Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Impossible Shoe Dream

Comfortable, yet fashionable, shoes for women do not exist.

There is no greater evidence that men have truly held the reigns of women's fashion than the shoes that are generally on offer at shoe stores and department stores alike. The "armadillo shoes," shown above, are the epitome of this trend, however, they are so uncomfortable, and so dangerous to walk in that these models actually refused to wear them in a fashion show.

Now, I'm fairly sure that most of us aren't going to start wearing anything like that, but I would still like to know why women's shoes range from this:

To this:

The latter is an emergency that even Dr. Scholls couldn't fix.

It's amazing what we can do these days. The treatment of once-fatal illnesses, like cancer or AIDS, can ensure a long, healthy life. IPads are going where no one has gone before using Star Trek-era technology. Everyone asks what may be coming next. So, I ask you, why is it impossible to make even a practical women's shoe/boot/heel comfortable if she's going to be standing on it for more than five minutes? Why must shoes merely "look good" on a woman's feet, or enhance her physical attributes, such as setting off her legs or making her look (perhaps nearly a foot??!!) taller?

One of the most difficult things is finding shoes when I'm about to go on a vacation. I tend to visit places that I want to explore, and I often have to accomplish that exploration on foot. A walk of one mile or more completely eliminates the use of my ankle-high boots, so I am forced to find an alternative. On my last trip to the UK, I actually ended up stuffing shoe inserts into a pair of shoes made by Merrell. Merrell is well-known for making comfortable shoes, but even their sophisticated models wouldn't make the cut on their own. The shoe inserts only managed to shove my foot up against the top of the shoe without making the journey any easier. Socks can be as much a hindrance as a help. Fortunately, I have discovered that feet are incredibly resilient--one solid night's sleep and, bingo! Back out on an equally long walk as if the overindulgence of the previous day never happened.

Every designer wants to create the next big trend that will send women running to the stores. I'll let you guys in on a secret--design a pair of great-looking shoes I can walk 5+ miles in without my needing a foot soak at the end of the day, and you'll never have to work another day in your life.


Anonymous said...

While I do not own anything quite as extreme as the shoes in your first picture, I own many strappy little devices of torture similar to the shoes in your last picture and I own Krocs exactly like the ones pictured. I guess it's pretty obvious whether I'm having a look-good-day or a feel-comfortable-day based on the shoes I wear. If you find a pair that fills both orders do share.

Pearl said...

Armadillo shoes are ridiculous -- and ugly. Not sure I've even try a pair on, even as a joke...

I agree with you on the get-rich thing re: shoes. Me, I'd like to be barefoot every day, but that's not wise in a state like Minnesota! :-)


Confessions from the Hairdresser said...

I absolutely ADORE the armadillo shoes! I went to New York during the McQueen exhibit just to see them. I love the shape. There's an off-the-rack version available that's really beautiful, it's the same shape and silhouette, just scaled down and more fitted to the foot.

I wish crocs would just go away forever.

JUST ME said...

I FINALLY found a semi-stylish all day comfort shoe - I love it. But do you know how long this took me?


Dave King said...

Ridiculous - as is so much haute couture.

Snowcatcher said...

Right on! Why must we bow to nurse shoes (no offense intended) just to have comfortable feet?!? Designers and manufacturers, PLEASE come up with something comfortable and attractive, with emphasis on comfortable!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I could not agree more! I just got back from a trip where I spent the days walking and of course had to rely on my utilitarian walking shoes to get me through it. Not stylish but at least I am not lame.