The first pair of clogs I owned was in 7th grade, circa 1981. They had a wooden platform heel with sleek tan leather. I felt a little self-conscious in them because they gave me a couple of inches in height—a first, and an exciting first at that.

Practical shoes have never been my forte; I’ve opted instead for the beautiful, the well-heeled type. That has brought me much pleasure…and pain. Not for nothing, when I first had a job in Chicago, I went directly to Ferragamo on Michigan Avenue and splurged. Still have those black licorice beauties. That type of shoe should have been reserved for a night on the town, but don’t you know it that liked to wear them a heck of a lot more than that.

Then, come evening, a switch to my running shoes—and mid-run I’d be dropping in pain from cramping feet letting me know that this was an unwelcome way to treat them.

Cut to 2010, when I was preparing myself for culinary school. Thrill me with knives, white chef’s coats and aprons. But sturdy kitchen shoes? Not so much. I ducked into a shop on Armitage known for its sensible shoes. I’d been in before to survey the offerings; I’d wanted comfortable, but not that badly. This time I tried on Dansko’s. Every chef, kitchen and medical worker’s favorite. Black, even the patent leather ones, said nothing if not practicality. Here though were green, and not just green, but shiny green lizard-looking things.

I went for it, and have been going for these little green beans every day when I work in the kitchen ever since. These are All Day Long shoes.

Never Notice You’re Standing shoes.

Who Really Cares Because Here You Are Cooking shoes.

They are also Don’t Wear Them Anywhere But the Kitchen shoes. Dan was so concerned (turned off?) one day recently when I wore them out for a little shopping and lunch (it was a situation where that’s all I had on hand; I know, I know, I have lots of shoes, but this kind of thing happens when you’re a nomad) that he outfitted me in new shoes on the spot. He even suggested I wear the new boots right out of the store (was it that bad?) and quietly slipped the green Dansko’s in my handbag. I guess those clogs are even more valuable to me than I realized.

The holidays are coming soon, and for many of us that means gloriously long days in the kitchen, baking and cooking and filling the house with goodness. Let your feet in on the goodness, and I suspect you’ll be keeping your Dansko’s at the kitchen door too, ready and waiting, from here on out.

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