Footwear fetish

Last updated 09:57 09/09/2009

Women, it seems, often make their shoe choices based more on fashion considerations than comfort or function.chucks

I read this interesting titbit in a Stuff story. The findings were based on a survey of British women, but I hazard a guess that results wouldn’t be so different here.

When it comes to shoes, I am a true girly-girl, which is not a claim I can make very often.  

It may be a reaction to the stark functionality of my training gear. Quite a bit of space in my wardrobe is taken up with running shoes in various states of their lifecycle. There are probably about four or five pairs and I’m not sure why I’m hoarding them and why I don’t throw them out. Maybe it’s because of the substantial sums of money I had to part with to get them in the first place.

Anyway, I don’t really do heels because I walk everywhere. In winter, I tend to stick to boots and Chucks. I love my Chucks in their three tones of pink.

Like most Wellingtonians, I have a lot of black in my wardrobe. It wasn’t ever really a conscious choice, it’s just a practical colour to own workwear in. I remember a friend teasing me that I would soon turn into a black-clad urbanite when I moved here – turns out she was right.

However, since I have no desire to spend every day dressed like I’m going to my grandfather’s funeral, I like to add colour and shoes are a great way to do this. Particularly when the warm weather arrives and out can come the sandals.

Now, I don’t know if it is particularly feminine phenomenon. I rather suspect there are many people out there who share my footwear fetish – do share.

I never have a fat day in shoes and I never feel bad if I have to go up a size in one shop and down in another.

I didn’t feel guilty when I spent $350 on a pair of the most beautiful boots I have ever laid eyes on because they’ll last. Good leather boots are an investment and they’ll last for seasons, right? Ah, the joy of the justification.

And since we’ve just turned the corner into spring, it’s about time I added some new items to my shoe collection. Good times.

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Clare   #1   10:33 am Sep 09 2009

I am a complete footwear nut. My wardrobe is overflowing and I've had to commandeer the kids' wardrobe. Due to budgetary considerations I indulge my passion at second-hand shops. I know some people avoid second-hand shoes but a quick spray with diluted bleach and they're fine. Latest purchase at Savemart in Porirua was some killer peep-toe heels in zebra stripes with little red bows on the front for $5. Gorgeous! I love the vintage/retro styles and have picked up some amazing examples over the years that I have resoled and stitched up so they last. I have small feet and seem to find many great samples that some person has pre-loved and worn in for me.

Unfortunately I'm also in the category of buying shoes that mangle my feet simply because I can't resist how they look and I have the bunions to prove it. But really, on balance, so worth it.

Louisette   #2   11:40 am Sep 09 2009

All I have to say is, thank God for women who buy shoes that don't fit. When the buyer decides they're really too painful they turn up at Savemart, hardly worn, for just a few dollars.

Donz   #3   06:21 pm Sep 09 2009

I have about half a dozen pairs of shoes in the back of my car at the moment to take to get repaired because I can't part with them!!

Muscleguy   #4   03:37 am Sep 10 2009

I used to hoard old shoes just like you Ann and for the same reasons. However I used to wear and old pair of running shoes around the place when doing things like diy. Except that one day I was doing something that included a lot of bending down and at the end my knees were shot, it was the worn shoes I was wearing. So out went those shoes and every other worn pair I could find to avoid the temptation. Repairing the soles doesn't work, especially since they started to put lumps in instead of smooth heels.

Alice2   #5   08:29 am Sep 10 2009

I have to check with Nike NZ & see if they do it here, but I heard that in the US & other countries, Nike collects old running shoes (of all brands) & reuses the rubber to create gym floors for schools in poor areas (mostly innner-city US schools, but some elsewhere too). The floors are installed for free in existing gyms, and make it easier for the kids to play basketball etc, using a surface similar to that of competition venues.

I like the idea, it reuses the bulkiest parts of worn-out shoes & reduces the amount in landfill.

Pip   #6   08:49 am Sep 10 2009

I'm not sure that I should be admitting this, but I've lately developed a bit of a thing for the No.1 Shoe Warehouse. Slightly quirky shoes really cheap. Yes, there's the ever-present guilt about the conditions in which those shoes are purchased, but I figure even the most expensive shoes are probably made the same way. I went in there to replace a pair of boots earlier this week and came out with two pairs of boots and a dangerously high but very cute pair of black and pink heels. I wore the heels yesterday and fielded compliments from nearly every woman in the office.

So that's my shoe collection - a heap of cheap day shoes and several pairs of very expensive running and cycling shoes!

Sass   #7   09:19 am Sep 10 2009

I can't bear to part with my old running shoes (except under dire circumstances - I finally got rid of my first pair of decent running sneakers when they were stinky from oldness and also an unfortunate encounter with dog pooh) and so wear them to walk to work and putter around in. And wearing sneakers so much makes me very lazy about heels so I have a number of old flat black shoes that I keep at work to wear around the office. I do have a few pairs of ridiculously high heels that I love but only wear on the very odd occasion, when I know I'm not going to have to walk very far!

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