The frustration when you can picture exactly what you want and it does not exist
April 15, 2012 3:20 PM   Subscribe

"Nun" shoes revisited: I would like to find a pair of black women's shoes which I am not sure exist. Can you help me?

Years ago I was an Irish stepdancer. I loved the look of hardshoes. Part of why I loved them is they gave the front of the foot in the toebox some bulk and heft, mostly because of the large, wedge-shaped tap that is placed there. They look like they have a high heel but they don't at all. They have a substantial, square heel, and despite how they look, are pretty comfortable. They are not, however, particularly practical to wear around.

I have looked at images of "nun" or "witch" shoes, and they don't seem to match exactly. The heel is too high. The toebox is wimpy. They're made out of mesh! You get close, but who knows who makes them? Are they 700$? They're insane.

Do these shoes exist as actual, day to day shoes? Have you seen them? I can tell you that if I tried emailing a stepdancing shoe company and asking for custom shoes without the taps, they might think I was nuts. I'm not sure I would get an answer.

I would probably go up to about 150$

Thank you!
posted by oflinkey to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Would something like this do? I searched on Zappo's for women's oxfords. There were several options, this was just the one that looked closest to me.
posted by katemonster at 3:33 PM on April 15, 2012

What popped into my head when I saw your photos:
- Fluevog Shoes: a little out of your pricerange, but maybe you can snag something on sale.
- Maybe something from Dansko? They make more than just clogs...
posted by absquatulate at 3:34 PM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Not perfect at all, but here are some options. The search I used.
posted by insectosaurus at 3:36 PM on April 15, 2012

I can tell you that if I tried emailing a stepdancing shoe company and asking for custom shoes without the taps, they might think I was nuts.

I don't know about Irish dancing, but when I took tap, I remember the shoes came with taps not included. I wore higher-heeled character shoes with taps attached, but they make lower ones too. For example, these. And they also make some more oxford-like, clunkier styles. (Those are crazy expensive, but just to give an idea.) I've never seen any quite as sturdy-looking as the Irish stepdancing ones in your link, but they might exist. In any case maybe tap shoe manufacturers are a place to start looking if normal shoes don't come through.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 3:44 PM on April 15, 2012

Are you looking for a stacked-heel oxford? One example (found here).
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:45 PM on April 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

I assume the heels on these docs are too high?
posted by saucysault at 3:46 PM on April 15, 2012


posted by FirstMateKate at 3:47 PM on April 15, 2012

Nthing the Frye Carson Oxford linked above. I own the boot version and it's gorgeous and incredibly comfortable.
posted by milk white peacock at 3:58 PM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Mid-heel brogue.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:04 PM on April 15, 2012

The brand eject has some chunky styles:
Oxford style, pumps, pumps
posted by travelwithcats at 4:13 PM on April 15, 2012

Oxford dance shoes?

Also, have you considered just wearing men's oxfords? When I'm looking for a simpler-style shoe, often the men's section will have exactly what I want.
posted by danceswithlight at 4:48 PM on April 15, 2012

You can get them with taps and a competent cobbler will be able to take the taps off and fill the gap where the taps were. I had something very similar to this done, as some European shoes come with metal toe tips inset in the sole - they protect the shoe, but they also scratch your floors and click-click-click when you walk, don't understand how those continentals can bear the noise.
posted by Frowner at 4:54 PM on April 15, 2012

Dance oxfords, no taps.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:13 PM on April 15, 2012

Without the tap it's not going to look the same - I do not recommend getting them from the Irish dance shoe folks, especially given the way that all but the beginner shoes are constructed (it'll be weird to walk in them, especially over more than a few hundred feet of distance.)

Most of the oxfords linked in this thread seem to me they would work for the look you're going for. You may also consider men's oxfords, to avoid the pointy toe problem.
posted by SMPA at 5:42 PM on April 15, 2012

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