What is it about shoes? They are either the cause of great frustration or great delight among women. Perhaps because we, even more so than men (hi, let me generalize & stereotype a bit here) are on our feet more, running around & doing more, taking care of other people more, trying to live up to expectations, & having to work twice as hard for half the pay (was that my outside voice?).
Our feet take a lot of abuse. They either hurt & we want to swaddle them in comfort shoes, or decorate them in the most fantastical, gorgeous, & outrageous footwear as if to sartorially say "take a hike!" to all those expectations & duties & suchlike that seek to weigh us down.
Wow, that was a lot of ridiculous pontificating about what goes on our feet. Sorry, that's what you get from a writer who spent way too much time in higher education analyzing the queer-feminist implications of Victorian literature ;-)
I used to wear rather practical shoes, a lot of flats & low-heeled boots. I reasoned that this was required because I walked a lot & took public transit, as I don't drive a car. Then, in 2002, I went to Paris, France, & was amazed to see women of various ages walking all over the city, & it seemed that every one of them wore gorgeous high-heeled shoes. Mostly elegant pumps, kitten heels to spindly stilettos, even on the cobblestone streets in the Marais & Left Bank. These ladies walked purposefully, swiftly, sometimes walking tiny little dogs or arm-in-arm with a gentleman or taking a child somewhere. They were doing the business of life & doing it with style.
I realized, then & there, that I was wasting time with clunky, boring flats. I needed to get on a heel & get going. Life is too short for comfort shoes (or for cheap liquor either). There is a place for practicality, but it need not be every single day. And practicality doesn't have to mean dull either. I'm with Sal of Already Pretty when she rhapsodized in her Ode to a Pump -- there's just something special about a bit of heel that makes a gal walk straighter.
I'm sure this post (if it's read!) will get complaints about "but I have Serious Foot Condition X that requires Special Comfort Shoe X." Ok, fine, but do you really need to wear that every day of your life? Can't you switch it around for part of the week? Are you *that* disabled? If I really was that disabled, I would invest some money in having fabulous custom shoes made (or orthopedic inserts that could fit into any shoes or whatever). Because you have to live with Serious Foot Condition, but you don't have to let it rule your life. Don't use it as an excuse to be boring.
It's like saving the "good china" just for once a year at the holidays. That means you miss out on it all year long. If you say you can only wear cute shoes when you go out to a fancy dinner or to the opera, but you hardly ever go to those places, well, wtf? That's a waste. Wear the cute shoes to get groceries, if that's the only time you leave the house. Live it up while you can, right now. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow!
(Shoe images from Zappos.com.)