If the shoe fits…

Red Chuck Taylor All Star basketball shoe.

Image via Wikipedia

Never one to own more than 4 or 5 pair of shoes at a time, I think I am reconsidering myself a shoe person…but not in the Imelda Marcos, or Lady Gaga way.

I recently purchased new hiking boots. I had repaired my old ones into oblivion. It was time to say goodbye to the old, and then hello to the new. I feel inches taller, pounds stronger, and more sure-footed. Had I realized how bad my old ones were, I would have done this a year ago.

One of the many fun classroom assignments from writing group a year or so past, was when Deb sent around photos of people’s feet. There were photos with Birkenstock-clad feet, ballerina slippers, 4-inch-heeled Jimmy Choo’s, and Chuck Taylor All Stars. We were to study the feet, shoes and all, and give life to our characters based on our perceptions. I was handed the All Stars (Converse sneakers), and gave life to a Tomboy riding a bus around town.

I began that day to appreciate The Shoe. Footwear says a lot, quickly, about a person in a way that no other single item can do. Shoes can convey wealth, or lack there of, they can suggest recent activity, attitude, certain health conditions about the wearer, and even possibly nationality or heritage (I’m sure the Dutch still wear wooden shoes).

I used to think I had to interview people to find out where they had been, what their income is, and how they are feeling. All I really had to do was take a look down at their feet.

What do your shoes say about you?


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10 Responses to If the shoe fits…

  1. joan chandler says:

    Like Mma Makutsi’s shoes in the Ladies’ #1 Detective Agency series, my shoes actually speak TO me. My walking shoes frequently say, “Jeez, when are you going to lose some weight?” Today as I attended a funeral in my black sandals, one of them practically shouted at me, “When are you going to buy some decent shoes to wear to a funeral? and next time get a pair that fits properly.” My old red suede slip-ons make loud clunky sounds to remind me to step more gracefully. When I was working in the flower patch on my back yard’s side hill, my old “garden sneakers” yelled, “Oh, no! we don’t have any tread left, and we’re slipping down the hill!” I do have some shoes that are not as critical, however: two pairs of Land’s End canvas shoes, one in bright yellow and the other in orange. They tend to say things like, “Don’t you think I’m cute?” or “Look at those drab white sneakers over there.” I never hear anything very encouraging from my shoes, i.e. “Joan, why don’t you indulge yourself with some nice new shoes?” 🙂

  2. Cheryl Cavanaugh says:

    My footwear says ” please buy more than one pair of shoes or sneakers every 2 years!” I wear the same sandels all summer, even in the ocean. I have my one pair of sandles, one pair of sneakers, one pair of slippers, and 1 pair of pretty red dress shoes and a pair of white strappy sandles, I have only worn a very few times in the 3 years I have owned them. I love the way nice shoes look on women but I am into comfort only 🙂

  3. Linda says:

    joan: lol 🙂
    Many of my shoes say to me, from the closet or shoe holder in the corner, “Let me go already! You rarely take me out anymore, and I am taking up space that could let in more air so your buddies could breathe!”

  4. JoAnn says:

    Back in high school my dear friend Patti had confessed to me she wouldn’t consider dating a man with old ratty shoes. She told me a persons shoes tell more about them than any other single item! She was spot on. I still enjoy looking into the eyes first but ever since then I go straight to the shoes!!!

  5. Diann Peart says:

    My father always said that one could tell a lot about a person by looking at their shoes, in particular the back of the shoes as that person walked away. Runover heels marked a lack of personal pride in his eyes. He was always well-shod, with his shoes polished, and heels well maintained. I don’t ever remember him going barefoot. He would no doubt be horrified by my ratty old Toms shoes, color faded, soles almost worn away…and my favorite go-to shoes.

    • Sally Sally says:

      I bet I would have liked your Dad. I suppose he used Kiwi polish, shoe trees, and shoehorns. Maybe you could put your old Toms on a shoe tree!

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