I am a minimalist when it comes to shoes. If I had a huge walk-in closet and suddenly won the lottery, I admit I would spend some of the money on shoes I ordinarily pass up. However, I pass up shoes for not one, but two reasons: price, and what I like to call the “blood factor.” I grew up as a dancer. I am well versed in taping my toes and other parts of my feet in preparation for a dance rehearsal en pointe. Therefore, I turn away from some of these new shoe styles when I think the “blood factor” is too high. If it is going to take me more than 5 minutes to strategically tape up my feet, so I can wear a pair of shoes without leaving a trail of blood behind me with each step, then I don’t even try them on.
Some of these new styles are adorable…if I was Barbie. Honestly, who fits comfortably into a pair of Jessica Simpson heels? I would really like to know. Go ahead raise your hand because I am just baffled that she keeps selling these styles. After 2 decades of dancing, I am admitting that my feet are still not skilled enough to permanently stay in the shape of Barbie’s so that I can even try Jessica’s style on. I wish she didn’t make such lovely looking shoes.
Then there are the crazy ones, with what feels like a million straps holding them together. These shoes need an instruction manual to speed up the process of trying them on. I feel like I’ve just survived 10 minutes of intense stretching in a Bikram yoga class to get both shoes onto my feet, only to find that they are designed with an awkward angle making it unnatural to walk in them. Imagine that, shoes that aren’t designed around the main purpose for their existence. Yet, I am always drawn to them like a starving theme park tourist to a turkey leg.
Just when I thought the designer styles couldn’t get any more fabulous, but completely unwearable, I stumbled across the Target knock offs. These easy to grab styles are still adorable, a lot more affordable, but also equally uncomfortable. Who doesn’t love it when you can walk into one store and get cute strappy sling backs and a gallon of milk all at once?
I spend all day walking around in circles at work. I have a personal rule that on meeting days and other important occasions I wear heels to work, but I have added the addendum that bringing a pair of flats to stow in my bag (just in case) is necessary as well. Usually I will hold out until the last minute, or until I feel the warm puddle in my shoe, before I give in and put on my flats. Even with the preemptive taping and “gellin’” insoles I eventually end up wearing my feet raw from all the walking. Yes, you heard me right. My feet, that are used to handling the punishment of pointe shoes and years of torture, are not prepared to hold up to this.
The other women in I work with often comment that they don’t know how I can do it. They always ask “How do you make it through the day in those?” They don’t see the insoles, the strategically placed toe tape, or the spare flats in my bag when asking. Which leads me to wonder, who are the designers making all these crazy new shoes for? If other women around me aren’t wearing them and I can barely even try them on without getting a foot cramp, then who is buying them? I see younger girls out at night attempting to wear them, but generally failing miserably as they shuffle their feet along with their knees bent so they don’t topple over.
I guess for now I will continue to enjoy my small and minimal shoe collection. Hopefully trends will change and I can at some point afford/fit into the new trends. It sure would be nice to own more than one shoe in a specific color. After all, it’s rough replacing worn out shoes when you know the ones you get will have to match everything you wear with that specific color. My closet might be as versatile as possible right now, but I not-so-secretly hope it can one day hold a pair of really fashionable heels.