Shoes of Reality
Editor Note: This article is not about Italian shoes in particular; but, it is a fun to read article about women’s shoes so I decided to add it anyway to my fashion section – An Italian shoes article can be found here.
So, I’m standing before a shoe aisle thinking to myself ‘Why?’. Why, I ask you, do women have to scrounge around for shoes that look sexy and alluring, but do not kill their pocket books or toe joints?
This is a question I ask myself every time I enter a shoe retailer. A spectacular pair of shoes–the passion of my feet, the nemesis of my pocket book, and the fetish that simply won’t leave me alone— is a never ending quest not just for me, but for many women. And many females, like me, have their own desires and perceptions on how that perfect pair should be.
The price of footwear could range from two dollars to hundreds of dollars. Generally, I try to keep the price of my shoes at half the value of my outfit, but lately I’ve noticed that my outfits are sometimes half the price of my footwear! And that despite the fact that some of the shoes hail from designer warehouses and retail stores like Wal-Mart and Target (Shh! I do not normally admit to the latter part).
Even though I am appalled at the prices of many shoes (and I am somewhat ashamed to say that I have fallen prey to the pricier styles) I’m disenchanted with the comfort level of shoes available to women today. And this applies to both physical and social kinds of comfort.
This season is no different than any other in the footwear department. I want new shoes, more shoes, lots of shoes. Flip flops, always an easy find, with chunky heels, low heels, beads, sequins, and sometimes chains have all found their way into my closet. Slide sandals with tiny decorative silver buckles, sling-backs with just a hint of sophistication and a whole lot of flare, and boots with just the right give to not cut off the circulation at either my knees or ankles are also must. What I do not want (and seem to see all the time) are shoes that crush, squeeze, or torture my toes in any way.
My skin color is not pink, purple, or scarlet,so, my toes shouldn’t be either. I do not want shoes that are so low that wearing them would be the same as going barefoot and I don’t want shoes that have heels so high that my 5’3”frame becomes 5’10”. Only women born in a 5’10” frame, i.e. women like Faith Hill, should aspire to such heights. Otherwise, imposing such a substantial increase on your natural height risks giving you vertigo. The faux height might cause an unsightly nose bleed. Also, more often than not, people watching women stumble about in super high-heels either shake their head in awe/shock/fear/disgust or feel sympathetic pain in their own feet.
Accordingly, women of the world should unite. We should demand shoes that allow us to be sexy, cool, and sophisticated while not damaging our spinal columns, not becoming dizzy from the lack of oxygen at altitudes half a foot taller than our natural figures, and not looking like we should be posing for a porn-star spread. Really, who wants to be teaching, delivering office mail, or doing a multitude of other work related activities and have to fend off the seductive glances of men all day? I, for one, do not.
I have no desire now, and have never had one, of wearing the infamous “fuck me on the linoleum floor” high-heeled shoes. More importantly, do not expect me to wear shoes when their shape resembles a slice of pizza. Yes, I know that my toes are not intended to slide into the v-point. But look at the shoe, will you, then look at your feet, and then tell me if that is really a natural or becoming look. The only place a pointy toe with the stiletto heeled shoes comes in handy is a dark alley. Sure, I think I’ll buy a pair to keep in my purse for the next time I need to fight off a pack of roving dogs or such. The shoes are probably better for such situations than my can of pepper spray anyway. I’ve been told by many a beau that “heels are sexy,” but until I see him plod through an eight to twelve hour day in a pair…
Actually, I should stop there. This visual is getting to be too much, and a man in my high heels should not leave the bedroom. But, in a classic cliche’, men do have it easier–brown verses black lace up shoes (and sometimes they wear a boot). If only…
But, seriously … give me comfort, give me freedom.
That should be our manifesto, ladies!
Only, while giving me comfort, do not make me look like an overgrown pre-schooler. Grown women, heck, all women over the age of ten, should not wear any version of the classic Mary Jane shoe. No buckles, no saddle shoes, and no ribbons and bows on the toes of adult women’s shoes.
Ladies, admit it, they may look cute in the store, but do we really need the added thrills and frills on shoes that we wear to office? If a man wants us to look like a school girl, let him limit himself to the bed room. Pigtails and Mary Janes are not flattering.
Additionally, I will not sacrifice my comfort for an overachieved “earth” look. Yes, I will admit that I own more pairs of flip flops than all my other shoes combined, and that my family and friends openly snicker about my collection. But, shoes that do nothing for your stature should be left at the store. Shoes should say something about you on a given day, not define you for eternity.
This statement applies also to Birkenstocks. And yes, I own a well-worn pair of those too. Birks are shoes of comfort, to be worn with jeans, long flowing skirts, or with shorts. These shoes say I am giving my feet the day off today because forty hours a week in high-heeled, spine tingling, toe cramping, and arch-support-deteriorating shoes is more than enough.
Now, I realize that I sound like an “old hag” here, and many of you are imaginng me running around in shoes that your eighty-year old grandmother would wear. No … I do not wear those. I am twenty-eight, give me fifty years, and then I’m certain I will be sporting shoes similar to those walking around in your minds right now.
At present I just want a shoe with a slight heel, so that my feet do not resemble boats clomping along a city street, and I want my toes to be able to bend and unbend throughout the day. A toolkit should never be needed to remove footwear or unbend my toes at the end of a work day.
In short, women of the world should unite for the production of comfortable shoes that look good, do not demand plastic surgery for our feet to properly fit a pair, and do not break the bank.
At that, I kick off my comfy K-Swiss sneakers, remove my holey-toed socks, and go off in quest of a pair of sandals that will not assault the nerve endings of my feet this season.
By Annessa Ann Babic
Edited by Damyanti November 2008