Read, Write, Run, Roam

No Pain, No Gain: Eastern Shoe Philosophy


Victor Hugo wrote, “If suffer we must, let’s suffer on the heights.”

Someone in Budapest seems to agree.


Ok, maybe this isn’t exactly what Hugo meant. But it is a general shoe philosophy around Budapest, and even more so around Belgrade. Though flats and sneakers are common sights during the day so are 3-5 inch heels. And don’t forget–people walk everywhere here. Heels reach new heights at night, when ladies delicately trot on cobblestones around Knez Mihailova and Skadarlija, or navigate the pavement on Strahicna Bana (aka “Silicon Alley”). After all, this is a city that held a footrace in heels.

Walking on cobblestones is child’s play.

I confess I haven’t gotten used to wearing stilettos around town. I’m still in training wheels, otherwise known as wedges. So the woman in the first picture put me to shame: a bandaged foot wearing a pointy-toe stiletto in the afternoon? Sister, I thought it whispered to me, you have a lot to learn. No pain, no gain.  

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