I have something like 50 pairs of shoes. Mind you, I've never actually been dorky enough to sit there and count every one, but that would be my estimate. When I moved into my apartment, a friend was helping me unpack and started on my shoes. Once she saw how many pairs I actually had she let out various exclamations of surprise and shock, and in her gobsmacked state proceeded to count them. At that time, the count was 40. That was over a year and a half ago and I've definitely bought 10 pairs or so since then.
I know. Shopping is a sickness for which there is no cure.
The thing is (probably like most other people) I don't even wear like half of those pairs on a regular basis. Especially in the summer - I LOVE sandals and hate socks (I basically just wear them because I have to) so when the temperature rises and the sun comes out, I tend to live in the same 4 or 5 pairs of sandals. I also have odd-shaped feet that don't agree with most dressier styles of shoes (my feet are basically shaped like triangles - slim at the heel and wide at the toe. Like a duck) so it's just not realistic, or in any way comfortable, to wear those pairs on a daily basis.
Besides I take public transit and walk everywhere so I'm sorry but I need to be comfy! I have certain pairs of heels that I've worn around enough to know that they are comfortable (it's not as if I wear flip-flops or flats ALL the time) and I will wear those to work, but mostly I wear flat or mostly flat shoes. Most people find this wierd because I'm practically a midget (I top out at 5 ft nothing, on the dot) so technically of all people I "should" be wearing heels (according to the ever-elusive "they").
The thing is I actually (get ready for it) don't really mind being short. I like blending in. Plus, people tend to take pity on you and help you reach things, which can be rather handy while grocery shopping (which makes me think: WHY exactly do stores display some of their merch so freakin high up anyway?! Seriously, is it really necessary to have shirts hanging just under the ceiling so that they require a forklift to get down? I mean, really).
Anyway, getting off-topic here. See, I got to thinking about shoes (deep, I know) after reading a post on one of my favourite blogs yesterday contemplating why women love their shoes so much. I thought it was an interesting question-why the heck DO we love our shoes so much?! I mean, they're just SHOES. As "Mel" says in the post, "their purpose is to protect us from stepping on gross stuff and messing up our feet", not to adorn or make a statement. Shoes have simply morphed into more than protection over time.
I suppose everyone likes their shoes for different reasons and, hey, I'm sure there are some women out there who don't give two shits for shoes and have like 2 pairs. But I think we've clearly established that I don't fit into that category; and I've thought about why this is and I think hit the nail on the head as to why. It's not because I want attention, or I want to be taller. Sure, I just LIKE fashion and shoes are a part of that, and I just like putting outfits together so part of my love for shoes comes from that.
However, to go even deeper, I see shoes as a vehicle for me to get where I want/need to go. Shoes get me places. They allow me to walk, jump and dance and they carry me along as I do those things. Can you really say that about your clothes? Not really. Clothes can transport you in an emotional sense, but they can't literally transport you somewhere like shoes can.
Think about how important shoes are in travelling - what you put on your feet can make or break your trip. And they not only travel WITH you, but in a way they do the travelling FOR you. Once you travel a few hundred miles in a pair, they become not only associated with particular outfits and weather, but also with the places you have travelled while wearing them. They become memory-keepers for your journeys and your journeys are literally imprinted on the shoes in dirt stains and scratches from the roads you have walked.
Just look at the photo above - seeing their worn, dirty state doesn't your imagination run wild with the adventurious scenarios the wearer must have gone through for the shoes to look like they do?
I know you're probably thinking, "Really, Kim? The Philosophy of Shoes? Little dry on the blog ideas today were ya?" *cue eye roll* And I know it's kinda silly to wax poetic about an accessory, but I don't care. That's the great thing about fashion - everyone has their own interpretation and derives pleasure from it for different reasons. Whether it's silly or not, no one can deny that shoes have become much more than practical protectors; we all have emotional connections to what we wear for one reason or another and that's human.
Shoes take me places; I'm constantly going places; therefore shoes are important to me. And considering the number of pairs I have, it's clear I've been around!