Let’s Make Some Noise!

line up of current shoes - metallics, suede, patent croc...

Shoe love in a rainbow of colors

I lock up when I hear Oprah say she’s wearing shoes she won’t or can’t walk in.  This makes me ask myself questions like “Are they the wrong size?” and “Did she get airlifted into her chair?” and “Why, why, why?”  So let’s make a deal.  If I ever grace a stage or, better yet, help YOU grace the stage, there will be enough room for a deep breath, enough padding to stand/walk in and enough practicality you will probably want to wear the outfit again.

In the last two buildings I worked in – both for the same company, which moved to a new location – everyone knew where I was thanks to the bare floors and my shoes.  For the people I worked with, it was probably Devil Wears Prada annoying.  Most days I was oblivious to how much noise I made but when I wasn’t going 90 MPH, I felt the need to be apologetic, almost to the point of wondering if I should buy a new pair of shoes over lunch.  But when I would catch myself pondering how much to budget for this impromptu shoe shop, which is always welcome when it’s for retail therapy, something didn’t feel right.

With a comfortable salary, I discovered expensive shoes in the department that I used to briskly walk by, gasping at the clearance rack prices, along with a new level of style and a WHOLE new level of comfort.  Case in point, my first pair of Donald Pliners.  I splurged (just this one time, I told myself) because I wanted something that could go with everything.  The elastic band had a bunch of thin stripes of different colors and the sandal had a brown wedge heel.  I wore those shoes into the ground.  Not only did they go with everything, my feet felt like heaven in them.  I believe I dragged them through three years before I finally decided they had to go.  Previously, most shoes barely made it through a season.

Burgundy, red, (mostly) pointy toe, croc, patent, metallic, studs, suede, pink laces…  I love shoes.  And my current theory is that if I invest in a few (or a dozen) good shoes each season, they will all suffer less wear and tear and last longer.

A few things.  I opt for a pointy toe 99% of the time because they will make me look taller when paired with the correct trouser length.  There was a phase of REALLY pointy toes, which looked a little scary and witchy.  I own very few round toes and I can’t get my head around square toes…

Another personal note is, surprise, color.  White usually looks ultra cheap or fit for a prostitute, unless you’re the bride.  Trust me – I witnessed it on two different occasions in the skyway.  One time with a skirt and another time with pants.  In both cases, I understood what the women were going for – the pop effect from contrasting light and dark – but the color did not work.  The pants woman could have done orange, metallic, a sophisticated red or turquoise.  The skirt woman could have done a nude or a navy with some kind of accent trim.  I know color is a challenge when it comes to footwear.  I bet 80% of Macy’s shoe department is black or brown.  So observe what others are doing with their footwear, practice by trying on shoes over lunch and asking for reactions based on what you’re wearing, then go with Nike’s tagline and Just Do It!

Last thought is to pay attention to pairing shoes with the right outfit/occasion.

  • Flip-flops do not work at work.  I don’t care where you work – at a supermarket or in an office.  Flip-flops are for beaches and warm weather vacations.
  • If you’re going to wear your winter boots all day, they had better not be suede with salt lines around the toes or hikers that belong on the hills.  And the Uggs…don’t get me started.
  • A tapered wedge is dressier than a non-tapered wedge heel (in case you’re not sure what I mean, when you look at the shoe from the back, the top part is wider than the bottom).
  • Say this one with me – metallics are neutral and go with almost everything.  That was easy!
  • Dyed satin is so 1990s.  Avoid.
  • Pumps are classic; try a pump with a fun trim or an exciting sheen or pattern to add a little (or a lotta) wow.
  • Dressy sandals and peep toes are perfectly acceptable for work with pants or appropriate-length skirts.
  • I do not like chunky heels.  I wore them incessantly in the 90s and now I can’t stand the sight of them.
  • If you can pull of cowboy boots, do it!  Send me pictures so I can live vicariously through you.

In order to avoid feeling like you might die if you take one more step (a.k.a. Oprah), walk around in the shoes you’re considering buying.  How do your feet really feel?  Walk on the carpet and on bare floor for a major difference in potential comfort.  Are you trying on both shoes?  Stand in them for several minutes.  Take your time because you can’t return them once you’ve worn them to work or a party.  This is a critical step, ladies!  And in the event you splurge and dash, take time to wear them at home before you go out.  If you’re on the fence about comfort, you know what you need to do…  And if you find yourself getting into this situation repeatedly, you also know what you need to do, right?

OK, last personal thing, which is really a two-for-one: good hosiery for winter and regular pedicures for summer.

To everyone I used to work with and all of my new blog friends, I hope you, too find shoe love in the near future.  It’s a wonderful, stylish hobby that can immediately answer unasked questions – what kind of mood are you in, who do you think you are, where do you think you’re going.  And I can honestly say, I have no regrets about all the click-clack I made.


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2 Responses to “Let’s Make Some Noise!”

  1. Lindsay Murr Says:

    Haha, that was very insightful. I have to say that I am soooo guilty of buying shoes that are too comfortable. I wear a lot of heals in the summer, but in the winter I never do because my feet get too cold. Especially if I have to walk outside. I wear those ugly clogs with slipper socks underneath. Suggestions for warm cute winter shoes?

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