09 September, 2010

Why we love shoes: The Key to happiness is balance - Heart, Body and Sole

The above statement is true. It has to be. Because I have recently found that in life I am supremely happy when my body is healthy, my heart is light and my feet are well shod* If I’m ticking 2 out of 3 of these boxes I’m on my way, but when it’s a full house I am skipping – clicking my shoes mid hop – along the rooftops to work, singing U2’s Beautiful Day in a flawless soprano and smiling at people who aren’t even there. That’s the dream.

This fine September 2010 I am just one clickety-step away from fulfilling my dreams– as soon as I get hold of my next item of footwear to compliment my (currently existing only in my mind) Autumn wardrobe. Then it will be tick, tick, tick and I will be off to join the huddle of squealing girls excitedly clutching their latest Shoe purchase and envisaging its place in their (existing currently only in their minds) 5th avenue walk in wardrobe. With a different shelf for each brand and a shoe shine boy per pair. Built for them by SATC’s Big...

If anyone ever asks what makes a girl happy...SHOES.

We .Love. Shoes. Killer heels, pretty ballet pumps, gladiator sandals, trendy brogues, comfy slippers, cool shoe boots, sexy cowboy boots, cutey ankle boots…and not forgetting my all time favourite ever piece of footwear – The Flip Flop. Throw out all my clothes (except my dresses) and fill my wardrobe with Havainas and I would be one contented young lady.

I haven’t actually always been this way. It is a very recent thing. For example, when I was little I was adamant that we buy the same pair of red shoes with butterflies on them for me whenever the annual trip to Clarks came upon us. I clearly wasn’t bothered about variety. I knew what I wanted and it was red butterfly shoes thank you** Anyway, I have had friends who love shoes, colleagues who worship shoes and even men who are more devoted to shoes than I ever thought I would be, but I was never that concerned. Until I caught myself daydreaming earlier today about what my next footly garment would be (I’m lusting after tan brogues with a slightly pointy toe and maybe even brown laces – the very sole of Autumn) I realised I had quite without warning joined the shoe loving parade, with bells on.

When had this happened? I wondered. And why?
What causes one to so suddenly and passionately take pleasure in something that goes on our feet (the least visible part of our body unless being greeted by an ant), steps in all sorts of grim things and to be honest doesn’t stay all that that fresh?
After much consideration (as much as one can fit in to a hummus and pitta break) I came up with several answers to my own question. Vis-à-vis:

1. Women can control their shoes
We can choose any shoe we like and they will bloody well go on our feet. They will go wherever we want them to go. They will dance if we feel like dancing. They will come out to play as and when we want them to. If we feel like kicking someone, they have our back. And if they bore us to death we will shove them at the back of the (massive walk-in) wardrobe with a strong warning not to come back out until fashion repeats itself and our daughter might want them. And they don’t say a word. They just do their daily shoey duty and look pretty and honour and obey us until the winter range do us part. You and you’re two shiny shoes. A match made in heaven, whoever said three is a crowd?

2. They fit. Forever.
100% of the time, every time. Fair enough, sometimes you see a handsome shoe and it doesn’t quite wiggle on like you want it to, especially if you have weird shaped feet and every time you see a pointy ballet pump you know you’re going to have to go a size up just to get your little toe in. But that’s okay. Because going up a shoe size is something our vanity can cope with, as we don’t have to take any responsibility for it. Tight jeans, chafing bras and straining waist belts we have to take the blame for and then eat loads of lettuce until we have repented of our chocolaty sins and can fit back into the drainpipes, but shoes don’t work this way. They fit all year round. Even just after Christmas when we are the shape and sometimes even colour of Mr Blobby. And given that most girls weights tend to fluctuate with the seasons, it is a small blessing that when we’re up a dress size and don’t quite feel like shopping for crop tops (spare me!) there is always that charming little foot garment that we can still fit into and will still make us beautiful and help us ignore the fact we ate an entire pizza last night. All week. The beautiful invention of the Shoe. The most loyal friend on earth.

3. They make us who we are
Now that everyone is a working mum of 6 who is best friends with Davina and married to a Millionaire and does charity work in their ‘spare time’ in Africa and looks 15 years younger and runs 11 miles every morning before they get the kids up and still has time to look damn sexy every night for Mr Millionaire, there is very little else women can do to get noticed anymore. Hair is overdone, make-up is overdone, clothes are overdone, the whole Oh –what-me?-Yeah-I-just-have-fifteen-different-roles-to-fulfil-and-still-have-time-for-Yoga look has been over.done. And we all gave up after Cheryl Cole anyway.
So now we lasses have to find a subtle way of staying ahead of the rat race. Best foot forward. So we oh so subtly use our shoes to prove just how good we are. Kurt Geigers, Manolo Blahniks, Jimmy Choo, Primark (ahem)…whatever we choose our shoes say something about us, they reveal our personalities and strip us of all other masks. And if they don’t? Then you’ve missed a trick love.

So of course women love shoes. The better the shoe, the better the wearer of the shoe, the better the chance we have of being somebody.

All this said, I am currently gazing at a collection of battered Primark pumps, worn down River Island heels, scuffed ankle boots and battered flip flops. Not sure what this says about me other than someone’s shoe fetish didn’t start early enough. Where’s my credit card...

*wine, dresses and men are a predetermined right so are not included in this formula

** I can’t say my taste has changed much.


  1. this made me laugh. heart body and sole

  2. Thank you! glad you liked it, keep reading!x

  3. This is so true. I so often go shopping, get depressed at nothing fitting me right, or being available in the size or colour I want, or just generally having an ugly day so nothing looks good in the fitting room mirror. But then you can buy some shoes (or a handbag, don't forget those) and none of that matters.


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