Friday, 4 January 2008

has Camper jumped the shark?

Oh it's sad when a great romance dies. All things must pass, and Campers have been my no.1 shoe friends for possibly long enough. I'm wondering if it's really all over. If so, it's not because of anything I did. All their fault.

The unhappiness began in November when I went to buy myself a new pair as a birthday present and so I would not be distracted by worrying about my feet during the conference week. I wanted sandals, but all the nice shapes were way too narrow for my feet. (Strike one.) So I got these instead.

They're OK. They are damn comfortable. But the thing is, after a month and a half of wear, they've gone totally limp. I don't think the band of elastic across the top is going to hold out much longer. I wouldn't mind so much except they cost twice as much as they should have, and more importantly, when I looked at the bottom, I got a nasty shock:

(Strike two.) That's right through 'lame' and out the other side. wtf is a 'camper girl'? Why couldn't they settle for a nice flower or trail of footprints design like in the old days?

Then I went and got these on Boxing Day:

Look, they're alright too. Solid, well-made shoes, nicely shaped and wide across the toe joints where I need the room. But what's the embroidery supposed to represent? I have no objection to patterns on the toes (although I am a little apprehensive about the possible effect on my sense of colour of going about sporting pastel pink, blue, and yellow embroidery) but the design looks ominously like the sort of random and vaguely flowery scribble you might do if you're really, really sick of having to come up with an endless series of quirky designs (strike three.)

If Camper really has finally lost it I'm going to have to make the shoes I already have last for the rest of my life.


jac said...

What? My world is tilting. This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife.

Anonymous said...


Ann O'Dyne said...

If that embroidery is thread ... then you could get a RED felt pen and color it over ?

Cast Iron Balcony said...

Hey, that's a good idea!

Where, actually, do you buy campers? and how (quakes in non-Camper shoes) expensive are they?

lucy tartan said...

I might colour it in black. Hard to see who else I can clean them, actually.

cib, you buy them from the Camper shop in the GPO. When they're not on sale they run $200-$300, on sale they drop 30-50%. In deference to the tender feelings of two sad young ladies commenting at #1 and #2 I'm happy to point out that they're well made (usually), last for ever, are dependably comfortable, and make you feel good.

kate said...

Campers that are 'too narrow'? WHERE?

The narrow-footed Campers deprived lady/ies of Melbourne Need To Know. I do have Campers boots though, I wear them with Very Thick Socks, but sadly they need a rejuvenation treatment to return them to their former glory.

Another Outspoken Female said...

Oh that is good news. Really. They don't fit me and Camper still refuses to make half sizes - so I can stop being a 'hungry ghost' and stop craving them :)

Happy New Year. Blog drinks?

Ampersand Duck said...

I recommend going to a Camper store and trying on various pairs until you know your size perfectly, then haunting ebay. I've bought at two pairs very cheap and one pair almost cheap and I'm very happy. And, of course, you get the older style that Laura is pining for. I'm also in love with Camper men's styles, and they aren't as hotly contested on ebay.

I hope you reversed that shoe sole! otherwise I can't imagine the point of leaving backwards-oriented writing all over footpaths. That would be a huge Camper gaff, let along the tacky message itself.

I think they'd look marvellous with a good black polish all over them. But if they fuck up, forget I said that!

Ampersand Duck said...


Drewzel said...

I must admit, I think they're rather charming! And I like the colours. Maybe not up there with the best of the Camper Twins, but still cute. Send them my way if you get sick of them Laura, I'm a "40" also.

But I do agree, the stuff printed on the soles is sheer bollocks.

Anonymous said...

I am very sad with my Campers boots... Bought last winter (at full price) and worn most days, by the end of winter the rubber sole had collapsed in on itself. I was told by the shoe repairman that they were beyond hope and to buy myself a new pair of boots. This summer they have sat in my wardrobe awaiting my wrath when winter arrives and I have no boots. What happened to Campers? I seem to remember something similar with Docs about 15 years ago...

Ann O'Dyne said...

no Duck, not 'polish' but DUBBIN - the only thing to put on leather shoes.
big yellow tin.
Stained show polishes come off on carpets and rugs and trousers and do not restore the leather, just 'color' it.
Dubbin preserves leather. good stuff - no color so suits every shoe you have.
(this was not a sponsored advert)