There are all kinds of addictions in society – and shoe addictions are a real situation. If you aren’t a shoe addict, you probably know one. You know, the type who would willingly go hungry to secure the cash for a pair of kicks? The type who treats their shoes like children? If you know, you really do know.
However, all shoe addictions were not created equally, and one teacher is giving other shoe-obsessed individuals a run for their money with a collection of roughly 500 pairs of the quirkiest footgear worth over R600 000.
It’s not about checks or Nikes for the UK’s Kari Walbert – it’s all in the quirk.
From bright crimson heels adorned with unicorn heels and pom-pom finishings, to star-studded Cat in the Hat boots – Kari’s boots weren’t just made for walking, they were made to be gazed at – whether people think they’re a thrill or camp is no matter because to her they are like pieces in a museum.
“I feel like most of these shoes are art and express who I am. I view my shoes as a sort of collection of art pieces,” she expresses as per Metro.
Kari’s shoes aren’t the finishing touch of her outfits either but the foundation of what she’ll choose to wear. You might think Katy Perry’s 2010 overt aesthetic, or Nicki Minaj’s unique looks from back in the early 2010’s (clearly the era was going through creative exploration). However, for Kari it’s really the shoe that needs to be dressed up. They speak for themselves without the necessity of an entire unique ensemble.
Her love of stage-esque shoes really started stepping up in 2012. A unique pair with gold unicorn heels transformed her from a teenager who once rocked Doc Martens and converse.
Her brand‘s choices are diverse too. Irregular Choice is her go-to, but the range extends to high fashion houses like Jeffrey Campbell, Dior, and Louboutin, Cartel News and Metro express.
When there’s a new drop, you can bet your calm Air Force 1’s that Kari’s en-route to get the wildest squeakers of any season.
However, the shoe-guru admits that she’s trying to slow down on the shoe collecting – mostly because she’s running out of room to store them.
As for her students, they even make a point to stop by.
She said: ‘I like shoes that people are going to notice and comment on. I’m a teacher, and I’m known by most students as “the teacher with the shoes”.
‘They even make a point to stop by my classroom to see what shoes I’m wearing for the day.’
These days, Kari says she’s trying to control her shoe habit more, but control hasn’t been available in her size.
Pictures: Kari Walbert/ Caters News