knew they were so grandma-like that I would never, not for one minute, be hip enough to wear them.

So I did a little Googling, and turns out I’m at least two years behind, with a 2010 article—in powerhouse online magazine Slate, no less—chronicling Worishofer’s evolution from bunion-pain easers for the elder set with soles made by a German orthopedist (oy), to a staple of Brooklyn celebrity footwear. (An aside: Bunions aren’t just for old people anymore; some young and otherwise-not-hideous-looking people who happened to draw a crappy gene or two from the foot-gene-pool lottery also have them, ahem). The article  even included a picture of a fellow Brooklynite Maggie Gyllenhaal wearing them. And here I thought I was making some groundbreaking discovery. My only excuse was that I’m more of a bag person than I am a shoe person.

I popped into a shoe store and slipped on a pair, proving my theory that old-lady footwear goes best with vintage dresses, oversized glasses, and other staples of hipness that I just can’t rock. In fact, the Slate article said that “for stylish middle-aged women, the fact that Worishofers are truly old lady shoes is a ‘turn-off.’ Which is to say, a 25-year-old can wear an orthopedic sandal without fearing that she looks like she’s preparing for the nursing home, while the same shoe might cause a 50-year-old some consternation.”

Thus, I reinstate my quest for the perfect red sandal, having learned a little something along the way.

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