Have you ever wondered why many women – dare I say most women – have somewhat of a love affair with shoes? Maybe it all started with Cinderella’s glass slipper that caused Prince Charming to search high and low for his one true love.
Or maybe Dorothy’s Ruby Red slippers sent us the message on the importance of shoes. Or perhaps it was Carrie Bradshaw’s blue Manolo Blahniks that proved to us that a great pair of shoes could solve all life’s problems. All I know is that I feel differently about my shoes than about anything else in my closet – and I’m not alone. No doubt about it, shoes are amazing.
Numerous polls and surveys have shown that the average number of shoes owned by women is about 20 pairs. While this may seem like a lot to some, 20 actually seems pretty low to me….but then again, I’m a podiatrist! After all, everyone needs several pairs of athletic shoes along with ballet flats, high boots, ankle boots, dress pumps, strappy sandals, platform wedges and flip-flops – all in different heel heights and colors. So having well over 20 pairs of shoes seems pretty normal, even though I may only wear a fraction of them on a regular basis. So what is it about shoes that make me so happy?
Alyssa Seigal, a professional counselor, offers some insight in her article, Shoe Obsession: Women and Their Shoes. She says that, “Shoes provide the foundation for the image that we want to broadcast to the world. We wear them as a way to play with aspects of our identity in a less committed way than any other visible marker such as a haircut or color. We can change that message every day or more if we choose. A pair of flats or Birkenstocks shows our groundedness, pumps tell the world we are all business and high leather boots declare toughness.”
Following is my unscientific analysis, culled from my own experience and observations:
1. No matter what size you are or what figure flaws you might have, shoes look great on everyone! In addition, our shoe size rarely changes, even when our jeans become too tight.
2. Shoes can transform an ordinary outfit. Consider what a hot pink pair of high heels does for a simple black dress?
3. High heels look great on everyone and when you look good, you feel good. I actually feel different in a pair of heels. Need a zap of confidence? High heels will do the trick. Even though I know that high heels are the #1 cause of foot pain, I can't resist wearing them – just not very often.
4. Shoes are a necessity –unlike maybe a purse or necklace. Therefore, it is easy to rationalize needing a new pair.
5. Since shoes are an accessory, I’ll go out of my comfort zone with things like leopard print, sparkly jewels or a neon color that I simply wouldn’t incorporate into my clothing.
6. The right pair of shoes will make or break an outfit and will easily change the look of what you are wearing. Jeans with sneakers are completely different than jeans with stiletto pumps!
The fall season is almost here. I won’t need more shoes….said no woman ever!