Just tapping in to say Hello
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I know I’m not writing much now, but I had to write about last night. My husband and I were walking into a restaurant for a late dinner, and I saw an older woman and a man about her age possibly walking out of the same restaurant about 10 feet ahead of us. I heard the unmistakable sounds of metal taps and so I looked real hard, almost stopping in our approach to the front door of the restaurant. At first I assumed I was hearing the man’s shoes, but then I saw HORSESHOE TAPS ON THE WOMAN’S BOOTS!!!!! BIG ONES!!! on tall black leather sort-of-flat-heeled boots. (I think the man had taps on his shoes also but once I saw the woman’s boots I didn’t think of anything else except staring at them and her.) She had short gray/white hair and was wearing a black dress. An older woman, probably in her 60s. If I’d had any sense I would have run up to her and ask her about herself and her horseshoe taps, but it was so sudden, I couldn’t react fast enough. I grabbed my husband’s arm so I could finish watching the couple walk towards their car, but I was dumbstruck. Then he opened the restaurant’s door for me, and I blindly followed his lead and went inside.
It was a good meal but the best part was before we walked in! BTW, I was wearing my dressy ivory-colored flats with #7 Eagle taps on the heels and #4 on the toes. Shown up by an older woman!
But that’s ok. There’s a second tapgirl, in my own home town!
tapboot, Ed, Blake, and 2 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
Now that we’re on the subject of taps sizes, here’s a question for you. I’ve had a pair of saddle shoes for quite awhile but they’re actually a bit small for my feet. I used to have Eagle 8’s on the heels and 6’s on the toes, but with Tapboot’s urging, I replaced them with horseshoe heel taps and toe bumpers on the toes. Here’s their pic:
Now, although I enjoy horseshoe taps on my boots and small horseshoe taps on flats and loafers, on these saddle shoes, the taps just seem too outsized for my taste. So I recently bought some similar saddle shoes on ebay, one size larger that fit my feet better, and they’re ready for taps to be put on them. And my question is how big is right? I know there are different views on this (compare JR’s and Tapboot’s comments elsewhere on this blog for example), so I just took some photos with different sized taps placed on the bottoms of these new saddle shoes. For each photo, the toe taps are one size smaller than the heel taps, although I usually make the difference 2 sizes between heel and toe. Anyway, I’m curious to know what you think I should put on these. I told JR I’d put on what he recommended, but if he gets outvoted, well then we’ll see. The heel taps range from 8 down to 4 and toe taps from 7 down to 3. Pick one size for each. Thanks!
I’ve been watching these shoes listed on ebay for several weeks. The 50s-60s penny loafers are very nice, but the metal heel taps are too small…maybe even for JR!!! What do you think?
If you’ll look at the last few comments in the entry about Marilyn Monroe (https://tapgrrl.wordpress.com/2013/04/23/marilyn-monroe-was-she-a-tapgrrl/), you’ll see a discussion of a 1950 movie, Pretty Girl, in which the young woman central figure (the “pretty baby” is a baby doll–not her!) might be wearing metal taps on her flats. Here are some stills from that movie. (Double-click on the photos to see more detail. I would have uploaded a video or an audio clip so you could hear her walk, but I’m too cheap to pay for the WordPress “Premium” plan.) Anyway, what do you think?
I’m amazed it took me 6 weeks from its release in the theatres to learn about (and watch) this movie–and why none of you told me about it! Miss Meadows is a young woman with her own unique style: fancy frilly dresses, white gloves, and high heel tap shoes! She wears tap shoes (could be the same pair; maybe a couple slightly different styles) throughout the whole movie–except 2 times: when she’s sneaking up on someone and when she’s in bed with a guy. You can hear her click click pretty much most of the time she’s walking around–on sidewalks, wood floors, even tile! It doesn’t get very good ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, but I loved it!!!! I see it’s coming out on DVD in a couple weeks; it’s a MUST BUY for you guys. Stars Katie Holmes from Dawson’s Creek, although she’s 33 now, not 19! There’s one phony element, tapwise: At one point she loses a toe tap and then she’s heard walking click, dud, click, dud, etc. as if she lost a HEEL TAP! They must have had to remove both the toe and heel taps in order to give the effect they wanted.
I have dance taps on only a couple pairs of my shoes, some high-heel Mary Janes like hers, and some slingback sandals. Neither have dance toe taps, just heels. Maybe this movie will start a little comeback for taps; I should probably swap out horseshoes for dance taps on a few pair of my boots or shoes and see if anyone asks me about the movie!
A few months ago I put on a double layer of horseshoe taps on a pair of flat-heeled dressy boots. I actually glued the second tap on top of the first–long story. But some of you guys have done me a lot better. One reader, “An Older Guy (Dan)” sent me some photos a long time ago of his double-tap creations, some involving large crescent size 8 taps on top of horseshoes and others straight double horseshoes. I’m afraid to say that I can’t find those photos right now, but when I do I’ll post them.
In the meantime, another regular reader of the blog (I think he goes by “Tapnut” on the blog) sent me photos of his latest tap effort. And he’s not shy about wearing them in public either. Here’s what he wrote:
“Check out my new blue suede penny loafers. Elvis, eat your heart out…these have bling and an attitude. It was difficult finding suede shoes with a hard stacked heel. A hard heel makes a good base for a better sound but the heel was to short for my tastes. So, I used a German heel iron to lift up a traditional heel plate. They have a good loud sound and I especially like the shine of the metal taps.”
I particularly liked the thickness of the metal–the heel iron is about double the thickness of regular horseshoe taps, so the heel iron + the horseshoe tap together make a triple-thick layer of metal all around the heel. Awesome! Here are his photos:
And those of you who read my previous post below about my New York trip where I discovered I’d launched a little tap revival at my workplace there: Check that post again. I’ve been writing followups as “comments,” providing some detail about the individual tap-wearing women (and men).
Ed is discussing. Toggle Comments
One source of income I have is working as an at-home editor for a major New York publisher. They send me stuff to edit & proof, and I send it back to them. But several times a year I have to go to NY to meet with my supervisor and editing group. Of course, I always wear shoes with taps on them, since that is all that I have. And New York, you know, is a big walking town where a fair number of men and women wear black plastic taps under their heels and the toes of their soles to cut down on shoe repair costs. Also, I’m sure it was a major metal tap-wearing place once upon a time, and I’ve even purchased shoes with metal taps for my collection from more than one NY woman. Anyway, although I’ve had one or two conversations about my metal taps with co-workers, two trips ago that subject came up when I was having coffee with several women and two men in the group. NY is one place where shoe repair people still carry metal taps, at least some of them do, and one or two mentioned they might try getting some for their dressy wear-at-the-office shoes. Well, on my last trip, what should I discover but 5 of the women in the office and both of the men who were in that coffee shop discussion proudly showed me the metal taps on their shoes!!!! Both men had metal taps on heels and toes–one of the men’s heel taps looked like a #7 Eagle; the other was smaller, probably a #5. The women’s metal taps varied more in size, mostly because of the kind of heel that was on their shoes. The chunky dress heels had taps covering most of the heel, but they were probably 2’s and 3’s. The lower-heeled shoes and chunky-heeled dressy boots had broader heels and correspondingly larger taps. The largest ones looked like #5’s or #6’s. Two of the women also had metal toe taps, and one put plastic taps on the toes. Everyone except one women said they liked having the taps on their shoes, and a couple of them mentioned they liked the authoritative sound they made. One woman even said that she got her sister, who works at a different company, to put metal taps on her shoes, too! These women varied in age from late-20s to mid-40s, I’d say, all of them good looking girls who would be bound to be noticed as they click-clicked along Manhattan sidewalks! So maybe I’ve started something! What do you think?
I recently got an email from a man who found the blog online. Rather than writing a comment to one of my posts, he emailed me instead but said I could post this on the blog if I thought some of the readers could help. So here’s what he wrote (spelling cleaned up):
I just found your blog and have read it nonstop. It and you are amazing. If you were my wife I would love you to death. But I’m already married and so are you. And I’m way older (65). But I have a problem and I thought maybe you could give me ideas or people in your group could.
When I met my wife I was already what I guess is called a taphead. I have loved hearing and seeing taps on girls shoes since I was in grade school. My wife had never had taps on her shoes but while we were dating I asked her to put them on her shoes and she did. The first few years after we were married she was quite happy dto do that. We’d talk and joke about the taps and even while we were having sex. Sometimes she would take new shoes she bought into the shoe repair shop to have taps put on. Even for the next 20 years she would let me put taps on the heels of her shoes, but not on the toes after awhile, but over time she became less interested and only let me put taps on if I insisted. By the time our kids were grown and she was working in a professional job, she was annoyed with me for putting taps on her shoes. Now she avoids all the shoes she was with taps on them and only wears softsoled shoes and others that don’t have taps on. It has become a real annoyance to both of us, but seems hardly worth breaking up over. My question is is it a lost cause? Do you think theres anything I can do to get her to start wearing and enjoying taps on her shoes? If you think someone in your group could help me please write about my problem so they can read it.
I wrote him back but really I don’t have any ideas for him. I talked this over with my local tap-wearing friend who was married to a woman who wore taps for 10 years but stopped, and I think he’s going to write him. But you guys are also in a better position to answer him than I am. So go for it. I told him to look at the blog to see what people say. Thanks!
Most of these are older photos. I guess I just haven’t been putting up many new ones, have I. Sorry. :-( Well, one nice thing is that 4 of the 6 most clicked on shoes are mine!