I identify as a woman, but you wouldn’t know it by my footwear. I do not give one cis shit about shoes. Especially Ladies’ Shoes. If this suggests a chromosome slippage, so be it.
Shoe fashion is lost on me. I remember the first time I had a voice in picking out shoes. I didn’t want a voice, really. I was little. Whatever I wore had always been up to my parents. The nice man at McCann’s put my little foot in the metal shoe size thingy and boxed it up like a present. That was fun. Then he looked up at me–me!–and said “Would you like buckle or tie?” I had no idea what he was talking about. I drew a complete blank and I remember it to this day because of the embarrassment of being asked something I had a 50% chance of getting wrong. If he’d asked me if I prefer Plethodon salamanders to Ambystomas I’d have had an answer. I picked one of the words at random and then pieced the puzzle together when he brought the shoe. I was ready for the next time but nobody ever asked me that again.
Anyway my shoes were pretty basic. I suspect all my school shoes were brown lace-up types, and Keds or PF Flyers at home, until I got to the awful age of having to Fit In. I’d aged past saddle oxfords. I think I wore loafers. Penny loafers at first and then a pair of tassel loafers. Then the flower-child era freed me from the constraints of needing money to Fit In, and I have no idea what I wore on my feet to school. I can’t remember a single pair of shoes I owned for several decades. To this day I can’t tell you what a mule or a pump is.
Given my antipathy toward fashionable women’s shoes, it was a good deal for me to have been a letter carrier. We wore black oxfords with smooth soles. Period. And they were great, until someone decided we needed waffle soles so we wouldn’t slip on the pavement. Nobody ever slipped on the pavement. What we did do was step in dog shit, which we used to be able to clean off with three scrapes against the curb. But with the waffle soles, we were guaranteed to have to spend company time leaning up against a building reaming out dog shit with a stick. It’s a good professional look.
But our shoes were foot-shaped. You’d think that would be standard, but you’d be oh so wrong. I’ve seen antique ladies’ shoes in the museums. Before the 20th century, evidently women had feet the size of butter sticks. And the left and right were identical. If they weren’t originally, they got that way over the years. I’m not a large person, but if I had to jam my foot in a 19th-century ladies’ shoe, I’d have a blowout.
Put me down for a shoe that looks like my foot. Round at the toe, and close to the ground, just like the rest of me. Would I wear slingback pants? I would not. Platform eyeglasses? No. Cone bra? Maybe.
Supposedly high heels and platforms for both men and women were prevalent in the Middle Ages because there was always so much poop on the street to rise above. But that’s no reason to wear platforms. That’s an argument for learning how to ride a donkey. You sure don’t want to up the chances you’ll tip over in those conditions. These days there’s less shit and more burger wrappers, and platforms are strictly for fashionable effect and Tom Cruise.
Much shoe fashion, including high heels, had to do with demonstrating that the wearer didn’t have to work for a living, unless you count whoring. It is a sartorial expression of profound and desirable uselessness. If you were an aristocratic woman wearing chopines, you might tower almost two feet higher than you would normally, all of it concealed beneath your gown, and not only were you tall and useless, but you also needed a maid on either arm to prop you up. That is about as useless as it gets.
So upper-class people wore high heels. This principle of showing you do not have to work applied to both sexes. Nowadays we just use ambassadorships.
Modern high heels for women, however, do have a use. That use being the permanent and debilitating shortening of the Achilles tendon in order to accentuate the curve of the calf and the small of the back for the sexual titillation of men plus the signaling of the increased likelihood the wearer will be easy to catch.
I’ll stick with the Keds. I’m still easy to catch.
It's funny how a lot of the accoutrements of femininity were meant to display the lack of the need to work and they are still with us, even as modern women are actually working. I see women in offices tottering around in stilettos, cashiers with Fu Manchu nails who need a pencil to operate the register, and zippers in the back of dresses that imply that you have a ladies' maid to get you in and out of your clothes.
My mom had toes that were crammed together into a point and bunions on the sides of her big toes from constantly wearing pointy-toed high heels. Because they were "the fashion." "Fashion" is for people who have no sense of style. I have a few "sensible" pumps for dressy occasions (which I hardly ever wear), but my favorites are loafers that I wear around the house or a pair of black hiking boots that feel like I am walking on mattresses. I even wear them with sundresses in the summer, because that's how I roll. I don't know why a lot of women have a shoe fetish, unless it's because it's the only part of them that doesn't change much in size over the years.
I know that unlike other things, my feet are already as low as they'll go.
I always admired Dixie Lee Ray for her attitude toward dress. As a scientist and governor of the State of Washington, she didn't give a fig for fashion. She wore flat shoes with knee sox, for Pete's sake, which allowed her to slip a comb into one sock for grooming emergencies.
Me? The only saddle shoes I ever had (5th grade) lasted one day. I don't know where she found the money, but Mom bought me a different pair of shoes when I told her how miserably the saddles abused my feet. A few years later, it was penny loafers and Mary Janes. Unfortunately, I started wearing heels for special occasions at age 13. By age 43, being a "member of management" in an engineering firm, I lived in suits and heels.
Retired, I followed my mom's example: I wear socks – usually – bare feet at other times. When I must leave the house it is in slides or in orthopedic (without orthopedic inserts) Mary Janes.
I swear that the general public thinks it fine for us to cripple ourselves just to impress others. I was so stupid. Had I an ounce of brains I should have followed Dixie Lee Ray's fine example!
Around here you see women arriving to work downtown in socks and sneakers and apparently changing into Girl Shoes once inside. Well, of course, ALSO around here we wear sandals with socks. I thought it looked totally normal until I visited someone back east and was roundly hooted at.
I remember how weird I found it the first time I met a woman wearing calf-high socks with sandals. She was from Colorado. Now, I wear socklets with my slides, in the winter.
As a man (last time I checked) I still don't understand high heels for women or men. It would be so easy to fall off and get hurt and makes women look like they all want to be balerinas. They don't, do they? I am totally comfort driven and would think most people are also, but then it's not something I usually ask about.
Mom wore low heels all the time and then couldn't get used to flat shoes when she tried. Also, her feet always hurt.
And let's not even mention Chinese foot-binding!
I know more about that than I care to share.
I’ve worn flats for 99% of my life. I remember low heels for proms in the early sixties, and a pair of chunky~heeled shoes that were fashionable in the late sixties to wear with mini-skirts in 1969. Then it as Earth Shoes all the way, baby! And nothing but super comfy flats since. All clothing should feel like pajamas and all shoes, like bedroom slippers.
I remember the prettiest girl in our senior high school class showing up on the last day of school in super-baggy pants, which were just the opposite of what had been fashionable, and it was a revelation to me. We wore pants you had to lie down on the bed to zip up.
My mom was a foot shorter than my dad. She loved wearing platformed heels. Me? I've read enough to know that we (silly) people equate height with maturity/wisdom/knowledge, so I probably wore heels to exude the authority that fell to my tasking. My last 14 years of employment, I did switch to slacks and flat shoes. It turned out that only one or two guys ever questioned my authority, anyway. I guess being mean does the trick!
I'm over a foot shorter than Dave. One thing I get a kick out of is whenever anyone hugs him, they get on their tiptoes. Every time. Men and women.
"Nowadays we just use ambassadorships" – LOL!
I have crappy arches and a hard to fit foot, so my footwear of choice is usually sneakers, or – in winter – flat boots. I don't know how women like Duchess Kate wear heels AND carry small children ALL. THE. TIME. I'd be dead from the hips down. And I'd be so miserable everyone around would wish they were dead too.
I can't imagine that being an English royal would be anything but miserable.
Birks, baby, birks!
I've never owned any!
I’m with you, Murr. Except I wouldn’t have known a thing about the lizardy things.
I never wore high heels in my life and I still have a shortened Achilles tendon according to the physio who gave me sheets of paper with ankle and foot exercises to do. None of which made any difference to the naturally flat feet I'd been born with or the painful ball-of-the-foot condition that plagues me at least once a year for several months at a time, then disappears completely.
It sucks when there's nothing to pin the blame on. Sheesh! Your bad luck?
Yuck. Do any of them include lying on your back with a foot in the air lassoed with a belt and pulled down? (Egoscue.)
No, but since I don't own a belt I won't be trying it any time soon. I really do need to get back to the hamstring stretches though.
About the only footwear I can stand anymore is Dawg's Z-sandals. Sigh.
Now I have to look that up.
These days I wear mainly sneakers or nice leather flats for tidy dress. Bare feet indoors.
Aww. It's hotter where you are. Especially now.
Aint that the truth!Although there are no fires up here.Yet…
Having had polio as a babe, I got to wear brown ankle high boots, with attached steel braces and "accessory" crutches for much of elementary school, so I missed the whole "obsessed with shoes" phase of development. I have three pair, 12-year-old crocs, 5-year-old sneakers, and 20-year-old winter boots. I wear orthotics to keep my feet from collapsing inward so I can't go barefoot but I love nice fuzzy socks. Can't stand to wear shoes without socks and I like 'em wildly coloured and patterned. The brighter the better!
Have you had any post-polio symptoms? (My sister did.)
Re: that metal shoe size thingy – it's called a Brannock device.
And even better than that fun fact is this one, wherefore I stumbled upon that correct name:
Thanks! Cool! I really liked the way it felt creeping up on my foot. It's the little things…
Your mention of McCanns (actuall Thom McAns I think) sent me into a spiral of memories. I haven't heard or thought of those stores in decades. I think children of the 50's and 60's must have all shopped there. It's good to know that those weird cold metal racks to measure our feet are still used in shoe stores. I actually saw one last month in a sport shop. Some things are just never improved upon I suppose
You are absolutely right, it was Thom McAn! Now that I see it, I remember it. What an odd name.
Your face would look better between my legs. Hey, i am looking for an online sex partner 😉 Click on my boobs if you are interested (. )( .)