(QUICK! Name that song! Anyone? Anyone?)
So today, folks, I'd like to talk about shoes. Mind you, I'm not one of those crazy people who just CANNOT STOP talking about her love of footwear, although I do love a nice new pair of kicks. I actually work with one of those, and it's annoying, so I stay fairly nonverbal about my adoration for shoes. Anyway, point is I think that more than any other accessory, new shoes can make you feel like a million bucks even if you only went to Payless and paid $14.95 for them.
BUT (yes, there is a but, here), I tend to be rather discriminatory when it comes to doling out my affection. I do not love all shoes equally. Oh no. When it comes to shoes, I never do halfway. It's all or nothing, baby.
And by 'all' I mean towering 4-plus inch heels. By 'nothing' I mean my Asics or maybe flip flops (OK and some of these crazy fun flat sandals this summer, but whatever, these details are really going to ruin my argument). However, right now, I'm going to say something that may appall many of you. You have been warned so here it goes: I HATE ballet flats. Hate hate hate hate hate. Sure, they're cute and, to some, are a good alternative to heels when you want to dress up but have a short date. But they are NOT comfortable and unless you are Gisele, they probably don't do much for you. They don't improve your posture and really don't give your feet much support. And if you are in possession of cankles (which I pride myself on not having, so I say this for anyone else's own good), flats will NOT help you. Plus they're SO girly, and despite my undying love for all things with ankle-breaking height, girly I am not.
Another thing I hate are one or two-inch heels. I mean they can't even really call themselves heels! The are frauds, fakes, impostors, high-heel wannabes. Suck it up and toss on an extra inch or two. As the lovely Victoria Beckham states in her book, "That Extra Half an Inch," "One shoe style I have little love for is the kitten heel. I think a lot of women see them as the wearable compromise to high heels, but in fact they have none of the benefits of high heels yet also none of the casual ease of flats." Amen, sister. I still don't really like flats, but I don't mind throwing on a pair of cute Pumas if wearing heels is just not practical and wearing running shoes with an outfit would be downright ugly. Anyway, point is that kitten heels are masquerading as heels when they don't really do much other than add height, and not much of it at that. They aren't any more comfortable and they just make you sit back on your heels and slouch in a weird, indescribable way. And they don't make your calves look like you run 15 miles a day the way a pair a sweet pumps does. I feel like they almost give you cankles if you don't already have them.
Now, I will tell you a little something else about why I have this all or nothing philosophy when it comes to shoes. I'm not comfortable in between. I can of course wear my running shoes forever, because they are running shoes, duh. They're meant to support your feet. It's what they do. But honestly, I can wear heels almost as long. Today, for example, I wore my heels from 10 am to 10pm. And these are big heels, no wussy summer sandals for me. I've walked literally MILES in these. No, they aren't amazingly supportive or anything. They're from Payless and they have four-inch cork (ish, c'mon it's Payless, I don't even want to know what my shoes are made of) heels. But I wear them everywhere.
Part of me knows that it's all mental when it comes to my wearing such stilts. I'm 5'7"ish and when I put these babies on, I'm almost 5'11". This is especially useful when I'm out and I meet a guy. If he's shorter than I am, then I see no future for us (sad, right?). But if I wear my heels and I still have to look up a little? Well then, sir, you've passed the first test. (You are totally allowed to call me superficial now). Additionally, when I go out with my three lovely cousins who are all over six feet tall and look like MODELS, I don't feel like such a misfit. Also, I just really like to be taller than half of the bar's patrons. I may have some issues with competitiveness. And power. Either way, the "high-heel high" is what makes me forget that I'm wearing what should be rather painful contraptions on my feet.
The other factor that enables me to wear such a high heels is all physiological. My feet are beat up and scuffed and broken and downright mangled from years of dance and running (more on this topic at another time actually). I once had a guy I knew grab for my feet and I highly advised -- warned him even --against it. He didn't believe that a girl's feet could be that bad so he went for it anyway --and paid dearly. OK well maybe not DEARLY but he did recoil and tell me they were gross. Well, duh, I told you not to do it. Anyway, it's not that my feet are dirty... they're just... tough. And I don't do anything to them but paint the nails so that the part showing in sandals looks pretty. I probably won't do anything either since their toughness makes it a lot easier for me to stand for hours in high heels.
The other thing that makes it easier? The ridiculous size of my feet. I have this theory that because my feet are so long, even when I wear tall heels or wedges, there is still a good portion of my foot on the ground. So I still have a pretty good base to stand on. And since I've already shared so much with you about my tootsies, I might as well tell you what I call my feet. I used to call them boats or skis, but now folks, I have decided to call them my drag queen feet. Mostly because the drag queens I've seen (I live pretty darn close to Boystown, kids), all walk amazingly well in heels for not having been at it as long as some of the females I know. Rarely do they stumble or look like they're limping or lilting to one side. No way, they're pros. And so am I. As one of the girls at work said after I told her my "drag queen feet" theory, "Thank goodness you have a feminine face." Thanks. I think.