Lesson #10 – Shoes! Ah…..Wonderful Shoes!

TheresaKnott-Red-Shoe

Look down!  Shoes.  I LOVE shoes.

No matter what size I am on the top half of my body I can always find enjoyment buying shoes.  It satisfies my need and my strong desire to shop.  It certainly helps to go shopping for shoes when I am stressed for whatever reason.  You can tell quite a bit about a person by looking at their shoes.  My Mother used to say that and I suppose I just rolled my eyes at her. I probably just thought   that statement was just more of her motherly advice that had no meaning in my life.  But, she was right (as she was in so many ways)

Think about it.  A man who is dressed for work in a dark blue suit, business shirt and a good looking tie.  Look down.  Are those shoes not polished or is the heel half worn?  Emergency lights would flash and those of us who have seriously considered shoes would think……interesting!  Good looking, great clothes…but those shoes?!!  Hmmmmmm.  Let me stop and say I realize that men no longer wear suits and ties to work and I, for one, think it is very sad they don’t.  Nothing is more handsome than a man in a suit and tie.  Every woman I have talked to agrees.  Women also.  Worn down tips on a great pair of heels.  Really?

Shoes of all kinds. We all know the athletic ‘want to be’ shoes, the shoes that will cause that young woman to have bunions later in life, the nurse clogs, the sneakers (Converse), the comfortable but ugly shoes and the completely fashionable, up to date,  fashion trend chic shoe.  I try to be in this group albeit the more I try I seem to always be a year late with fashionable shoes.  How can we keep up? Shoes for all occasions and at all price points.

Take this year for instance.  The more I tried the more I lagged….this year we have all shapes and sizes wearing leggings and knee high boots.  Some wear knee high boot socks which were called knee high socks back in the day.  Last winter the rage was the cowboy boot look with lots of fringe.  Loved that.  So, better late than never I bought myself a pair of ankle boots that were sooooo comfortable and ‘cool’ looking also.  I was proud of myself.  I felt ‘with it’.  ‘Cool’ even.

Just a note about my gams.  My legs have always gotten me to wherever I needed to go.  They ran in all those 5Ks, 10Ks and the half marathon and they now walk when I need to walk.  They have carried me into work, dances, exercise classes and they have worked hard during all those tennis matches.  I have always been happy with the way my legs work.  I actually have my dad’s legs which were strong and muscular but, alas, only a bit on the heavy side in the calf department.  Why me?  This has never bothered me until the blasted knee high boots were in fashion.  And we have seen these come and go and this winter they are back as cute as ever.  I will say I cringe when they come back into style.  You would think at 65 years of age I wouldn’t care.  I DO have some pride you know!

When I was a runner my figure was rather on the small side but the old calves were on the larger size.  In the beginning God did not create wide calf boots and certainly were never discovered by me until much later in life when I actually shopped for myself….about 30 years old or so.  These wide calf boots are popular now and one may find them sold anywhere and everywhere.  Not so many moons ago.  I figure there must be more full figured in the leg department gals walking around with leggings and knee high boots.  Me?  Nope.  Still wearing the western look with my new leggings.  Sooo out of it.

Shoes.  When my husband and I were on the Viking cruise, we spent several days in Budapest.  I noticed something else about shoes that we wouldn’t normally notice in the good old U S of A.  Yes, the young women had their knee highs on and leggings and looked great by the way but I noticed the male species of shoes.  The shoes look very Italian.  I don’t know what it is but men’s shoes only had probably four lace holes on each side and the laces were very thin.  The leather was kid glove leather and looked wonderfully soft.  Black was the color of choice.  Very flat with not much of a heel with pointy toes.  Interesting.  American men shoes are quite different.  Thicker soles, heavier leathers and not the soft fine glove leather of European men.  You can tell an American.

When we lived in London I remember the first week someone saying that they could always tell an American from Europeans.  Americans (both men and women) wore white athletic shoes and white athletic socks.  YES!  So true!  I started looking at obviously American people walking along and sightseeing.  White shoes and white socks!  OUCH!  I remember looking down and seeing my own white tennis athletic shoes and socks.  I was aghast.  From that day forward my love affair with white athletic shoes was at an end.  Thrown away were the white shoes and socks and I graduated to the look the Brits invented.  Brown shoes and brown socks.  I have never returned.

Today, so much thought goes into comfort.  Hip replacements, knee replacements, arthritis…..the list continues….problems that we all may have or will have to contend with.  Sometimes, if lucky, comfort is all we need.  But can we be fashion forward?  Not an easy concept to grasp but I still want to be with it and cool!  Take the Viking trip.  Romantic Danube trip during the winter months.  Cold and rain and the threat of possible snow along the route.  What is a girl to do? Shopping for this particular trip was not easy.  Walking shoe to manage concrete, cobblestones, old unlevel brick walks.  What shoes to wear?  HELP!  Talk about a major meltdowning decision.  Hard to find ‘cute’ waterproof hiking boots but I think I did pretty well.  Cute and don’t hurt my feet.

I say we should be comfortable and fashionable.  Why not?  Look at the women in the news who are ‘older’.  Take Joan Rivers.  I loved her so ignore her face lifts but remember how she looked so well put together and always fashionably dressed….and wow….the shoes!  Heels!  Maybe not spiked heels but heels nevertheless.  I always admired that in Joan Rivers since my feet haven’t seen a pair of heels in many moons.  My mother always looked great too.  A real fashion sense.  Always great shoes.

My advice to myself is always to try to stay in style at least only one year behind the trend.  Ok, maybe two. Try to think fashion and comfort.  Let’s not rush this getting older stuff.  And, for pete’s sake, check those heels!

Leigh

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