"Cute!" my supervisor and fellow shoe freak exclaimed when I wore my new Kitsons to work. "They remind me of Campers."
"They're just like Campers," one of my friends said when she saw the Kitsons.
Intrigued, I asked them both about Campers and was told they were known for doing mismatched shoes, just like the Kitson peppers canvas slip-ons I loved so much. I did some browsing, ahem, I mean research online, and came across a rather romanticized history of Camper shoes on their official website, recounting the trials and tribulations of a long line of Majorcan shoemakers and craftsmen going back to 1877, and the obstacles they encountered in realizing the dream of Camper shoes in 1975. Camper shoes are known for their quality craftsmanship and high level of comfort: expect beautiful leathers, cushioned footbeds, plenty of arch support, and an excellent fit.
Because the official website (www.camper.com) took so long to load on my computer, I decided to peruse the line on www.zappos.com instead and was both surprised and disappointed. The shoe prices hovered around the $150 US mark and the styles included many chic but basic options. The Twins line with its mismatched shoes interested me most. "They are twins that are not equal but complementary. The pairs concept never made more sense," Zappos proclaims; how true! Judging from the pictures and the glowing customer reviews, the shoes are of very good quality and quite comfortable to wear. My favourite of the bunch is the pair of cream-coloured shoes that look like they're wearing sunglasses when you stand with your feet together. When you stand with your feet apart, they just look sleek and pretty, especially with the cutouts on the sides.
However, after hearing so much about them, I was expecting the sort of aesthetic wow factor I get from Kitson. All of the mismatched Kitson slip-ons have details on every inch of the shoe that make them appealing from every angle. On the heels of my peppers shoes, for instance, one shoe says "Spicy" while the other one says "Hottie." The pink-and-black pair bedecked with playing cards and rhinestones as diamonds says "Luck be a lady" on the sides. Also, Kitson uses bright colours in their designs that increase the fun, upbeat vibe of their shoes. I guess I was expecting more fun from the Campers, which seem almost serious by comparison.
Anyways, I'll post some pics of the Camper shoes I really liked and you can be the judge of whether or not they eclipse Kitson sneakers. What do you think?