Friday, December 01, 2006

The Shoe Obsession Explored

This one's for the menfolk out there. Few men will ever understand the joy and rapture that many women get when buying shoes. They way they see it, a shoe protects a foot, and any shoe that does so comfortably is a good shoe, and no further shoes are generally necessary. A woman, and some smart men, know that a shoe is so much more than that, and the right shoe for the right outfit or occasion is the cherry on top of your looking-good cake.

Shoes can effect how you carry yourself, and can slim a thick leg. A drama teacher I once had told the ladies to always audition in heels, because you carry yourself very differently than you would in flats, and it's incredibly flattering. It's true in the real world, too - a heel is very flattering. But it's not just about picking a heel, it's about picking one that's comfortable, that suits your personality. Chunky or stiletto, wedge or kitten, and a world of colors and textures are among just some of the choices that women have when picking a shoe. It's about taste and style, and expressing that part of a person's self is a true adventure.

Maybe that's why guys just don't get it. There aren't really myriad shoe choices for men. Sure, there are oxford, loafers, boots and the like, but unless you go to one of the more daring shoe stores, men's shoes are pretty lackluster. Nordstrom is a great example of this. I love Nordy's for shoes (especially some great sales), and I am never disappointed with the ability to choose a nice, conservative shoe, or a wild, feathered shoe that my fiance will never understand. What does he have to choose from? A variety of tasteful leather shoes in black, brown or navy blue. I exaggerate, of course. There are a few other choices. But perhaps the reason men just don't understand us and our shoes is that they were never afforded the opportunities that we were. Women's lib: 1. Rest of the world: a lot more than that.

I'm sure most guys don't yearn for the day when they, too, can pick up a satin shoe that goes perfectly with their new suit. What if they had all along? The situation might have been totally different. Rather than dwelling too long on that idea, I'll just be glad I can pick from a huge selection of crazy, beautiful, different, flattering, painful-but-worth-it shoes.