Thursday, 9 April 2015


After coming across an article about the importance of using a shoehorn, I thought it might be a good idea to equip myself with one. Essentially, if you put on your shoes without using a shoehorn, you either stick your finger into the back of the shoe while putting it on, which stretches the leather, or worse, just stick your heel in, crushing the counter (the back of the shoe) as you do so, which I have to confess is what I sometimes tend to do.

I settled on this one, which was on sale at the Doc Martens shop in Spitalfields market for about £6.

It's made of steel, and a little different in profile from other shoe horns I've come across. Viewed sideways, it's angulated so that your hand is away from the back of your leg, as you slide your heel into your shoe. The angle also means that your wrist is straighter when you are holding it to get your foot into the shoe.

A simple, elegant, functional tweak to an old design.

Does it really matter that much that my shoehorn has a bend in it? Of course not, but it's nice to use, and it's heartening to see that someone has put some thought into improving the functionality of a rather humble utilitarian object. This is what good design is all about.

So many other things we use in our daily lives could probably be improved with just a little tweak.

The shoehorn is made in the US by Zapatka Enterprises, and is known as a Profitter, which I take to mean Pro-fitter, as opposed to Profiteer. It's available in a wide range of finishes, which you can see on their website, and can be customised if ordered in sufficient quantities. I have no idea if it is available elsewhere in the UK.

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