The Appeal of Shoes
I was glancing at the TV the other day and there was a segment on shoes. The hostess of the shoe was giddy about attending some sort of she exhibition. I watched some 10 seconds, where the camera panned across long tables showcasing the works of some famous designer. What struck me most was the simple fact they were all the same.
What we had were tables of high-heeled shoes in different colours and strap designs. Some had flowers or glass jewels pasted on. The underlying architecture of the shoe: the thickness of the sole and height and shape of the heel, even the roundness of the toe were all identical. It was the same shoe!
So then I started thinking of different shoe styles. There are the chunky, utility shoes of basic design. These are work shoes or running shoes or Doc Martins. There are your ballet flats; your stilettos; something called a pump (still not entirely certain on this one) and the wedge. There are pointy toed shoes (of which I am afraid to wear because I don’t want my toes crushed and bunions to develop) and boots (which are often variations of the above). I suppose we could branch out into sandals (flip-flops, strapped, and croc style). But while this list includes several legitimately different styles of footwear, most of the modern work seems to be taking one style and changing the colour or strap thickness and then marvelling at the work.
I don’t get it.
I do not have a fascination with shoes strangely typical amongst women. Typically, I rotate between two different pairs of shoes in any season: sneakers & sandals in the summer, black & brown shoes in the fall/spring, and boots & slippers in the winter. I also keep a pair of nicer, dress shoes for wearing with skirts – these are not worn all that often.
This is not to suggest I don’t appreciate a good pair of shoes. In fact I would love to own a truly wonderful pair of shoes. But my requirements have less to do with aesthetic and more to do with function. My feet are blister prone and it doesn’t seem to matter what short of footwear I am use (with the slipper exception), I will eventually get blisters from my shoes. My hope is once my feet have blistered, they will callous over and I won’t have to worry about more blisters. This doesn’t actually happen, at least not as long as I continue to go for long walks. My current pair of sneakers, which I have had for 1.5 years have been bothering my right heel for the past month. Why did they suddenly start irritating my feet? I don’t know. But it is massively frustrating and probably adds to my general disregard for shoes.
Practical shoes are good. Sparkly shoes are amusing for many people. Expensive shoes you only plan to wear once or twice are a ridiculous waste of money. And really, what is the point of owning a closet full of shoes when you typically only wear a few pairs?
Nope, still don’t understand the fascination with footwear – particularly the tipsy tall things with tiny straps and narrow heels.