Sunday, November 07, 2004

Random Thoughts: SO SHOE ME

Note: This was written five years ago for the now defunct See, apart from being a confessed travel junkie, I am also what my friend Jenina calls a Shoe Whore. Not that she really complains as we are the same size... so she can borrow pretty much any of my babies. Below is one of two articles I'd been asked to write about my addiction to footwear. The other one… comin’ soon as I find the file.
A woman bears her heart and soles on the subject of her shoe fetish.
You know that old Indian saying, "Never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes"? If we take that literally, to get to know me, you’d have to walk about 52 miles changing shoes every mile.
People who have seen my shoe rack(s) say I’m trying to give the Imeldific One a run for her title. And, at twenty-two, I could very well succeed although I’d like to state for the record that, contrary to popular belief, I am not trying to break any records. (Since my feet haven’t grown since high-school, I actually have amassed a rather impressive hoard.) Honestly, I don’t have a justification that doesn’t make me sound shallow. But I’ll take a shot at it.

First of all, shoes can make or break an outfit. The wrong choice of footwear can catapult you from a potential fashion do into a major fashion NEVER.

In the same vein, different shoes can totally change the look of one outfit. Take a pair of blue jeans and a plain white tank top. Pair them with rubber thong slippers and you’re a laid-back beach chick. Suede sneakers turn you into a comfy concrete warrior. 3" cork-soled sandals give you a vertical lift while uplifting your look to a slightly higher plane. (Red leather stilettos in faux snakeskin patters, by the way, are a fashion never... unless you are a drag queen... or a hooker... or both.)

Velvet, leather, suede, rubber, satin, cork, plastic, canvass are only some of the more popular materials used in shoe-making. Then there’s design and style to think about. Wedge-sole, blunt/square/round/open toe, strappy, Mary Janes, buckle/velcro/lace closures... I could go on forever. It’s almost impossible sometimes to come to a decision. There are so many things to consider – material, usage, price, color are only the tip of a veritable iceberg of options.
It hasn’t been easy. Like that time I was looking at the two pairs of snub toed leather boots – in one black, the other brown. Take a look inside my mind:

The black ones go with almost everything in my closet.
But I already have three other black boots.
But none of them have wedge-soles.
I don’t have brown boots though.
Yes I do. The ones I like to wear when it rains.
But those are everyday brown boots. These boots are going-out boots.

I bought both before my internal dialogue could drive me crazy. It was the only way to solve the problem. If I had left one and brought home the other, I would always wonder if the other pair might have given me more wear and pleasure. Besides, at less than P500 each, it wasn’t like I was squandering good money.

The unlimited choices and decisions challenge me. I enjoy going through racks of shoes silently discarding pairs until I come across one that makes me itch to try them on. (Like the aforementioned boots.) My only problem with trying shoes on is that I am a rather small size (4½ - 5, 5½ if I’m lucky). I buy my cross-trainers at the kids sections sometimes. I don’t really mind because some of those kiddie styles really rock. And the chances that I’ll run into someone at the gym in the same pair are slim to none. What could be better than that?

Getting back to the size issue... it does matter when it comes to footwear. There aren’t a lot of shoes out there made to my Lilliputian size. Correction: there aren’t a lot of funky-ass shoes out there made to my size. So when I find a pair – or seven – that fit well I jump at the opportunity. It gives me a rush to slip a pair of shoes on for the first time and feel them fit snugly against my rather high sole and small size.

Maybe this is why I have three pairs of brown strappy sandals with different heels (flat, 2" and 3 ½ "), 6 black wedge-soles (different materials) and I don’t know how many pairs of slippers (I go to the beach a lot). Or maybe it’s because, simply put, I like shoes. Every time I find a new pair, I feel the way someone who collects stamps would feel after finding a rare issue for his collection. I collect shoes because it makes me feel good.

It also gives me a sense of accomplishment, even though I have nothing to do with the shoe’s make, model or material. It’s like I mentally pat myself for finding such a great pair again. 52 pairs later, I’m still getting the same high.


Post a Comment

<< Home