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Manolo the Columnist | Manolo's Shoe Blog

Manolo the Columnist

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo

I recently graduated and started a new job as a research chemist. This means long hours on my feet in the lab, and close-toed shoes in the summertime!. Can you recommend any close-toed shoes that are comfortable, fashionable, *and* affordable? It seems an impossible combination.


Manolo says, since the time of the famously maladapted and nerdy Isaac Newton, scientists have been the modern priestly class, intermediaries between our superstitious world of ignorance and their logical world of higher knowledge, engaged in arcane rites that are as incomprehensible to us lay people as the differences between homoousios and homoiousios were to the medieval serfs.

And as members of this modern priesthood–as guileless and unworldly in its way as the Benedictine order–scientists are not expected to be overly concerned about the matters of this world. They have bigger fish to dissect.

Unfortunately, unlike the medieval monks, the modern scientists must pick out their own clothing, the practice that has resulted, more or less, in disaster. And thus one cannot help but notice that most scientists fall somewhere between the Nutty Professor and Steve Urkel on the continuum of fashion.

Thank heavens for the lab coat!

Look, here is the Make the Braid from Kenneth Cole New York. The cute loaferish shoe that will look good as you unlock the secrets of the universe. And it is on the sale!

Make the Braid from Kenneth Cole New York  Manolo Likes!  Click!

7 Responses to “Manolo the Columnist”

  1. Pam Walter July 4, 2009 at 1:56 pm #

    Love the classic looks of these. Am going to check them out immediately!

  2. mama con July 4, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    Um, do not think medieval serf was that interested in homo/homoiousiosities. But the churchly fathers wearing the red shoes by proto-prada… they were all hopped up and called the councils so they could wear their shoes and nice hats.

  3. Jeannie Dahl July 4, 2009 at 9:25 pm #

    Um, do not think medieval serf was that interested in homo/homoiousiosities.

    Isn’t that the sort of the point Manolo was making in his column?

  4. Azulao July 5, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

    Mmm, pretty shoes, Manolo! But not so suitable for the lab, unfortunately — because Genna is going to be spilling all sorts of things on those shoes which will ruin them swiftly. Also, the small heel is not stable enough, plus the lack of texture on the sole will cause her to slip’n’slide on the lab floor.

    Danskos, clunky but funky, are the much better bet for lab work. Genna should put the pretty shoes in the desk drawer and slip them on when she leaves the lab to go to meetings and give talks.

    Oh, and congratulations to Genna for finding a job!!

  5. La BellaDonna July 6, 2009 at 10:13 am #

    Congratulations to the Genna! Alack, the Azulao is most correct; La BellaDonna wonders if, in fact, the Genna may need the steel-toed shoe for her new job. It is at least better than the type of chemist-work-shoe which requires the metal conductor through the heel of the shoe to the floor.

  6. daisyj. July 6, 2009 at 5:50 pm #

    As a lab rat myself (biology, though, not chemistry), I have to say I think these would work out fine. One doesn’t actually spill hazardous materials that often, and really, should we let fear forever confine us to ugly shoes? At the moment, I am wearing black patent Sigerson Morrison flats because, well, life is short.

    As far as the cute/comfy/closed-toed trifecta goes, I’m partial to some of the fancier styles by Keds, such as:



    But, to each her own, of course.

  7. Leigh July 7, 2009 at 5:15 pm #

    Daisyj, I most wholeheartedly disagree. Biology labs and chemistry labs are VERY different (I’ve worked in both). I would agree that hazardous materials very rarely get spilled in bio labs. But chem labs? Very much the yes. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve melted the floor wax in my section of the lab, from spilling various solvents on it. But the floor is not pretty, unless you are into abstract art. That would be the brown and dirty-looking swirly kind.

    Anyway, I think Azulao had it spot-on. Danskos are good. Save the cute shoes for the killer knock-out talks at ACS meetings! And congrats on both the graduating and the job-landing, Genna!