|The Nico t-strap|
I needed a pair of shoes for a 1950s Dances of Vice party; plus, I needed shoes I could wear to salsa clubs. After watching them for weeks, I went in and bought them. I was disappointed that a shoe for $55 (the discounted price) wasn't leather. Or at least the inside of the shoe is leather but not the outside? Confusing. Either way, they didn't look so cheap so I sucked it up and bought the shoes.
After one wear, the lining started to come apart. The store wouldn't take the shoes back (OMG, it was on sale so they're yours forever) but they were willing to make a quick fix with some glue. The lining still sort of came apart immediately after and now it's a complete mess.
And then, horror of horrors! A few months ago I took my shoes salsa dancing. A woman's heel got caught under the ankle strap and snap! I left the floor early. Luckily, my neighborhood cobbler was able to patch the shoe up and we've been dancing together ever since.
My mother told me to never ever buy shoes that weren't leather because leather means quality and it stretches. I still can't quite wrap my head around the prices ($50 up to $70) for shoes that aren't leather and don't have an obvious vegan agenda. The trouble is these shoes are everywhere and they make incredible vintage-inspired styles--I'm in love with their spectator pumps, and I've been looking for that style for years now. My feet never fit into shoes made before 1980 so these are a relief. They're also more affordable than a lot of strictly repro brands.
How do you guys decide to buy shoes? Is it absolutely necessary to make sure your shoes are leather? Do you have any experience with Chelsea Crew shoes?