Ask Laia: What's An Ex Chunky-Shoe Lover To Wear These Days?

"I refuse to fall victim to crap like Crocs, Uggs and flip-flops."

Hi Laia,I've been having a having dilemma for quite sometime. I was a teen in the 80s and lived in creepers and Doc Martens. I love chunky shoes, but now they are out of fashion. I'll be 40 this year and don't want to look like the women that I laughed at as a teen who were wearing out-of-date shoes. I hate heels (unless they are wedges) and comfort is more important than fashion at this point in my life. I tend to wear a lot of gym shoes. I refuse to fall victim to crap like Crocs, Uggs and flip-flops. Also, I prefer to keep my shoe budget under $75/pair. Help?Shoeless

First I want to say that there ain't nothing wrong with wearing creepers and Doc Martens but I understand that they might not be the most appropriate for all occasions. I started thinking about the shoes I generally wear in the summer and came up with a mini-wardrobe of sorts, all within your budget. Cooper Canvas Cap-Toe Oxford$49, Urban Outfitters.

I'm a big, big fan of oxford shoes or manshoes, as I like to call them and they seem like a natural extension to Docs and creepers. They're kinda trendy now so you can get them in a variety of leathers and fabrics, but this navy-and-blue pair is kinda old-school businessman but it'll look good with jeans and skirts. A pale peach patent leather version seems especially appropriate for the summertime.

Minnetonka Leather Kiltie Moccasin $48, Urban Outfitters.

Boat shoes or moccasins can be a bit polarizing, and I'm sure a ton of people will find them kinda ugly BUT they're no-nonsense and perfect for rainy summer days. I have a pair I bought in like, '05, that I pull out and wear every summer. The soles are wearing down but I just won't give them up! These multi-color Docksiders are another great option.

Ecote Studded Wedge $69, Urban Outfitters.

Wooden soles are perfect for summer and these Celine-inspired wedges are kinda perfect? They're chunky and the thick leather straps and studs make them not dainty (therefore awesome). I always feel like it's a pain to find cute sandals but these are just easy. If you prefer something lower, these little suede wedges are great, especially in the cool purple color (which is inexplicably called "gray" on the site). Allo Side Zip Wedge Boot$83.09, ASOS.

I know technically these boots are over budget, but I figured it was less than 10 bucks and therefore fair game. I imagine these could be on your feet year round. Great with pants, tights and long and short lengths alike they're a kind of "new" classic. Definitely can't go wrong with this. Dr. Martens Paige Boot $120, Dillards.

But you know what? Docs are still totally awesome and you shouldn't have to give up what you love just cause you're entering another age bracket. I say for the weekends when it's just you and the world, you embrace your passion and rock an awesome floral pair. Or if floral's too much, these mint shoes should do the trick.