In celebration of our latest issue, Boots, here are the shoes that best represent our Grapeshot Team. From classy ballet pointes all the way through to the leather Colorados we all wore to school, find out about the shoes we have loved, tossed and, ultimately, tripped over in.
Editor-in-Chief, Angus Dalton – Decaying Pattern-Problemed Converse
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through my grandparents’ farmhouse, my extended family were getting pissed and I was downing a bottle of champagne by myself. Afterwards I stumbled down to the bridge over the creek, and drunkenly decided that the plain, grey, manure-encrusted knockoff vans I was wearing didn’t represent me as a person. I tossed them ceremoniously into the water below and watched them sink into the mud to the cheers of my cousins…
…who then dobbed me in immediately in the morning and mustered the entire family to come and watch me try to fish out my shoes from the freezing water in my underpants, hungover and looking like some bizarre, pale amphibian who lost its shell.
Cut to New Years’ a week later and I’d grown a little sick of stomping around in the still-soggy, shitty shoes. So a few drinks into pres I ordered a set of converse striped with white, blue and red zig-zags (yes, they do come off as troublingly patriotic to the US). In the minutes before midnight they arrived (The Iconic take their 3-hour delivery thing v seriously apparently) and I tossed my mud-smelling shoes away – for good – donned my garish new pair, and swore to the new year that I would continue to be as extra as the pattern on my new kicks.
When I woke up in the morning, somehow I’d shredded both of the new laces, so I went to Kmart and bought a set of purple laces patterned with peacock feathers. They are truly heinous. And combined with my zig-zag converse they make for an eyesore despised by the masses. Donning them makes me feel like Wonder Woman when she finally gets her hands on that kick-ass sword, tiara and glowing lasso: they are the weapon I was born to wield. The shoes I was born to wear.
Deputy Editor, Emma Harvey – Colorado School Shoes
People always say ‘be yourself.’ ’Don’t change for anyone.’ These people have obviously never experienced unrequited love. The year was 2009 and I had just come back from band camp. I still haven’t seen American Pie but can vouch for the fact that shit definitely goes down on those things. Drummers hooking up with flautists, french horn players french-kissing cellists. Me? I found love in my own section. A fellow trumpet player with whom I shared a wobbly music stand.
The romance blossomed gradually – two year 7 students fumbling their way through sheet music and into each other’s hearts. Of course, we never looked at one another directly. I would mumble hello, take my seat, and stare intently at his chunky black school shoes. This was the extent of our relationship. Shoe-staring, trumpet-blaring, the occasional giggle if one of us made a mistake. I was (head-over-school-shoes) in love.
It was then I realised – if I was spending hour-long rehearsals looking at his shoes, he must surely be doing the same.
I got to work on my Colorados. I polished them. I buffed them. I took out the laces and replaced them with new ones. Most importantly, I threaded them back in the ‘cool’ way – making sure they turned inwards at the end, and burying them down under my foot. Granted, this made walking uncomfortable, but it was a sacrifice I was willing to make.
I can’t know for sure if it worked. But I do know that on the following band camp we sat next to each other the entire bus trip to Canberra. Coincidence? I doubt it.
Regulars Editor, Nikita Jones – Novelty animal slippers
You know those random places that pop up in the middle of shopping centres? Those ones that appear out of nowhere and disappear within the week like some kind of Magic Faraway Tree nonsense? Ever wonder what sort of person buys shit from there? My mum does. She’s the one that buys shit from there.
My mum likes novelty things. I don’t know where it comes from, I don’t know when it started but she has a teapot shaped like a bathtub, her bedside lamp is a little forest scene, and there’s a magnet on her fridge that’s a man with legs made of springs and it hits you in the face if you’re not careful. She really kicks into gear though, when it comes to gift-giving.
Every year, my family receives slippers at Easter. I don’t quite know what keeping your toes warm has to do with the resurrection of Christ, but that’s fine I guess. The issue is that mum can’t just buy us all a set of imitation Uggs and be done with it, oh no. She has to go looking in those novelty stores.
Over the years my feet have been kept toasty by dogs, cats, rabbits, and bear claws. I’ve had slippers that glowed in the dark and puppy ones where the mouths open as you walk. Throughout high school I used to leave them behind for sleepovers and school trips because I already had braces and a hunch, there was no need to add fluffy chicken slippers to the mix.
But after moving out of home, into college, and then back out of college, and into my own home, I’ve learned to embrace the silly slippers. People can laugh at the set of Scottish terriers scuffing down the hallway and I’m just fine with that. My toes are warm as shit. Yesterday, I saw a stall at Westfield selling emoji-themed slippers. Guess what mum’s getting for her birthday.
Features Editor, Max Lewis – Brown Boots
Being poor and otherwise stingy as all get-out, I have fond memories of all the shoes I’ve worn over the years. Who could forget the ill-fitting shoes I wore as a child that have permanently mangled my toes like palm trees bending in the breeze? Better yet are the Hush Puppies I picked up at Vinnies and wore to my first day of uni that, much to my chagrin, fell apart before my first class, forcing me to walk around in sole-less shoes with metal bits that click-clacked with every step I took, drawing the attention of my fellow students before I cracked the shits and wrenched them off with my bare hands.
Those shoes were winners, but I think my favourite pair is the first pair that I saved up for and bought with my own money that cost more than $100 and weren’t from Kmart. They’re from some brand called Colorado, and they are brown with a little bit of high top with laces to match.
They were the first pair of shoes that honest-to-god fit me perfectly on the first wear. I even wore them on an all-day intensive bushwalk the very next day and survived with minimal discomfort, apart from the mental discomfort of having left the house. Sure, I could talk all day about my fashionable black leather work shoes with zips on the side that jingle as I walk – making me feel like a cowboy – but at the end of the day it’s the brown boots that make me feel the most comfortable foot-wise and self-image wise.
Creatives Editor, Cameron Colwell – Black Boots
At any given time, I own three pairs of shoes: Runners, ones for formal occasions, and ones I wear everywhere else. I like to save up and buy a long-lasting pair of nice shoes, rather than go through a bunch of cheap ones that’ll wear down in about a month of my seemingly constant by-foot-and-public-transport navigation of Sydney and its suburbs. Since I was about seventeen and discarded a particularly hole-ridden pair of black Converse, the majority of these shoes have been pair of boots. They have to be comfortable, practical, and vaguely affordable — thank you, ASOS sales. Also, these shoes have all had to go with anything, which is why they’ve all been black, or at least grey, if I’m feeling particularly peppy on the day of purchase. What do they say about me? I don’t know. I’m uncomfortable with the idea of projecting much by what I wear. When I showed one of my group-chats a pair of boots I was buying, one of my friends said they fit my aesthetic very well and then made a Cameron Colwell starter pack featuring, among other things, Kate Bush, coffee, and the footwear I was yet to buy. Does that mean I am what I wear? In that case, do I change when the local cobbler can no longer put together my boots and I have to get a new pair? What does it say about me that a piece of my identity is bought online? What new chapter of the self am I embarking on, in these foot casings of scotchgrain leather? All I know is that they haven’t worn in yet, and the ache on the back of my right foot is giving me the shits.
News Editor, Madison Thorne – Ballet Shoes
For right or for wrong, they’re construed as pretentious. A symptom of ‘higher art’ snobby-ness. Some would say they’re the outward manifestation of an inward North Shore inferiority complex. But for me, I beg to differ.
Marilyn Monroe, though not exactly dripping with existential wisdom, did say some pretty profound things. No, it wasn’t that diamonds are a girl’s best friend (however, I feel it appropriate to note that I’m not entirely oppositional to this concept). She said, “give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.”
For me, those shoes were a trusty pair of ballet pointes. A little worn, a bit broken in. A sole trusty enough to turn with, a grip with enough gusto to see me through the highest of leaps (and more frequently then I’d like to admit, ample face-plant landings). Yep, forget glass slippers, this princess tackles the toughest of tribulations with her ballet slippers in tow.
Now it’s true, ballet gets a hard wrap. It’s the brainchild of elite, status quo conserving aristocrats. It’s racially exclusionary and sets body image standards that are so anorexia-inducing it beggars’ belief. But behind that, it imparts many things: a ruthless tenacity, discipline, a source of salvation and a way of moving and seeing that is so beautiful, good and worthwhile. My pirouette producing pair of pointes prepared me for the Y3A walk better than any gym, and for the boredom of MAS115 better than any Dickens novel.
As I was lacing up my shoes one evening, before a big performance, my late ballet teacher announced, “Someone once said beauty can save the world. What a great responsibility you have on your shoulders.”
I like to think I’ll carry that with me, and the lessons I learnt in those shoes, wherever it is, I’ll go.
Campus News Editor, Tess Connery – Beat-up Vans
When I sat down to write this out, I was wondering what would make me seem cool and mysterious (two things that I most certainly am not). Cute sandals? The brown boots that only really go with one particular dress? My big, black, kill-a-bitch heels? Well, I wish, but at the end of the day the shoes that most honestly represent me would probably have to be my navy blue, beat-up, Vans. I know. So lame. I got them when I was 16, and five years later they’re still the default pair of shoes I put on before heading out the door. Yeah, I don’t know how they lasted that long either. Some would probably argue they haven’t. Anyway, since then they’ve survived to take me through various music festivals (including the 2013 Coffs Harbour leg of the Vans Warped Tour – because wearing Vans to Vans Warped is cool and original, and nobody can tell my 17-year-old self otherwise), every single outdoor event I’ve ever taken part in, and they’ve even endured me walking from the food court to Y3A and back twice a day at uni. They’re comfy, trusty as hell, and look amazing with every single pair of (really) ridiculous socks I’ve ever paired them with.
To conclude: this morning I decided to shake things up and put on my big, black, kill-a-bitch heels. My feet are currently in a stupid amount of pain and my Vans have never betrayed me like this.
Online Editor, Erin Christie – (Anything but) Heels
In a process of elimination, it’s definitely not strappy, black, six-inch wedge heels like the ones I wore the first time I almost went clubbing in the city. I say almost because they were definitely to blame when I wobbled and ultimately slipped down the stairs at Central Station on my way in, fell back and cracked my head open on the stair behind me. The date I’d brought after meeting him on Tinder a mere two dates earlier was walking ahead of me and only turned when he heard the crack and the woman walking behind me scream in shock as my head started bleeding (no one could have prepared me for how much those bastard head wounds bleed). After four hours in emergency, my date was silently cursing me as I was silently cursing those goddamn shoes. It’s hard to romantically rest your head on someone’s shoulder when they’re wearing white and you’re dripping like a gross, bloody faucet. Nowadays you won’t catch me in anything higher than those Creepers that were popular a few years back. Bring back the Creepers, I say.
Come meet the Grapeshot team and check out our vibe at our O-Week Stall Wednesday-Friday this week, and at our Boots Launch Party on Monday, July 31st.