It’s not really too difficult to pack for the beach. Apart from your usual beach essentials which would consist of a bottle of sunblock (or tanning lotion), insect repellant (which I swear by now), a first aid kit, a few swimsuits, tank tops, shorts, kaftans, a pair of flipflops, and maybe a pair or two of sandals for beach nights, you don’t really need to pack much else unless you’re also attending an event (i.e. a wedding or a proper party). On this particular trip of mine, I decided to bring a pair of foldable ballet flats that I found among my shoes. If I was not mistaken about the timeline, I received this pair of pretty “pink gold” leather flats just last Christmas. They were brand spanking new when I decided to pack them for my trip, and I placed them in the pouch which came along with the shoes when I received them.
I’ve always kept my shoes out in the open inside the room to air out because we have a humid climate in the Philippines. Humidity has always been the biggest enemy of leather shoes and bags. I think many of you can attest to that. But nothing prepared me for what happened to the ballet flats that I had brought along with me. When I had removed them from the pouch upon checking into my room, they looked pretty– like a proper pair of pink metallic ballet slippers 🙂
I had to go to dinner in a dress so I wore them out. The last pair of foldable flats I had were from Tod’s, and I wore them so much because they were truly comfortable. But I only had that one pair and it was in navy. I had on a cream- colored dress and I thought the navy ones wouldn’t work well with a light, summer dress. So I brought the metallic pink Yosi Samra flats, excited to wear them for the first time. I wore them to dinner, and as I walked out of the restaurant after a wonderful meal, one of the ladies at reception alerted me to the “crumbs” that my shoes had been leaving as I walked. I was soooo embarrassed.
This was what had happened to my shoes:
The insoles had also begun to crumble and were sticking to my heels. It was really disgusting and humiliating.
Aghast at what had happened since the “newness” of the shoe only lasted all of an hour before it began disintegrating, I posted photos of the shoes as I wore them on my personal facebook account, asking friends if this has happened to any of them. I was alarmed to find out that there were over 15 people who also had very similar complaints about the same shoe brand. While there were a few people who mentioned that humidity could be a culprit, there were also ladies who said that their foldable flats from this same brand had lasted them anywhere from under a month to 3 months tops, even if they were comfortable to wear. And this was what prompted me to also write about this because this was a first for me. I’ve never had shoes “disintegrate” like this as I wore them.
I found the quality of this brand of shoes very unacceptable since they are not exactly cheap, and I do know many women save up their money to buy a pair of these flats to bring to the office to wear during their lunch runs. I am very disheartened by this incident. I do know that humidity would not have been the only factor for the disintegration of these Yosi Samra flats after an hour of “inactive” use– because throughout that time I wore them, I was seated! And they were in perfect condition when I packed them and when I actually first put them on my feet an hour+ before the incident! This rather humiliating experience has made me really question a lot of brands these days, about how many companies have resorted to using sub- standard materials (were my Yosi Samra flats really made of “leather” or were they pleather?!),
paying for subcontractors with cheaper laborers (resulting in shoddy workmanship) just to lower their costs and increase their profit margins. As a result, we consumers end up suffering and losing money to these brands while they happily count their profits.
Sigh. I hope these brands realize that when we consumers band together and decide not to patronize their shoddily- made products, their companies will end up in the red. I do hope that they consider investing in proper contractors with proper materials commensurate to the selling prices of their products. So this is a good lesson learned– before spending $$ on shoes, do check on fashion forums for feedback or ask around about the brand first. Shoes are expensive these days. They are investment pieces. So this statement rings true in retail these days– Caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware.