A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Footwear that should be burned and buried

1. Thin-Soled Desert Boots

“Ah! It is hot near the pyramids! We need a new kind of groundbreaking shoe, perhaps inspired by the culture of these newly-discovered Ae-rabs near the pyramids. How about we make these “desert shoes” the color and texture of those camels they ride? And we’ll toss in a hideously small lace holding together the way-too-simple cut of suede, that way, it’ll look very much like those water pouch things that Delacroix always used to paint…”

 “Desert boots” visually simulate everything colonialist and orientalist in this world.

Fortunately, they aren’t that popular these days, but it’s their 60th birthady, so I foresee them becoming trendy again. DO NOT SUCCUMB.

manual hr :)
2. Shoes That Seem Like They Belong in the Ballrooms of 17th-Century Paris
selectism - grenson-asos-patent-brogue

It is not the fact that they are hideously over-designed that wins such shoes a spot on this list. It is the fact that you can pluck your eyebrows perfectly well using their reflection as a mirror. I cannot really understand why intensely patent leather is ever used at all.
Yup. Major FAIL.
manual hr :)hr :)
3. Platforms

The fact that people actually thrived on platforms in the 70’s is scary, an ultimate reminder that humans are never tasteful. What’s even scarier is that the Spice Girls managed to get them to become fashionable again in the 90’s.

Unless you’re a midget and platforms are the only way to comfortably fake semi-normal height, then oh puh-lease toss your platforms out the window.
manual hr :)

4. “Qatel Il Saraseer”

Mens_Dress_Shoes by you.

Pointy-toe shoes are the worst thing to ever happen to the streets of Amman. I cannot illustrate how appalling they are because I cannot find an image of the pointy-toe shoes that are currently very fashionable in town, for both men and women.  You just need to walk in the streets and see the most ugly trend in history- even worse that the rattails of the 90’s.

When I was a kid I had an older cousin who would tell me that it is very easy to find out if a girl is cool or  not. The secret is in the shoes, he said. If her shoes are ugly, then even if she was the hottest woman on earth, you’ll know that something is wrong. I remember I found that really silly. I still find it really silly. Except his theory works excellently well for the “Qatel Il Saraseer” shoes. If a person is wearing them, you’ll immediately know that they are 7afalagi.

And that’s my two-cents of doing good for the day: If you have a pair of shoes that are more suitable for killing insects hiding in the corner, then for Heaven’s sake, THROW THEM OUT.
manual hr :

5. American-Tourist Sandals
Teva Men's Hurricane 3 Outdoor Sandal
(Yes, sometimes tourists from other parts of the world as well, but mostly Americans.)

The way American tourists dress drives me crazy. Khaki shorts, worn-out and drab-colored t-shirt (or shirt), and the infamous sandlas, often with socks. Damn. It’s as if this “uniform” comes stamped out with their visas. I’ve never been to the US so I don’t know if that’s how they dress in their daily lives, but I sure hope not.

Regardless of how comfortable and efficient these sandals are, someone needs to introduce them to other kinds of comfortable footwear: loafers, perhaps. Or trainers. Even flip flops. 

6. Fisherman Sandals

My main problem with fisherman sandals is that they are disgustingly fricking timeless. Their designs, colors, and materials haven’t changed in many decades, and they’re actually still reminiscent of footwear worn in really old paintings.

This steadiness makes them look even uglier as the years pass. It’s like wearing bell-bottoms to a Star Trek Expo. Not just once as a joke, every year. Okay, so that’s a terrible analogy, but you get the image.

Really, time to move on to better things.

7. Anything that looks like an animal was skinned to cover your feet

VOLATILE Mimi Womens Wedge Platform Shoes Sandals Black Gold Cheetah Animal Print Thong
I know that it’s probably fake. And I know that they can sometimes look really nice. But the idea is so morbid. I don’t understand why humans find the concept of using human hair on handbags so horrifying yet be completely okay with the same happening with animals.

I’d understand with leather, at least it’s functional and keeps you warm and stuff, but with beauty shoes? Puh-lease.

8. Crocs for People over 5

I have to admit that Crocs are rather cute on very little children. Their absurd curves and horribly-designed form are very much alike to children’s funny head-shapes and weird proportions.

When it comes to adults, or even older kids, it’s just pure ugliness.

And yes, that is George W. Bush, and you don’t want to be like him do you?

9. Worishofer Sandals

I don’t think I need to explain why these “things” are on this list. Even grandmas should be banned from wearing them.

Germans should definitely stick to making cars and other heavy machinery. Another abhorrent German shoe is the Birkenstock, but it doesn’t make it to my top ten list.

10. Meaninglessly Sporty Sneakers
Saucony Women's Progrid Ride Running Shoe
How could I possibly have sneakers on this list? Well, it’s easy.

I’m talking about the millions of sneakers that are more overdone than an Egyptian bellydancer. The ones that pack special “breathable” mesh, stripes to hold the foot, ergonomic new materials, shiny reflectors, springy soles, plastic airholes for better jumps, neon frilling. Dude. It’s the new millennium. Most people have actually come to discover that sometimes less is more, and all the added gimmicks to make sneakers look more high-tech and sporty is complete BS.

That’s my top 10 list. Which of them do you disagree or strongly agree on with me? What shoes do you think I forgot to add to this list, that you believe should be burned and buried, to never disgrace the streets of civilization again?


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  1. funny topic, made me smile, the sneakers, if you are not running, or doing exercise, don’t bother wearing them, as for pointy shoes, I like pointy high heals, they are such a turn on! but I haven’t been in Amman for sometime, so I don’t know how bad they have abused it, the same way the girls did for boots, and ballet shoes… like one person being unique a group mashi, but entire nation, thats harsh! haha luckily for me no sandals, ever! and crocs are stupid, why did they even invent such abomination.

    okay I sounded like a diva, back to normal :D haha

  2. Eiman

    “One of your best notes (that i’ve read) !! :D”

  3. You’re so mistaken with Platforms! Inno you chose the most 7afallagi photo of platforms ever. Maybe you should say “Pole dancing platforms” then I’ll understand, but have a stroll through Kurt Geiger’s stuff and maybe you’ll change your mind.

    Bass I agree on all the rest, especially the tourist sandals and the Worishofer sandals – you see them BIG time in London. Haha

  4. Dima

    I don’t know what their official name is, but I really hate high heel “sabo”,which is front-closed but open from the back with no stripes on the sides or the back! especially those with pointy heels! no no!

  5. Haitham

    I agree with you about all of the above except number 1 :) i like them, sometimes i see people wearing them and look stylish! check out this blog: very interesting! :)

  6. Nancy

    LOL. Especially the part about American tourist sandals! Great writing.

  7. Reem

    Great writing Roobee! I totally agree with your list, except the Fisherman Sandals. At least they have personality :-D (They didn’t change over time)

  8. Bardees

    great shoes review, laughed a lot, I think the pointy-toe shoes can look really good sometimes, but the name Qatel Elsarseeer is hilarious ;)
    and I like the new sandals out there with snake leather, I hope they don’t belong to num 7 category!
    the tourist sandals review is right to the point,those kaki shorts are getting boring !

  9. Wow! I think every shoes shop should post this list in their shop. I totally agree about sandals, I hate them. When I was a kid I used to stare at peoples’ toes while praying and performing ruku3 (bowing) in the masjid (mosque). Some toes should never let out. Nice post!

  10. Americans stopped wearing sandals they now wear CROCS!! loooool
    Well i agree with you on all but the Crocs, let me ask you have you ever tried them?!!

  11. Isam


    i think i have Reebok to thank for that … they make awesome shoes and just as timeless …

    and btw a little info here … if u see a young man here in KSA with qatel saraseer shoes … he is Jordanian 100% … fisherman sandals he is Palestinian … american sandals well he is american … and that should conclude our stereotyping for the day …

    Great Post !! keep them up …

  12. Muhammad

    Ok so someone tell me about this please, cuz this is a real serious issue for me, where the hell do I get a good pair of shoes in Amman? This is my 5th year living in Amman and believe it or not, I’ve NEVER found a pair that I really like so far, and here’s is my lil experience with the few stores I visit “frequently” to hopefully find something for me, and all of them are based in City Mall btw;

    Timberland: Oh gosh! They never update their models, every time I step into the store I literally feel like they make footwear for retarded or handicap people only, I used to love Timberland shoes back when I was in Egypt, but who ever is behind Timberland Jordan must be a @#$%$% person, plus they never update, the same ugly stuff is there for like 4 years or so.

    Columbia: Well I do admit they have some decent stuff, but it just happens that I never feel “attracted” to any specific shoe everytime I’m there, plus they’re outrageously overpriced.

    Clarks: Have been there twice, and everytime I surprisingly find it, and I go like OMG yeah finally! Then I ask for size 9 &they NEVER have it, the guy would make a phone call and come back to me saying he is sorry “ba3tizir mennak”.

    I do agree on your list Roba, totally! And I do also agree with ur cousin, I mean I personally think I can judge a person by looking at/checking their shoes, and its actually true, it works… well, most of the time.

  13. Katia

    Uggs should be somewhere in that top 10, near the very top of it! They should definitely be banned and burned, along with the girls wearing them with a bikini on some Caribbean beach.

  14. heba

    Ok I might sound off,
    but, I HATE HOW GLADIATOR SANDALS LOOK on 95% of girls and women, they look so unflattering, unless you have tiny geisha feet, you will end up looking like a bulky gladiator minus the armor!

  15. Arsalan :S They were popular around 5 years ago, but come on, they’re hideous :(

    Omar, ya3333 ma 7abeit ashya2o. But then you know my taste…

    Dima, I have no idra what you’re talking about! Images?

    Haitham, come on, they’re so terribly designed! Thats’ what I’m saying, don’t give up on nice design for style :P

    Nancy, thank you :)

    Reem, bas they’re sooo ugly! :(

    Bardees, yeah, they are getting boring. Someone needs to tell them! As for the sandals, I don’t know what you’re talking about… but snakeskin does fall in that category :P

    Jaraad, haha, thank you :) But yeah, I agree. A lot of people do not keep their feet clean and thus should stick to shoes.

    Mike “MC Micro”, ya zalameh fi kteer ashya2 as comfortable as crocs but that do not look as hideous :(

    Isam, haha, raheeb. I have to admit I’m not :P Yeah, this qatel il saraseer trend is v very jordanian! I couldn’t find a picture of shoes like the ones they were here, so I photoshopped to look as much as possile, but it still doesn’t look like that!

    Muhammad, my brothers shop online through Aramex Shop and Ship. It’s much cheaper, they can easily find sizes, and there’s so much more variety.

    Katia, Uggs never got very popular here, so I completely forgot about them. Do people really wear thehm with bikinis for real?

    Heba, hehe, I am wearing a pair right now! :P And i have the biggest feet ever :P But really, it depends on their cut. I agree that some of them just butcher everything, but some of them are cool :)

  16. Crystal

    Lay off the platforms!!
    They have single-handedly changed the stripping industry. My favourites are the glass heel ones.
    I keep thinking what a great idea wold it be to have a live fish in there.

  17. abitmutch

    Great Post! I generally agree, but have to (sadly) stand up in favour of the ‘American Tourist Sandal’. I agree that Western tourists generally look like unimaginative slobs while hanging out in the region and the clunky velcro and rubber footwear does not help. (Yes, sadly, this is how many of them dress at home as well). However, when walking serious distances in warm weather, having a good, quality shoe is important and the ‘American Sports Sandal’ is the best thing for job. Seriously comfortable and well designed for days when you are on your feet for 5 or more hours.

  18. You can burn all of the others, but you’ll pry my crocs off my cold dead body! Teehee. Sadly, there are actually no shoes that wear as comfortably as crocs. I have a problem with my arch muscle and every other shoe (literally) hurts after a few minutes in it. They continue to hurt for days. So, forgive me (and I actually thought the exact same thing about them until I wore them… I bought them as shoes to go into the Dead Sea), but I’m not giving up my hideously, ridiculously ugly crocs! Teehee.

    Oh, and I’m with Heba on the gladiator style sandals. They just don’t do it for me. All that leather and buckles… Not me… Teehee. You can keep yours glads if I can keep my crocs.

  19. bashar

    I agree with you on all accept number one. desert shoes look amazing and are so versatile. a guy can wear them with jeans, khakis, dressy shorts or a light summer suite. unfortunately, they hurt like hell, but its okay because you would look so fashionable.

  20. I am a big fan of the Saucnoy sneakers at the moment. I have only been wearing them for a short time but I they are quickly becoming my favourite brand of trainers after my old Asics used to give me blisters!
    .-= The latest from Sophie´s blog ..Saucony Pro-Grid Jazz 13 Shoe Review =-.

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