Exploring the enduring love between women and shoes.
Girl Meets Shoe
For most of us our first girl-meets-shoe moment occurs somewhere between the age of two and five. When we stuff our tubby toddler toes into our mothers’ most glamorous heels and totter forth.
As we shuffle inefficiently back and forth in front of the mirror sparks start to fly. We check ourselves out and the heady feeling of womanly power those heels give us almost makes us swoon.
Start Rite we are so over you. This is LOVE. The real deal.
The Ups and Downs
From these humble, everyday origins emerges one of the most important relationship of our lives. Sure, there will be ups and downs:
- Moments of sheer, unadulterated bliss – finding the perfect ballet pumps made from leather so soft they kiss your feet,
- Nostalgia for past loves – my first ever heels, a pair of denim/straw wedge sandals with a twist bow toe,
- Vintage fantasy – I still dream of finding my Mother’s red Gina mules from the ‘70’s. The lives I could lead in those shoes….
- And the pain – not just from enduring an abusive relationship with ill-fitting shoes but from finally having to admit it’s over when, after 6 happy years together my red suede boots lost their velvety nap.
But we continue to love shoes because on the whole they love us back:
- Shoes work hard. They protect us from the elements, admittedly some more than others. A Dubarry boot is slogging its guts out to protect us from the elements whilst a gladiator sandal isn’t really making much of an effort.
- Shoes are also less susceptible to the whimsy of fashion. An RM Williams Chelsea boot will look as good in 5 years time as it looks now. It’s just not a style that’s ever going to age. In fact it’s the very definition of a timeless classic.
- Investing in a pair of new shoes can breath new life into a flagging wardrobe. Take one pair of Elia B ballet pumps in eye popping orange and hey presto, your jeans and jumper combo is suddenly bang on the money.
- Changing your shoes can change your mood. Simply putting on a certain pair of shoes flicks a switch. My sparkly pin-thin stillettos say party, my yellow laser cut brogues say lunch in town. This works for all types of shoes and it doesn’t just work for humans. I know a woman whose dog gets excited when the woman puts on her Dubarrys because he knows he’s going for a walk.
It’s fair to say then, that give or take the odd frivolous purchase we get our monies worth from them.
Video Title: “Dubarry boots = Walks”
Click to play video.
Plus – and this is one of my personal favourite reasons that I love shoes – if I gain a few pounds over winter, let’s just call it my winter coat, my shoes don’t nag me by pinching and puckering. They don’t notice. They don’t care.
They continue to suit me, flatter my feet and make me feel fabulous regardless what I weigh.
You Make Me Feel So Good
From that first giddy moment in front of the mirror in our mothers’ heels, our love for shoes is all about the power of shoes to make us feel good.
Knowing we have the perfect shoes for an occasion is one of life’s best, uncomplicated, quiet pleasures. And the best thing about this is that you don’t need a walk in wardrobe with walls of shoes to get that ‘perfect shoes’ feeling.
Even the most committed shoe hoarders admit that vast majority of shoes in their collections are barely worn. The bulk of the graft is rotated amongst the same few pairs that are simply the best at what they do.
In light of this simple truth here’s our short list of best-in-class shoes and boots for everyday life:
Casual and practical
Gadding about the Country
Trotting round Town
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