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Sanctuary for the feet: Footwear choices during lockdown

By MONIQUE TODA, The Philippine STAR Published Oct 06, 2020 5:00 pm

In our previous, pre-pandemic selves, we were busybodies living our lives externally, mostly outside of our homes. Then this story (horror and tragedy) unraveled and we were doomed (depends on how you look at it) to stay home. There was a drastic change in our lives, including how we dress and present ourselves. Gone are the constraining clothes and shoes we used to wear. Welcome comfy loungewear and “pambahay” fashion. Even feet are breaking free from the slavery of high heels, pumps, and leather shoes.

Having said that, we shouldn’t let go, be “losyang,” and go back to the stone ages. We still must look good even if it is just to face ourselves in the mirror. Slob chic is the trend and comfort is a priority, which makes me think of shoes. What kicks do people wear during the lockdown? What is their go-to footwear? Here is a rundown of different personalities from different fields sharing their quarantine shoe preferences.

Sec. Berna romulo-Puyat and her comfortable room shoes.


I love wearing heels because I’m vertically challenged, but I found myself wearing flats at the start of the lockdown. Two of my favorites are room shoes by Uniqlo and sandals by Tish Sevilla. With my never-ending Zoom meetings — where some meetings have lasted for 12 hours — I needed to wear shoes that were comfortable and easy to remove. I’ve been so used to comfortable shoes that the first time I stepped out of the house, I forgot I was wearing my room shoes!

Comfy sandals for long Zoom meetings
Jojie Dingcong with his Japanese Jikatabi split-toe shoes in a Rajo Laurel PPE. Photo by  Tim Arafiles


I love shoes that speak of both fab fashion and function. I enjoy the wonderful Japanese Jikatabi split-toe design shoes, the best in comfort because they are all made of 100-percent cotton.  I got them in three pairs: one in black, a pair of white, and the third in Ichimatsu — an indigo-dyed check pattern. Your feet can truly breathe! I also love my trusty, dependable pair of black Fila sneakers — truly comfy and best for long walks in the city when I do my errands, and even on my outdoor treks when I visit Tagaytay on the weekends. I am an avowed shoe addict or shoe whore. Haha!

Jojie wearing Fila shoes and a Puey Quinones PPE. Photo by  Tim Arafiles
Sneaker collector Bigboy Cheng_s lockdown shoes is the Union X Air Jordan 4 in pastel colors


The J4 Union is my lockdown sneaker. It has a great design and it’s very comfortable to wear. Masarap siyang tingnan. Nakakawala ng stress dahil sa color combination niya… and it’s pink. 

Anne Marie Saguil_s Colombian pompom  slippers adds color to the lockdown


I love my pompom slippers that I got from a trip to Cartagena years ago! Not only do they add a dose of fun and color to anything I put on, but wearing them also makes me feel just a little bit lighter and brighter, especially during these scary and uncertain times of lockdowns. 

Grace Baja prefers locally made footwear for the lockdown. Here she is wearing Meigan Collection. 


These three brands offer my favorite lockdown footwear. The first one is from Annie & Lori. They are a local Filipino brand that has been featured in international fashion magazines like British Vogue for their specially made artisan leather. The second one is a pair from Meigan Collection, again another local shoe brand with cute and comfy designs. The third one is from Oak the Label, again another Filipino brand, which makes one-of-a-kind contemporary leather sandals and shoes. 

Grace prefers locally made footwear for the lockdown, like this Annie Lori pair

Since I am just home, I like my footwear to be comfortable and yet, still stylish! These pairs of sandals are perfect for me as I work from my home office, cook in the kitchen or just lounge around. But more than that, I love supporting our local Filipino artisans. They are really creative and world-class in their craft!

Tim Yap dons his white Harlan and Holden caminos, his current preferred shoes


Realized I have too many studded, ultra-printed, flashy, look-at-me shoes, but I keep on going back to my basic whites.  Nothing makes me happier than white sneakers. I guess ’cause intrinsically they are like me — can go with anything or anyone. Doesn’t clash and at the end of the day, just want harmony and balance with everything.  The pandemic made me realize how much I savor and actually protect my peace.  What I am wearing now, these Harlan + Holden Caminos, have taken me from the airports of Argentina to the mountains of Bhutan to the theaters of the West End. And beyond.  They are like second skin to me.  It’s what I have been wearing while at home facing the screen doing my #TimYapLIVE shows, Zoom meetings and even when I walk my babies around the village.  Now, how flexible can one shoe be?

Cecile Zamora wears her hard-to-find Nike X Comme des Garcons platforms.


Surprisingly, I have bought new shoes during lockdown: two pairs of Nike Aqua Rift, which I use for working out and going out. I got them online from Luisa via Roma. These are my go-to shoes, aside from a pair of old Miu Miu sneakers. I love Nike. It was really hard to get the Nike x Comme des Garçons platform shoes (I have four color ways), which I got from a reseller in Tokyo. These were my favorite shoes before lockdown and I got to wear them only once when I had dinner at Antonio’s Garden recently.

My going out now consists of office (occasionally), buying essentials, Pilates, Belo Clinic, occasional eating out. But most of the time I’m home.

Cecile Zamora discovered the Nike Aqua Rift which she uses for working out and going around