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It’s Gotta Be the Shoes

2012 July 11
by Jill

An article about shoes has been making the Internet rounds this week, and it’s sparked my interest. No surprise there. The article posits, that based on several research studies, shoes have an enormous cultural impact, both historically and in the present moment. Our shoes say who we are, and it’s how many people make judgments, based on outward appearance. I’ll admit–I fall into this camp. If I see a woman sauntering down the sidewalk in sky-high heels, I think “Damn, girl, you’re talented!” or “Wow, you must take pride in what you look like.” This is different from what I think when I see a woman, say, in a power suit with running sneakers, a la Melanie Griffith in Working Girl.

The article also mentions how many pairs of shoes the typical person owns. Right now, there are six pairs of shoes under my desk at work alone. I have a storage bin under the bed for sandals and the floor of my side of the closet is piled high with shoes–rain boots, snow boots, flat boots, heeled boots, ankle boots, granny boots, pumps, peeptoe pumps, flats, Converse, running sneakers, espadrilles, flip flops–the list goes on and on. And still, I feel as though I don’t have enough shoes. I love them, and I know I’m not alone.

What’s interesting is the concept of shoe as cultural artifacts. I don’t think it strikes us just how pervasive the shoe is in our culture–here are just a few iconic shoes, just off the top of my head:

Dorothy’s ruby slippers

Nike Air Jordans

Cinderella’s glass slipper

In Her Shoes

Carrie Bradshaw on Sex in the City

Kurt Cobain’s Chucks

Angela Chase’s Doc Martens

Can you think of more?? In closing, shoes are the best.

2 Responses Post a comment
  1. Melissa permalink
    July 12, 2012

    Shoes are amazing. Clothing shopping can be frustrating and stressful….but shoe shopping? It doesn’t matter what your body looks like, a sexy shoe can be the best part of any outfit. My husband still puzzles about why I need three or four pairs of brown pumps. I try to explain, but there are some things that he will just never understand.

  2. Raquel permalink
    July 25, 2012

    One of my saddest days was cleaning out my shoe collection before our last move to discard any shoes I no longer wore or no longer could tolerate due to my foot woes. I had NO PROBLEMS purging old or uninteresting clothing I never wore, but each pair of shoes I got rid of brought me pain! And despite the purge I still have about 2 dozen pairs of shoes. And always want more…!

    What is it about shoes? Probably what Melissa said about how they usually make us feel good to try on. I still own T-shirts and things from when I was in high school, but nothing brings me the emotional surge I get whenever I lovingly pull out my Doc Marten boots from 1995. They’re in a place of like, reverence. Oh, shoes!

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