A Report on the Shoe Situation in France

Here to deepen my understanding of Loire Valley Wines, I will first report on something very important to ladies out there heading to France: The Shoe Situation.

Hello! I am here in Angers in the Loire Valley to attend the Salon des Vins de Loire, as a guest of the Loire Valley Wine Bureau. The leader of this group of American wine writers wrote to us last week advising us of the weather so we could decide what to pack: “It is rarely bitterly cold,” he wrote. “….I have only seen snow once.”

Okay. Make that twice. Here’s what I woke up to this morning:

Oui. It snowed last night. Streets are very slick.

The thing about snow in this part of France is that since it rarely occurs, they’re not really built for it. The streets are incredibly slick. That means you really need to choose footwear carefully:

No! Not these!

If you’re going to be walking a lot, leave the high-heeled boots at home and see more at All Things Waterproof if you don’t want your feet to get cold and freeze off. Boots are fun, but high heels in winter just doesn’t make sense. Even heels-loving French women can be very sensible about footwear:

Selection of fashionable but sensible boots in Angers

This picture , below, isn’t great (glare from shop window–sorry!) But they are “impermeable” — weatherproof –boots in leather.

Sensible shoes, take two.

But the real question is this: Do French women wear UGGs? Well, I have seen pseudo Uggs here:

Ceci n’est pas des Uggs. This is not Uggs

My advice: If you’re going to be walking a lot, bring your Uggs. I truly think that they will be looked at with envy here, as long as the snow still falls (and stays). If you’ll be socializing, doing business, and generally going to stylish spots, bring sensible but stylish boots (in the pictures before the pseudo-Uggs).

By the way: Here’s my story: I brought 1 1/2-inch heeled knee-high leather boots, and they look fine, but it’s slick out there….They’ll work beautifully for tromping through the wine trade show indoors. But not so great outside. I wish I had brought my Uggs for walks out and about on my own.

A bientôt!

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