Shoes! (Let’s talk about shoes…)

by f

OMG, Shoes.

note: I wrote this post after reading an excellent entry by Bachodi, here. I stole the picture of hideously uncomfortable shoes from that entry as well.

I’m supposed to love shoes. I’m a lady, right? Occasionally, I do love them. I mean, I don’t think about them much on a day-to-day basis, but I’ll pause in front of a city store window and stare at impossible pairs of shoes because they are real works of art. But even in that case, I stare at them for what they are, not for what they’ll do to my feet.

In real life, shoes hate me. I have funny feet. They’re long and thin and crooked. They won’t be tamed by high-heels or platforms or flats. If it’s not a thick sneaker, my feet are guaranteed to hate it. There have been some notable exceptions to this rule, like the excellent pair of Italian sandals.

(An aside: the sandals were five bucks — W had negotiated the price down for me by twenty five dollars!)

So I’ve grown to love shoes the way most car enthusiasts love their Ferraris and Maseratis and Bugattis. There are more car enthusiasts than there are people with deep wallets and a disregard for practical considerations. It’s the same way with people who like shoes. Sometimes, we just like them on the showroom floor.

Women like shoes because they are the most egalitarian aspect of fashion. The size two dress might be unattainable for some (or most) ladies. The Manolos, on the other hand, can be enjoyed by the vast majority of fashionistas, provided they’re willing to pay up.

High heel shoes are admittedly nice to look at, but they’re the cause of a whole host of foot problems. In the New York Times story, podiatrist Dr. Gastwirth says:

“The high heel concentrates the force on the heel and the forefoot,” […]. Heels contribute to hammertoes, neuromas (pinched nerves near the ball of the foot), bunions and “pump bump” (a painful bump on the back of the heel), as well as toenail problems. Most of the time, wear heels that are less than two and a half inches high.

I’ve stopped wearing high heels ages ago. I just can’t deal. I was born flat-footed anyway which, aside from meaning that I can never join the armed forces, also means that I can’t wear high heeled shoes. It’s a liberating problem, to say the least. I have tons of shoes I used to by at Ladies FootPlus, an great mid-priced shoe store by the train station. All of the shoes I found there were Brazillian, pointy toed, and too uncomfortable for words. I had a good time shopping for these, though.

(Most awkward yet interesting experience in retrospect: when buying sexy, uncomfortable boots for D at a Village boutique I almost went to some dangerous places with a very sexy Jamaican man. She still doesn’t have those boots; I never gave them to her. True story. D — I’m so sorry! They look good as new, you can have them whenever you’d like!)

After a while, W said that I’d better give them up or else. He never had to make good on the “or else”, because I just gave them up. This relieved him of having to qualify that statement.

Not all high-heeled shoes are created equal. Obviously, I’m no fashionista, or else I’d make recommendations. I can say that I do have some preferences. I like Aerosoles, which is a company devoted to making shoes that are a LOT more comfortable than they look. I always liked Steve Madden and Nine West, as well. But, beyond those brands and the hallowed fluorescent corridors of Payless, I haven’t bought anything crazy or noteworthy.

So, if I may, can I open it up? What are your best shoe moments?

Oh, and before I go, I submit exhibit A to the jury … no post on shoes would be complete without it.

3 Responses to “Shoes! (Let’s talk about shoes…)”

  1. OMG SHOES.

    GIVE ME MY BOOTS, WOMAN. This has turned into the most belated birthday present EVER.

    *ahem* So, shoes. Shoes are wonderful, for all the reasons you’ve stated. And they can do terrible things to your feet. I will not buy anything with too steep a heel, and have regretted it when I have. But I just don’t feel comfortable without a LITTLE heel. Flats make me feel unbalanced, which is strange, as I go barefoot as often as possible.

    Those are my loves–boots and sandals. My favorite pair right now are the red ones with the gold accents. They make me feel sexy and adult every time I put them on. They’re also going to kill me one day, as they are slightly too big and have kitten heels. Whoops.

    But it’s so worth it. Even the glorious red boots I turned my ankle in are worth it. (It wasn’t the BOOTS that did it, it was the fucking uneven Manhattan sidewalk. I’m lucky I didn’t tumble down the narrow, creaky stairs of that narrow, creaky little theater.) I suppose that’s my Big Shoe Story for now–spraining my ankle on Valentines Day, while single, but sticking it out to see two shows with good girl friends.

  2. Wow, so much on heal shoes!
    I thought they are simple painful torture devices 🙂

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