Hello, my name is Jennifer, and I’m a shoe-a-holic. I love them. Like, a bone-deep, to-my-soul, kind of love. I am not proud of this fact. (Well, maybe a little proud.) But it is one of the many endearing qualities that make me me. I am helpless against the power of a cute pair of boots. Sandals make me weak. And don’t get me started on cute heels – they are the…well, the Achilles heel, of my otherwise healthy willpower.
(And yes, I meant that pun. I’m proud of that pun. I’m a punny girl.)
One Christmas, my church did a program called “12 Days of Giving.” Each day we were asked to take inventory of a specific item in our home (clean water, a bed to sleep in, heat, a roof over our head, etc.). For each item we had, we were then asked to donate a certain amount to a charity that supported that cause (clean water in Africa, homeless shelters, etc.). One day, the task was to count how many pairs of shoes we had, and for each pair of shoes, donate $.25 to an organization that supplied shoes for children in developing countries.
I stopped counting at 100 pairs.
But why do I love them so much? And why am I not alone in this adoration of footwear? (And I don’t mean it in that way. I love shoes, but I don’t loooOOOOooovvee shoes, if you know what I mean.) So I started thinking about all the reasons shoes will always be my favorite indulgence.
Here are my top 10 reasons to love shoes.
- Shoes don’t care what size you are. If I’m fitting nicely into my skinny jeans, or if I have to break out the Thanksgiving fatpants, my shoes don’t care. They always fit. And I love them for that.
- Shoes don’t judge. I bet if I ate a donut right now, I could hear my size 2 jeans, (currently tucked in the bottom of my dresser), laughing at me, mocking me, rolling their eyes at me thinking I’ll ever be able to slide them over my hips again. My shoes would never mock me.
- Shoes imply promise and possibility. A classy pair of heels could mean a night at the theater. A cute pair of strappy sandals could turn into a date with a handsome man. A great pair of hiking boots could lead to an amazing camping trip. Shoes have meaning and purpose, and each pair is an adventure waiting to happen.
- Shoes are never boring. There’s a seemingly endless variety of styles and colors available. And, with high-end discount stores (love that dichotomy) becoming so popular, a great pair of designer shoes can be affordable. The thrill of the hunt is found in the shoe department. (In this article’s cover photo, you’ll notice my teal suede Pradas are just a pair away from my Kmart Bongos. Cute doesn’t have to be expensive!)
- Shoes are both decorative AND functional. I’m the queen of multi-tasking. And I expect my wardrobe pieces to do double-duty, too. Shoes are a functional piece that are also an accessory. Win-win.
- Shoe love is a stereotype we can embrace with no regrets. As women, we are bombarded with stereotypes every day. Most are negative, and we spend our time fighting them or proving them wrong. Our love of shoes is one stereotype we don’t have to fight. Instead, we can wear it like the fierce badge of honor it is.
- Shoes can help us make new friends. Who hasn’t connected over a cute pair of shoes? Shoes are universal among women. I can’t tell you how many conversations have been started simply because of my shoes. And that’s a huge accomplishment for someone who hates small talk.
- Shoes make me taller. I was not gifted with the height gene. While this does make dating easier (the pool of taller men is much larger for me than for all my 5’7″-and-up friends), it makes other things more difficult – like putting dishes away on the top shelf, or reaching the back of the linen closet, or seeing over just about anyone in a crowd. Heals give me that extra little lift to see the world as my normal-height friends do.
- Shoes can change my mood. Shoes have the power to impart confidence, joy, power, and fun. If I’m having an ugly day, I put on a sassy pair of shoes, and instantly my outlook improves. If I have an important meeting, I put on my power shoes and suddenly feel more confident. And simply putting on my running shoes makes me want to go to the gym. OK, that last one was a lie. But you know what I mean.
- Shoes can speak volumes. Shoes have the ability to send clear messages about their wearer. Women, and men too, (whether they admit to it or not), can pick up on those signals without a word being spoken. I’m all for having my footwear reinforce the personality/mood message I’m trying to convey.
So you see ladies, there really are valid reasons to justify our shoe obsessions. And, because our collective love of shoes knows no limits, I want to make a bonus #11 with your suggestions. Comment here with your reasons, and the best answer will become #11.
Happy shoe shopping!