Thursday, May 19, 2011

Orthograph #135 - Liturgical Footwear

17 comments:

nothinghypothetical.com said...

Got my Rockports at the Outlet store on the big one day sale. Cheap as Payless, lasted a year (I don't know about other people, but apparently I'm hard on shoes) though I hand shine and the finish hasn't held up as much as I would like. I think they put crap on modern shoes that make a hand polish not as spiffy as it once was.

Huw Raphael said...

I just crested with my purchase of a pair of Vibram Five Fingers just before Pascha. Singing the services of Lent I tried every pair of shoes I had... then I ended up bare footed finally. So I opted for Vibrams.

Silouan said...

I still buy a pair of black leather shoes every year at Pay Less Shoes for about $20 and they seem to work fine for me. For anything longer than a 90-minute Liturgy, I take them off as soon as I get to church anyway. (A cassock hides a multitude of socks.)

J.D. said...

Nikken Magnetic Inner Soles is the magic and they don't wear out.

Fr. Sean Lotz said...

For us Celtic Catholics, it is a venerable custom, though not binding, to worship barefooted. I wore shoes once a few years ago while attending an Episcopal church, the first time I had worn shoes in church for many years, and I felt --- what's the opposite of feeling naked in public?

Matushka Anna said...

"swaddled"?

I've made the mistake of wearing heels to church a handful of times. I haven't done that in years. I've never spent much money on shoes though.

Sophia in West Texas said...

I went barefoot for a few years in church. I *really* enjoyed it, but then my family moved to a new town with a church community that was not so willing to put up with my barefooted weirdness.

Sub Deacon David said...

I bought a pair a Merrills (online, half-off) 7 years ago to wear to services and they still do for me. They're not as comfortable as they once were - I'm thinking about putting some of those fancy insoles in them. I hate buying shoes, though I probably need a couple new pairs.

Jon Marc said...

Yeah, I just don't wear shoes in church (unless I'm traveling) - it's just not worth the back pain ;-).

Ioanna said...

I got introduced to Merrell shoes by a monastic friend and they've saved my feet more ways than I can count. Aside from Liturgies, Vigils, and other services I'm a teacher that gets to be on my feet all day and I will swear by these shoes! I confess I do get amused when I see Clergy wearing them also, but I'm also assured by the fact that I know I'm in good company!

ofgrace said...

This must be why my priests wear old Crocs!

Chocolatesa said...

I wear my crocs everywhere. Once I took them off during a service at the tiny skete near my parents house. I was the only one at the service that day, but another day there were a few of the older parish members attending, so the priest came to see me and whispered with a smile that he didn't mind but Russians found bare feet impolite so please keep them on :P

I bought a pair of Vibrams once, I didn't like the fact that I felt like my toes were curled over a bump, maybe it was just that particular model of theirs but either way I returned them the next day. Maybe I should try them again someday?

Something I've been tempted to buy are Vivo Barefoots, but never got around to it yet... They're expensive for my budget...

dc said...

@Fr Sean Lotz: the Ethiopians who worshipped with us (20 yrs ago) took off their shoes in the pews and esp to receive Holy Communion.

Hira Animfefte said...

My Indian Orthodox friends worship with shoes off. They put them back on in the church fellowship hall.

I had seminary buddies who would always serve out their acolyte duties in black Crocs. They called them 'liturgical Crocs.' I have since purchased a pair of black Crocs on my own and can vouch for their comfort...no wonder my pals were all about the Crocs.

While at seminary I developed a stable of what I came to think of as 'chapel shoes' or 'vigil shoes.' The 'vigil shoes' were/are the most comfortable.

I know people who wear heels to church--even to vigil! and I don't know how they do it. I knew one lady who'd wear heels, impressive heels, to Pascha. Until she got pregnant. Since then she's been seen in lower heels.

bob said...

I never would have had the pain or humilty (still lack that) to *sit* years ago, but now with plantar fasciatis I do. I haven't noticed lightning strike yet. As for shoes, New Balance -- the stiffer the better, and orthotics. Try Superfeet, experiment. Idiorhythmic? You bet.

candleprayer said...

Oh Church shoes! I have my one pair that I wear summer (provided it isn't too hot) and winter (with tights) and have had since I was 15. I'm 23 now. They've had the soles and heels replaced (and I need to do it again) and the inner soles aren't original either, but they're ballet flats from just before said shoes became fashionable and they're real leather and I love them.

...that's just Sunday though :) Any other day of the week (and all of Holy Week, except for Pascha night) I wear my awesome black maryjanes with orthodic soles. I used to wear skirts that the fundamentalist puritan types would adore (semicircular skirt, made by hand on a sewing machine from block coloured brocade fabric and almost covering my shoes) due to a lack of energy (I've got a chronic illness) and ability to find a halfway modest winter skirt and when I did THAT I got away with black suede sneakers underneath! No fashion statement though.

In summer I really should get a nice pair of dressy sandals but I can't find any without heels so in the meantime I say 'stuff it' and on the warmer days (I live in Australia, my Church was not built with this in mind, enough said) I wear my everyday sandals because they're comfortable and mean I don't faint.

My long-time boyfriend is the neokoros at my parish, a role that can mean all sorts of things (Greeks are pretty flexible about this) but in my parish equates to that of a non-tonsured subdeacon, and he's got sensible black laceups that probably cost a reasonable amount since they're leather, but they've lasted so long that they have permanent creases in the toes from kneeling and prostrations. He also swears by the socks my grandmother knitted him out of proper sock wool - they stop his feet getting sweaty and they're very comfortable!

Shoes are something you just don't stint on when it comes to Church shoes when you're Orthodox...if you're going to stand for that long, you need good shoes!

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