A couple of weeks ago, during my pre-exam despair, I splurged and bought myself a pair of UNIF Salems. I’d been wanting them for a while, but always ended up convincing myself out of them, or never had quite enough money. I’d recently sold some stuff on eBay and had over $500 in my PayPal account when these shoes were restocked on the UNIF website, so I jumped at the chance to get them on my feet. Admittedly, I did pay a little more for them – if I had of been a bit more patient I could have gotten them for slightly cheaper off Dolls Kill, but when I decide I want to buy something I have to buy it right now. They were $190USD ($203AUD) plus $24USD ($26AUD) for post – so $214USD ($230AUD) all up. The only international shipping method was express, I purchased them on June 4, they were posted June 5, and they arrived at my house on June 11 (regional Victoria, Australia), so they were pretty spot on with shipping and post!
They came the box below (in a plastic postage bag obviously) which is ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE – and kinda fitting, given how big the shoes are. The shoes themselves came with paper and carboard packing inside them to keep their shape, and each boot was inside a little bag to protect them from one another in the post. There were forms inside for invoices and returns, and a big UNIF sticker which I think I’ll pop on my car. They come with the cream coloured laces, though I think I’ll be jumping on eBay to buy a pair of white, black and maybe rainbow ones as soon as I measure them. The cream looks dirty and I can’t stand it! That’s just a personal thing though. The zipper at the back was a little bit sticky to begin with, and it still can be, but it’s getting better. The leather is super soft, and they look really well made.
Size-wise, I’m a size 7 with a relatively narrow foot. The last pair of shoes I was told to size up for I did and they were slightly too big (nothing terrible but they could have been better!) so I decided to stay my normal size for these – cue panic when I started reading reviews AFTER I’d bought them, saying that you should definitely size up! Mine are a perfect fit length wise, I do have to shove my foot in a little bit while trying to do up the zippers (I recommend undoing the laces when you put them on too) but in saying that, I wear them with socks. I had seen some reviews saying that the zipper at the back irritated the skin, which I haven’t noticed so far. They fit well across my foot too, they’re a little bit tight across the top of my foot where my toes start, but I figure they’re leather and they’ll stretch a bit over time.
Walkability-wise, I actually find them surprisingly comfortable. Those who know me know I’m a whole other level of uncoordinated and clumsy, and god forbid you throw a pair of heels into the equation! I also have a dodgy back which means I’m generally limited to very supportive wedges and platforms, for example, my Black Milk X Solestruck Charli, a sneaker with a 3 inch wedge and a 1.5 inch platform. On the UNIF website the Salems are said to have “a 6″ heel and a 3″ platform” (although measuring mine they have a 6 1/4″ heel and a 3 1/2″ platform if you wanna get technical) so if you subtract the platform height from the heel height, they’re only 2 1/2″ heels technically, which is totally doable. They’re just jacked up on steroids. As I said, I’m completely uncoordinated as it is without adding heels into the equation, however I do find the Salems pretty easy to walk in. They take a little bit to find your center of balance and your striding, but once you’ve got that, you’re set. Hell, if you’re already pretty experienced in heels you might take to it like a fish in water, but like I said, I don’t do heels much. They’re often compared to the Jeffrey Campbell Lita or the UNIF Hellbound in many respects including walkability, though I can’t help you there as I own neither. Although I know I can run and jump in my Charlis, I don’t think I’d be game enough to try that in my Salems! They’re quite skinny so stuff like that is pretty much off the table.
And outfit-wise? They are incredible. They add a touch of badassery no matter how you wear them. They’re the kind of shoe that people look at you wearing, and wish they could wear them too. Honestly, I was pretty scared when I bought them because I’m generally labelled as a very “cute” person, and I thought I would look a bit try-hard in the Salems. I don’t think I do. I’ll post a couple of photos below of them being worn, but I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of them on this blog/my Instagram in the future!