I have wanted tall boots for about a billion years, but I have what shoemakers like to call “extended calves.” They’re thick, okay? Maybe fat. They’ve been thick/fat forever, long before I myself qualified as thick/fat. So that made finding boots really difficult, especially when my budget was so small.

So I have this weird habit of buying something and then, only after plunking down the cash, going online to look up its reviews. I have no idea why I do this, but it happens all the time. Like maybe I need to have my life choices validated. If only I could look up online reviews on the friends I choose and whether or not I said the right thing at the right time, although I fear the answer in both cases might make me feel bad.

I happened across some really great ankle boots at Target toward the end of last summer, and while I was validating my choice by reading reviews, I saw another boot on the site that I might have liked even better. And those reviews were STELLAR, frequently comparing these boots favorably to a certain style of Frye boots that retail for over $200. These boots? $50.

cheap boots!
expensive boots!
The cheap boots are on top.

So I immediately snapped up two pairs, in brown and black.

And then I was all nervous about how to wear them so I left them in the closet for like 4 months.

And then, gradually, I started to break them in. And I freaking love them. I only rarely wear the black ones, as it turns out, but I wear the brown ones several days a week with a skirt or a dress and a little sweater or something, and I might look like a total douche in them but every single time I wear them I feel stylish and comfortable and I’m pretty sure I rock it.

So here I am, all awesome, feeling trendy in a pair of boots when for heaven’s sake I’m freaking surrounded by UVA students wearing much more stylish and expensive boots, but these boots fit my fatty fat calves and they were fifty bucks. Therefore, I am cool.

A month or so ago I went to do a site visit at a place where I was hoping to plan an event, and the very very nice and sweet staff member assisting me was about my age, and wearing the boots. At some point in the visit, I decided to both compliment her and bond with her by complimenting her on what a great deal the boots were, and how excited I had been to find them at Target, and so on and so forth. So I’m gushing about our shared love of $50 boots, and she gets kind of red and kind of quiet and says, “I didn’t get these at Target.”

Oh shit, I think. She’s wearing the $200 Frye boots and they look freaking exactly like mine.

So I immediately and quite awkwardly and unintentionally diss her very expensive designer boots by telling her, out loud, that they look freaking exactly like my shitty Target knockoffs.

And she’s like, “Normally Target is way more my speed, but I’m getting married and wedding planning has been really stressful and I wanted to do something nice for myself, so I saved up and splurged on these boots.”

And now I’m an even BIGGER asshole, because I have unintentionally dissed fancy boots that she SAVED HER MONEY TO BUY AS A STRESS REWARD TREAT THING. Also, she was very cute and nice and had very nice thin calves. And I made her doubt her designer boots.

I tried to make some little joke about how her boots would probably last her ten years and mine would fall apart by next fall, and later on she emailed me to say that we needed to do a boot check every now and then to see how they were holding up. She was very gracious. But boy, did I feel stupid.

One Reply to “knockoffs”

  1. Am jealous. My extended calf boots were from eddie bauer, and cost 99. I thought it was a bargain… Till i read this. But your ending tale of jackassery does soften the blow!

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