Once upon a time, I had very few pairs of shoes. I was very practical in my selection of shoes as well: if I found a pair that I really loved, were comfortable, and looked right, I would buy an extra pair or two to keep in reserve until the first pair wore out. Also, I was relatively poor (young teacher, paying back student loans plus paying for coursework to get my MSEd), and renting spaces shared with others so I wasn’t really acquiring lots of stuff anyway.
However, to my surprise, I have found myself in recent years acquiring more and more pairs of shoes, including these particularly cute ones:
I hesitate to count the number of pairs of shoes I now own. I’m sure I don’t have a hundred pairs, and I’m sure I don’t have fifty pairs, but I don’t really want to know how many pairs I do have. I might be upset that I had too many. There are sandals, boots, shoes for teaching in, and shoes for dressing up. There are dancing shoes appropriate for Scottish or English country dancing, that I also use for Dance Dance Revolution. I also have special bicycling shoes. The shoes in the photo aren’t in any of those categories…they can be worn to school on “casual fridays” or I might wear them on vacations or weekends. But they sure are cute!
I have shoes I bought for walking, shoes I bought to go out on a “date” with my husband (dinner and a show), shoes that I bought for my wedding, shoes that I bought in a thrift store. Shoes that can only be worn with nylons, shoes that must be worn with thick socks or even two pairs of socks. Shoes that I keep even though my wide feet get uncomfortable in them, but I like the shoes too much to get rid of them.
I don’t have any Manolo Blahniks or Jimmy Choos. They mostly look terribly uncomfortable and all cost way too much. I mostly stick with brands that come in wide sizes or that I know to be made on a wider than usual last. A last is the foot-shaped block of wood or plastic that a shoe is built around. The shoes in the photo are by Rieker, and they tend to be a little wider than usual. I like Rockport and Easy Spirit and Naturalizer, because they all make women’s shoes in wide sizes.
Shoe companies that don’t make shoes in wide sizes seem to have enough business without the wide-foot population that it doesn’t interest them to expand their markets. I think that is odd in this capitalist culture, but then, I don’t run a shoe company. And, clearly, I am able to find a lot of shoes I like and can wear, otherwise, why would my closet be overflowing with them?
Finally, I will leave you with a piece of wisdom I once heard on NPR, which still reliably gives me the giggles:
If you wear a pair of shoes only every other day, they will last you twice as long!