Snapjacks on eBay. Awhile ago some of you had an interest in Snapjack shoes for men. There’s a pair on eBay, but it will set you back almost $300! Its only taps are teeny metal ones on the toes, but it looks like it has new heels so you could add your own horseshoes if you so wish. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Super-cool-black-Snapjack-Shoes-with-the-Talon-Shu-lok-Fastener-/171217668560
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It is with deep sadness that I must tell those of you who don’t know that Barry Bryson, one of the most active participants on this blog and a close on-line friend for over 15 years, has passed away. Barry was among the first people I met online who shared my love for the clicky sounds of taps on shoes. And he was pure of heart and had an agile and fun-loving mind. I will miss him greatly.
For those who didn’t know him well, he suffered in his last years from diabetes and, I believe, from a heart ailment as well. He overcame the adversity of a leg amputation due to the diabetes, but to the end he remained enthusiastic and optimistic, sharing the joy of his life with all of us.
God bless you, Barry.
One of the regulars here posed some questions to me Saturday night about my wearing taps at work. It can be a problem for people because (a) hardly anyone, well NO ONE, puts metal taps on their shoes anymore; and (b) they’re noticeable–for some of us that’s their whole point–besides hearing your own click-click walk which I imagine most of us really really like.
I think overall it is different for women than for guys. I took a sociology class once and here’s an idea that stuck with me: Women are taught by our culture to be the chosen and men to be the choosers. To be chosen, you have to look your best and attract favorable attention. Thus, the click of high heels, often with metal heel tips, is probably the most common and long-lasting shoe-related element for women of getting attention and being chosen. But I generally don’t like the feel or experience of walking in high heels. So for me, taps are a much better option.
I LIKE to make eye contact with people. I like them to smile at me. I even like to say ‘hi’ and have them say ‘hi’ back! I don’t mind if they ask me about my taps. My only real pet peeve involving being noticed with metal taps on my shoes is being asked “Why are you wearing tap (dancing) shoes?” They’re NOT TAP SHOES for God’s sake!
O.K. Here are some of his questions and my answers.
Did you wear them to your [job] interview(s)?
Funny you should ask that. My first job after college was at a pretty large newspaper, and I actually did wear my brown/orange western boots with horseshoe taps to my job interview! I suppose back then I didn’t think much about what other people would think (still don’t, HAHAHA) and those boots were a good complement to what I was wearing that day. AND I actually think they HELPED me get the job! First, because wearing them probably helped my self-confidence–the click-click-click sounds feel (to me) both sexy and authoritative at the same time. Second, because a couple people I interviewed with actually commented that they liked my boots! I’ve probably worn shoes with taps to ALL my job interviews, but that’s the one I most remember.
On your first day at work?
Same answer–I’m sure I wore shoes with taps the first day on every job I’ve had where I’ve worked outside my home–restaurant hostess, insurance office clerk, researcher for a newspaper, and grocery store cashier. On my current job (the one I work at outside of my home), I wore sandals the first day and I remember that because it was a no-no. It’s a food store and their rule is no sandals. So it wasn’t the taps that got me in trouble!
Did you broach your obsession early-on?
You mean do I talk about having taps on my shoes with other people I work with? Only if they ask. It’s not anything I’m ashamed of. But I wouldn’t ever come out and say it was a sexual turn-on or anything. That’s pretty private. Of course, when I met a man on my job, a man I’m still friends with, and he told me HE had a “fetish” for taps, I admitted I liked them that way too. But he went first, and he was a customer, not a co-worker.
How did your co-workers react?
There’s all kinds of reactions, of course, just like with non-co-workers. Out of maybe 100 people I’ve worked with on those jobs (including the work I do at home for a company in New York), probably 85-90 have never said a thing to me about them. Everyone has their own thing; people either don’t notice, or don’t care, or don’t want to ask about someone else’s thing. Four or five women co-workers have asked me about them over the years and one of them told me later that she got taps put on a pair of her shoes (though she never wore them to work, so I just have to take her at her word). The rest were guys who either said they liked hearing me walk around or asked me if I was a tap-dancer. (As I said, that’s the one comment I really don’t like.) I can recall one or two older men, probably at the newspaper or maybe the insurance office, who told me that they had taps on their shoes when they were in school many decades earlier.
Were you such a exemplarily employee that they tolerated your taps?
I really doubt that “toleration” has ever been an issue. Maybe if I worked at a place with really posh wood floors, it would have been a problem. But I never have worked at places like that. Anyway, I didn’t work outside my home when my kids were little, so my work experience maybe isn’t what you were thinking of. No one has ever complained or criticized me for wearing shoes with taps, at least not to my face and not that I’d ever heard.
Did you have occasions where you felt awkward and walked softly?
Sure, when everyone was working quietly at the newspaper or the insurance office, I would try not to bother them with my clickety walk. But I can generally walk lightly when I need to. The only real problem at the grocery store is that the floor tends to be a little slippery. So when I walk down the aisles, I try to walk lightly so as not to slip. So far, so good.
Did you ever get categorized as a certain type of person for wearing them?
I’m sure some of the older women at the newspaper and the insurance office thought I was immature, but then I was! I was under 25 then. And I suppose some of the men might have classified me as a “hottie.” (I like to think so, anyway!) Currently, the way I stand out where I work now is not so much the taps but that I use a fair amount of makeup and color my hair a bright shade of blonde. This is a very laid-back place, and I pretty much stand out as “Ms Glamour.” So I’m pretty sure that when I started there, a lot of the people didn’t know quite what to make of me. Also, when I changed from one store to another one in the same “chain” I had the same “who IS that BLONDE?” experience. But, I’ve been at the new store for a couple years and we’re all pretty cool with one another. Most of my co-workers are a bit younger than me and I’ve got some seniority now. But, really, taps haven’t had anything to do with my status at the store.
Have you had to justify why you like them or how important they are to you?
Only to my stepdad! And my hubby, who tolerates them because he likes the attention I get when he’s with me. But, again, among co-workers it’s a non-issue.
I’m afraid this was a pretty boring Q&A. Maybe it helps you understand who I am, but it probably isn’t going to give a shy guy the balls (figuratively, honest) to click loudly into work one day. Actually, it probably IS harder on a job where you’re already well-defined to other people. It may be a stretch, but maybe if someone really wanted to overcome shyness, he should get a new job or move to a new town so the taps are just part of who he is right from the start. Anyway, just a thought.
This post is too long to add tap photos. Next time.
I’ve been emailing with a couple of blog commentators (Barry and John/Tapboot and a third who shall remain nameless) and we were comparing how long people have been wearing taps on their shoes and how long a tap spouse/gf/bf has been wearing (or did wear) taps. So I was wondering what the record is among us for each of these categories:
* longest duration of continuous tap-wearing during marriage (that is, for how many years did you or your spouse wear shoes with taps at least several days a week)
* longest duration of tap-wearing period (how long you or she/he wore taps regardless of whether you/he/she were married)
* longest duration where both you and your partner (married or not) BOTH wore taps on your shoes
* same three questions for horseshoe taps only (wearing them, say, several times a month or more)
* what was the most number of pairs of shoes you/he/she had in your closet, etc. with taps on them
* what was the most number of pairs of shoes with horseshoe taps you/he/she had
You’re all welcome to add questions to this list, as long as you try to answer some of mine! You’re also welcome to just write more generally–this isn’t a test! Or even a contest!
An ebay auction for some tall men’s boots with horseshoe plates on them. Lotsa photos for you: http://www.ebay.com/itm/190932450414 Go to it, guys! Especially if you’ve got smallish feet and money to burn!
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Awhile ago Tapnut sent me this photo of his clogs and a message that I’ve copied below. Enjoy!
I was inspired by crush clogs to get some clogs, tap them up and make some loud noise!
I used to wear clogs back in the 70′s…they were more stylish then.
I wanted wood clogs but could only find traditional Swedish style clogs with a PVC outsole (the PVC is really firm…not like rubber).
I had planned to remove the outsole and put the metal right on the wood but I couldn’t readily figure out how to remove it.
So, I thought I’d put the metal right on the PVC and see how sounded.
The heel bottoms were surprisingly as big as dress shoes (3″ X 3″).
I had some thick horseshoe Blakeys the right size and mounted them up.
They were loud!
They sounded like the metal was mounted right on the wood with a solid yet hollow sound.
Next, I wanted to install some hobnails (I found some nice new six-sided hobnails).
I initially thought I’d make a clearance in the PVC and put the hobnails right on the wood.
But I thought I’d try them right on the PVC first.
Wow, they were loud and fun too!
I make noise with the heel strike and then with the slap of the forefoot.
For the toes, I used what I think are coordinating Blakey toe taps…and they’re thick like the heel taps.
Note: here-to-fore, toe taps have always sounded “tinny” to me…but not these…they have a solid sound.
The PVC bottom is not something I wanted, as a purist, but it doesn’t seem to affect the sound.
I went to a market later on Sat….
That was a trip…
No, I didn’t fall on my butt but I did have lots of slippage…I had to be careful…but it was lots of fun and loud!
Around the house, I wear them like slippers…
I have a goodly amount of tile floors and a tile patio.
So, I get lots of enjoyment…but I’ll have to watch my trips to places with slick floors.
PS, I didn’t see a good reason to fill in the toe area with hobnails…but if I see any significant wear, I might do so.
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One more–majorettes with what you guys call a “full house!” This one’s on Etsy and is mucho bucks (almost like the Saddle Shoes below. Can you believe $100 for the saddle shoes? I wrote her and asked if it was a misprint!)
They were originally listed as women’s, but the woman selling them didn’t really know their origin. Looked like men’s to me because of the tap size (can’t read the number, but I’m guessing 7′s), so I wrote her. She ended up finding a men’s size on the shoes (6D) and so changed the listing from women’s to men’s. Here’s the ebay listing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/121132113833?ss
And speaking of tap sizes, what size of taps do you think are on the saddle shoes in the posting below. The women said she wore size 5 1/2 shoes back then, so they could just be 5′s, but the taps look larger than 5′s to me. Maybe 6′s? 7′s?
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