I was recently in dire need of some sensible winter footwear – something tough and durable, yet presentable. It was time to move on from my beloved, light-as-air Sketchers.
Rather than take the tube into the West End (my default setting) I strolled up the High Street to Wanders. I’d been meaning to take a proper look at this well-established independent shoe shop for a while, and I now had the perfect opportunity. For fear of sounding like an old fogey, too frequently I’ve had a decent budget, yet the shopping process was tortuous and turned into a wild goose chase. Consequently I’ve often ordered clothes and shoes online in several sizes to try on at home in order to physically avoid the shops.
However, when I entered Wanders the staff were genuinely helpful, knowledgeable and, although they didn’t have the right size of the shoes that had first caught my eye, what they suggested was much more suitable. It was a really refreshing experience and, what’s more, I’m delighted with my Legero shoes – they look and feel rather like Converse trainers, but your foot is properly supported and made with Gore-Tex, so are waterproof. (An afternoon on the allotment left them practically untouched and I can walk for miles in them.)
Peter Wanders opened the shop in 1986 and stocks a broad range of footwear, along with discretely branded bags, scarves and gloves. I spotted some gorgeous over the knee boots and groovy ankle boots by Toni Pons, as well as smart court shoes by Peter Kaiser and Ara and some really cozy looking snow boots. What’s more, they offer a shoe repair service so you can take good care of your purchases. Peter’s also great for a chat about local history.
180 High Street, Barnet EN5 5SZ
020 8449 2520
Loving the High Barnet newsletter! And I was very glad to see you mention “Wanders”; I discovered them a couple of winters ago and got some fantastic German shoes there – still going strong. Wanders also resoled some earlier shoes, which, as an old fogey, made me very happy as I could continue to use my old favourites instead of going through the pain of shopping! Cheers, Dan