Shoes, glorious shoes! Who can live without them? Historically, shoes were first designed to protect man’s feet. Whether it was hot sands, cold snow, or hard rocks, someone saw the need to protect their feet from the elements. I imagine some hunter picked up a scrap of animal hide, and had the brainy idea of wrapping it around his feet for protection. Eventually, climate and culture began to offer variations in shoe designs.
At first shoes were basically utilitarian – whatever worked, went. As time and cultures advanced, not all mankind’s efforts were needed just for survival. They could turn their imaginations and artistic talents toward style!
Today, style is definitely the driving force in the shoe industry. I enjoy “shoe shopping”. I’m always on the lookout for the perfect pair of shoes. My shoe shopping, however, tends to be an artistic experience only. I see shoes as works of art. Wandering the shoe aisles of any store is like meandering through an art gallery. I can admire them as works of art. But most of them I would never buy. Expense is one reason, but the main reason is ‘I can’t wear them!” Who could?
Oh, they look so cute in the sales flyers. They look awesome displayed on the store shelves. They are totally stunning on run way models… but when I try to wear them, stand in them, not to mention walk in them…forget it!
Maybe I was just born with weird feet. As a child, I was flat-footed and bow-legged. I still remember the first time my dad took me to the ‘foot doctor’. It was a major event in my life. And it dictated my personal style for many years. Being flat-footed and bow-legged meant I was doomed to wearing orthopedic shoes throughout my formative years. Big, thick, heavy, ugly, oxford orthopedic shoes. Usually black, sometimes brown, always clunky, specially designed orthopedic shoes. Once in a while, my mom would really splurge on me when it came time for shoe shopping. She would order a pair of Saddle Shoe orthopedic shoes. Oh, I was hot stuff in school that year!
So, maybe my history has something to do with my shoe fetish. I admire and long for what I could not have as a child. The variety of colors, styles, materials, shapes, functionality – it boggles the senses!
Now, in my more mature years, I continue to admire all the stylish shoes on the market. As art. As I sit here barefoot, I have come to realize that there is only one thing that dictates the kind of shoe I wear – comfort!