Saturday, September 1, 2007


My "Moroccans" are great little shoes I found in the souk in Marrakesh. They're called babouches in Morocco and they look like they were designed especially for the Moroccan climate and culture. The heel portion of the babouche folds down to allow rear entry slip-on slip-off. This is especially handy for their many visits to mosques but handy too for keeping floors clean inside their riads and homes.
And that's the main attraction for me. At first I was attracted to their smashing bright colours and I have a number of them for that reason, but these babouches mean I can have a pair for indoor use and a pair for short trips outside. Things like taking out the garbage or putting our cars into the driveway at night. I can slip out of my indoor footwear, slip on my babouches, take care of business and leave the rain and dirt outside when I return.

Babouches are made of leather with a foam or rubber sole. They're not the most sturdy of footwear but they seem to take a lot of beating. I've only worn out one pair in over two years, and I use them constantly. I even wear my orthotics in them with never a problem.

Now that the snow and ice is upon us I decided to try them out with my rubber safetytoes. I have to report they are perfect for the job. Since the sole of the babouche is made of a stiff material that protrudes beyond the stitching in the leather upper, I find that they fit very snugly inside my small size safetytoe overshoes. There's no movement at all when wearing them. I've now found it is very easy to simply slip my steel toe overshoes over my babouches and go outside. I don't even have to change my babouches which is a bonus over the other times of the year. Currently though, I'm trying leaving my babouches in my small size safetytoes. That way, if I have to go outside, I slip into my "outdoor moroccans" and venture out knowing that I will be warm, slip resistant and waterproof. I don't even have to worry about toe protection.

Altogether, this makes movement from inside to outside and back again much less of a struggle and mess at places like back doorways and mud rooms. Living with winter conditions in Toronto just got a whole lot better.

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