I love my Dansko clogs. Many of my friends love them. They are immensely popular shoes.
|Heidi Freaking Klum loves her Danskos (photo: People.com)|
They are the beloved, sensible footwear choice of many. Housewives, hipsters, chefs, nurses, teachers and, as noted above, super famous models/television personalities (Tina Fey and Jennifer Garner are also fans, so there ya go).
Are they comfortable? HELLS YEAH. All kinds of comfy. I remember the first time I stepped into these clompy clouds of love: I felt taller, longer, leaner. I also felt kind of Scandinavian.
Are they affordable? NAH. The average price for a pair of Dansko shoes is $120.00. Back when I had disposable income I treated myself to a few pairs. I've lucked out and found a few cute ones at thrift stores (I actually heard angels singing when I found a pair of patent Professionals at Value Village for $7.99), and I have been on the receiving end of generous hand-me-downs from my friends Gail and Whitney (Whitney, I'm still rocking the red suede pair you gave me 6 years ago). The thing is, they wear like iron and if you take care of them (which basically means avoid fire and hot lava) they will last for years.
Are they sexy? ANYTHING BUT. My ex husband used to refer to them as "those big black shoe things you wear". I think they are the modern equivalent of little Dutch boy-type wooden clogs. The opposite of strappy and slinky, these clodhoppers let you clunk through parking lots, grocery story aisles and school hallways with stomping confidence. You want hoofs? YOU GOT 'EM.
|I went through an animal print phase. And Dansko was there.|
Think of Danskos as the Volvo station wagon of the shoe world. Boxy, utilitarian, yes. However, they are well made and their owners are usually smart, practical people who know that quality costs a bit more. Plus Dansko and Volvo both end with the letter O.
But. There's a secret about Danskos. A secret that you won't find on their website, a secret the salespeople you buy them from won't tell you:
DANSKOS WANT TO HURT YOU.
Mine have tried, twice. The first time was so awful and embarrassing that I like to talk about it as often as possible. It was about 7 years ago. I was almost divorced, and still on friendly terms with my soon-to-be ex-husband. I was walking outside to chat with him as he waited in the driveway one fine day, wearing my Danskos, of course. Cleared the top step of the tiny concrete stairway at the front door, and on the second step, I did what is known in certain circles as "The Dansko Roll". I fell off my Dansko. The left one. My foot rolled, I heard a crunch, and I fell down the remaining two steps. No worries though! I got up, Mary Katherine Gallagher "SUPERSTAR" fashion, and limped over to say hi to the father of my children.
After he left, I surveyed the damage. Already swelling, my left ankle had the mottled appearance of a zombie in the first stages of zombie-ism. Kind of purple. It hurt something fierce, but here's the deal: I HAD A DATE THAT NIGHT.
A date with Curiously Cheap George. And I wasn't about to let a painful, puffy ankle stop me from going. So I stuffed that sausage into cute black boots, and walked as little as possible as we were entertained by an AC/DC cover band that evening. Here's where I am going to be a 17 year old boy and add "my giant ankle wasn't the only sausage that got stuffed that night". /end immaturity. I think I cried a little during the lovemaking, which Curiously Cheap George probably thought was me being all emotionally vulnerable and tender but in reality was because he kept bumping my ankle with his shoulder. (I'll let you do the mental imagery on that one).
And yet, I continued to wear my Danskos.
Over the years, I had many close calls. Several near-rolls, an untold number of trips and stumbles. One of my best friends broke her ankle while wearing Danskos, and several more friends have collected twisted ankles and bruised feet along with their own Passive Aggressive Dansko horror stories.
And yet, we continue to wear Danskos.
This past weekend, I was in Bitchy Cleaning Mode. That's where I clean the house while muttering about my lazy kids and about how I am sending the worst roommates, ever, out into the universe.
So I was bitching and muttering as I took two big bags of recycling outside. Down some snowy steps. IN MY DANSKOS (the lovely ones in the first picture above). I was mid-mutter when BOOM. ROLL. My left foot slid, unnaturally, to the side and yours truly slid, naturally, to the bottom of the steps. I got up, winced my way to the recycling bin and limped back inside to see how bad this roll had been.
I iced it immediately, finally finding a use for that bag of edamame beans from Trader Joe's that's been languishing in the freezer. Did a fine job of convincing myself that "Meh...it's not so bad." I consulted with a couple doctor friends, and also decided that nothing says TIME FOR A MARTINI like a sore foot.
But I'm at that age. That certain age where you can no longer jump up and "walk it off". As the day wore on I knew I'd done something to my foot, something that all the edamame, elevation and vodka in the world can't fix.
The next morning, my homie Danielle dragged me to the local hot spot for orthopedic injuries (after I shaved my flowing ankle hair and used a cheese grater on my heels, because February+Minnesota). After several x-rays and having my bruised but smooth appendage handled by a handsome doctor, this is what I'm wearing now:
|Diagnosis: BAD SPRAIN. Which, it turns out, can be worse than a break. Yay!|
I was telling a co-worker all about the events of the weekend. She cast a glance at my unwieldy stormtrooper/RoboCop foot and remarked, "So I suppose you won't be wearing Danskos anymore?"
"Um, yeah" I replied. "I'm totally going to be wearing them again." She walked away, chuckling, the clomps of her well-worn Danskos echoing softly in the hallway.
Hobble me once, shame on you, Dansko. Hobble me twice? Shame on me.
At least I'll be comfortable until the next tumble.