Love it or Hate it: Shoes

by David Holub

Love itAt the height of my shoe obsession I had close to 50 pairs stacked neatly on shelves in the closet. I had a pair for every occasion, and it was the shoes that gave me the sense that I could be anyone I wanted.

As a man, I find shoes to be one of the few items of clothing that regularly exhibit personality and a flair for style. I love finishing off a moderately dressy outfit with my checkered Vans, which undoubtedly says “I’m classy, but I know how to party.” Who knew shoes could speak so eloquently?

My favorites are shoes that can do anything. They can pass as dressy if the rest of your outfit is dressy. They can be casual. You can wear them every day with anything if need be. You can wear them to a funeral and to a dance party. You could walk five miles in them. I’ve only owned a handful of these superhero shoes in my years, but when I have a pair, and I always have at least one, I worship them like they were the bacon-wrapped Baby King himself.

I love the sexiness shoes can exude: riding boots that accentuate the shape of a woman’s calves and direct the eye to the knees and then up and up, or the wingtips with fine orange stitching that unmistakably turn a dude into a gentleman, or the animal-print wedge heels that seem to purr and growl all on their own.

David Holub

Hate itWhen shoes are even a little bit the wrong size, you get blisters. Nothing hurts worse if you’re on a long hike or walk or saunter than a gnawing blister. It’s hard to find shoes if you have tiny feet (as I do). It’s discriminatory; average-sized feet fit everything, but stores never have cute shoes in extreme sizes. Shoes are also deceptive. You might try them on in the store, walk around, decide they’re comfortable. Then you buy them, wear them on a day out, and find yourself in sudden agony. I realize you’re supposed to “break in” shoes – but some pairs break me first.

You need so many different types of shoe for every occasion. It’s exhausting. Dress shoes, boots that are waterproof for winter, boots that are waterproof but less warm for spring, ballet flats, combat boots if you’re edgy, Converse if you’re casual, work boots for working, hiking boots for hiking, ski boots for skiing. It literally never ends.

Don’t get me started on high heels. Sure, they make your legs look sexy. But if you carefully watch the majority of women who walk in them, it’s actually not that sexy. They look like newborn baby colts testing their wobbly legs. Heels hurt. They don’t support your feet. They slowly ruin the bone structure of your feet and cause lasting damage. Why do you need to be taller? Calm down or schedule yourself for one of those medieval stretching procedures.

Anya Jaremko-Greenwold


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