Aug 282011
 
Custom Tango shoes

Image by http://sallycatway.com/

EVERY shoe store (except 2×4) will tell you that they do “custom” shoes: “Anything you want!”. We learned that what this means is that they will change the colors and materials of the models they
make. It has NOTHING to do with the fit.

If you have a VERY unusual foot, what you actually need to do is invest in having your own custom last (in
Spanish “molda”) made (US $500-$1000). That is the wooden foot that they actually build the shoe on. (God
knows why they are not casting these in polysomething the same way they make orthotics, but they are not. They have to be hand-carved out of wood.) Then you carry these around the world with you and ask shoemakers to make shoes for you on it. It’s difficult to find anyone who makes these any more. We have a friend who swears she can only find one guy in the US who will do this. We found one guy in Buenos Aires, Ruben at Tootsie in Palermot. He is flaky and expensive, but he can do it. Call before you go to pick it up,
because it will not be ready and you’ll waste a trip. Ruben at Tootsie, Charcas 4795 at Godoy Cruz15 57 80 60
10.

If you have a SOMEWHAT unusual foot, what you are looking for is a shoestore that *happens* to make their shoes on a lasts/moldas that are close enough to right for you. Remember that shoes are made on UNIQUE
wooden moldas, one for each size/heel hight/toe shape combination. So for example a store may have 6 or 8 moldas for a size 41 man. These were handmade god knows when and are NONSTANDARD. Go everywhere, try on shoes until you find one that is comfortable. Then say “I want MODEL COLOR BLAH BLAH made on the molda that was used to make THIS SHOE IN MY HAND.” If they say “we can’t make the model you ask on that MOLDA” believe them and don’t push. Keep searching until you get a YES to that question. (You could still get screwed if the molda
you want is busy on another pair of shoes and they try to use a different one and don’t tell you, but if you
think that happened because the shoes don’t fit like the ones you tried just Walk Away from however much
deposit you paid.)

We learned all this the hard way. One of our friends recommended FATTOMANO and loves working with Juan. We
were very excited to having matching shoes made there, which ultimately did not fit either of us and were
unwearable. You should try there, but be sure to follow our procedure. Juan at Fattomano Guatemala 4464 you must take the exact address with you when you go because there is no signage whatsoever,
just ring the bell. Phone 11.4832.3156

The other important thing is that your custom shoes will NOT be ready when they tell you. Do not even bother
going to the store to pick them up on the appointed day, just call and ask if they are ready. If they say
“next tuesday” or “tomorrow for sure at 4pm” do not fall for it. Again, call before you go. Do not go (or even
put the pickup in your schedule) until you have received confirmation over the phone that the shoes are in hand (“they will be here this afternoon” does NOT count!). This will save you a LOT of power. This
also means that if the date is 2 days before you go, you are already screwed, because they will not be ready
and you will spend your last days while you are trying to pack and do everything you want to do racing there in a taxi or waiting at your house. This will happen repeatedly. They will usually deliver the shoes to you on the last day, but it’s really not worth the stress. It’s better to negotiate when you make the order if they are not ready by X date (SEVERAL days before you are scheduled to leave) they have to pay the international shipping fees to send them to you. They will want to say no, and they will not want to write
anything down, but I cannot tell you how many people have been driven crazy by this process in their last days in the city. It’s not a good use of your power. It’s best to expect the shoes not to be done on time. Set a convenient date (several dayd before you leave) to return to the store for pickup. If the shoes are not ready on that date, do not agree to another local arrangement, just say “you’ll have to ship them to me in my home country, as we agreed.” And go enjoy your last few days.

I'd love to dance with you

photo Ilsa Hellman

I want you to know that you're not alone....

... neither in your dreams for tango nor in your frustrations.

  • Do you feel that you have yet to achieve the promise tango held out for you?
  • Are you bored with your dancing – or your partners'?
  • Are you tired of waiting on men?
  • Do you long for sensations that seem to become more rare as you continue dancing?

I've experienced all of these feelings and I blog about the highs and lows of my tango journey. My insights help other dancers. One described the blog: "Like Water for Tango Dancers".

Every day I work to understand tango more profoundly. Why do we love it so much that we stay with it through tough times? At its best, what does it give us?

I believe that the rapture of tango is mutual concentration, which takes us into an experience called "FLOW". I'm researching the conditions of Flow so I can help people get there more often. One thing is clear, we need to:

Stop Waiting for Partners, and start
Building them

I've written a 10-step action guide. Are you ready to find the Partners you want?

 28 August 2011