Thursday, August 13, 2015

My Relationship With Shoes

I've never been much of a girly-girl about shoes.

Oh, I appreciate a really good-looking shoe. I am the first to oooh and aaah about a student's new lime-colored high-tops when those high-tops dash into my office.

But yesterday, when I was irrationally delighted by my discovery in the back of my closet of the end-of-season sandals I had bought in late summer last year and never worn, I realized that my relationship with shoes has changed over the years. Now I have a very specific set of criteria for what I put on my feet:

1. The comfort of my feet is now more important than the style of my shoes. I'm too old to break in shoes, or cram my square toes into pointed footgear. Form and function over fashion, baby.

1a. This, obviously, means I am not a high-heel kind of gal. Well, that and being 5'8" and uncoordinated so I probably would have broken my neck by now if I were a high-heel kind of gal.

2. My shoes must be mostly low-maintenance, and an occasional coat of polish is the most I want to do to keep them wearable. Also, if I buy a brand of shoes that wears poorly that brand is dead to me. Dead, I say.

3. I must not have to crinkle up my toes or shuffle my feet or perform any other contortions to keep my shoes in place. First of all, it is too much work. But second of all, I learned from my dear departed mother-in-law that this has long-term consequences. She had narrow, aristocratic feet that slid around in pretty much any style of footwear. So she gripped her toes into her shoes as if she were hanging onto the edge of a cliff, and by the time she had passed her 90th birthday her toes were permanently bent into crinkles. Ouch.

4. My mental attitude toward wearing a particular pair of shoes should be, at worst, neutral. If I look into the closet and immediately think "I hate those shoes" it's time to get rid of them.

So, summing up, I look for comfort and durability, sensibility and down-to-earth dependability. I am unmoved by the whims of fashion and while I can appreciate your polka-dotted high heels, they're not for me.

Apparently I pick my shoes just like I picked my husband. I highly recommend this rubric.

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