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Let’s Talk About Shoes

Go buy shoes.

There is only one thing to do when the world’s calamities conspire with personal and professional pressures to dump a load of crap on your head: go buy shoes. We love getting new shoes because we know our shoe size won’t double overnight like our dress size did last year. And, we’re confident that we can help the sagging economy and lift our depressed spirits by purchasing just the right pair – or two – of shoes.

A recent survey in the Daily Express revealed that the average woman will spend more than $25,000 on 469 pairs of shoes in her lifetime.

Yes, we know that amount of money could buy a nice car, pay off bills, or cover some plastic surgery. But, we don’t have to insure shoes or fill them with expensive gas, the bills never will be paid, and the expensive liposuction only lasts a few years because that gut will find a way to reappear and double in size.

The survey also indicated that the average woman has about 19 pairs of shoes – three pairs of heels, six types of sandals, three sets of boots, and four “night out” shoes. They also have two pairs of work shoes and a pair of tennis shoes. After a quick calculation, I decided, once again, I’m not normal. I have more than 19 pairs, but that’s because I’m older and just can’t part with some of the classic pairs that I’ve purchased. Who knows when I’ll need those saddle shoes from 1960?

The styles of shoes in my closet have matured with the years.

After a certain age, fashion becomes secondary to comfort. For decades, I wore 3-inch heels at my professional jobs, and consequently I have the bunions and weak ankles to prove it. Now I don’t go over two inches and the event better come with flowers and romance to be worth the heels or I’m changing into flats before midnight. The younger ones can prance around on the stilettos, but I prefer to walk without limping while I still can.

At my age, shoes with a sensible rounded toe and low heel work just fine.

I never succumbed to the style that features pointed toes long enough to stack donuts. Look at your bare feet – they are not pointed. Why force them into the Cone of Pain just to have that elongated look from the fashion magazines? Those models couldn’t hop across the room even if they were being chased by a crazed bear. I love boots but resist the Ugg-Boot to the Opera fad. You just can’t cross your legs in the narrow theater seats while wearing those clunky clodhoppers. I think Army boots should be worn by those in the military, don’t wear motorcycle boots unless you know how to ride one, but every women needs at least one pair of cowboy boots. Cowboy is optional, no horse required.

Take the advice from a woman who has walked around the block a few times – in heels, sandals, and tennis shoes. Be nice to your feet and they’ll carry you a long way. Save the 5-inch high heels for the special occasions when you want to look smashing but don’t need have to walk more than a block. When it’s time to purge your collection, remember that there are several charities, including Dress for Success, that accept donations of gently used shoes. Finally, when there’s a fantastic sale on shoes, you need to do your part to stimulate the economy. It’s the least you can do.


Elaine Ambrose is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.