Shoe militia

May 30, 2006

I was asked recently how many pairs of shoes I own. I could not arrive at a figure because I have never kept track. They keep accumulating, the way some people always stock up on particular household goods and groceries. They dot the landscape of my house, they hide everywhere – so I thought it a good idea to round them up for a yearly (or bi-yearly depending on how diligently I’ve been “stocking up”) family photograph, just to document how we’ve been growing together. We have been getting on famously, but I do not covet them, nor put them on a pedestal, treating them like works of art.

First and foremost they protect the foot and should carry the body with the utmost respect. Footwear is the most important part of a person’s wardrobe; not for the typical fashion reasons, but because they determine one’s posture, one’s gait, and will act as the proverbial apple a day for keeping the podiatrist ( and bad posture) away.

I cannot leave the house in shoes that I know will cause discomfort. I have nurtured a great relationship with my cobbler, we share an understanding of the importance of good shoes and that taking care of them is in fact, taking care of yourself.

Nevertheless, the challenge is always to find the perfect marriage of comfort and beauty. I think in most cases I have managed to find it, and if not, they will simply sit at home to be admired, but not worn out on long walks about town.

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