Monday, 7 June 2010

The trouble with shoes


All I want is a pair of new shoes. A pair of black peep-toe shoes without too high a heel, so that I can still walk at the end of the evening and don’t have to be carried home. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? However, as a woman with size 12 feet, shoe shopping is never a walk in the park.

My choices are either old lady loafers that you could imagine Hyacinth Bucket wearing, or shoes designed for transvestites, made from perspex and PVC with 7” heels which would make me 6’9” and unable to walk. I don’t have any desire to look like my name is Chardonnay Love-Honey and I swing round a pole at night, nor do I want people to think that from Monday to Friday I live my life as Alan from Accounting.

My friend recently took the plunge and purchased her first pair of Christian Louboutins, which now take pride of place in her expansive shoe collection, revered above all other pairs. The joy of such a moment will never be mine, unless I take the route of the ugly sisters in ‘Cinderella’ by the Brothers Grimm and start lopping off bits of my feet to fit the shoes.

At 28 I should be over the age where throwing a tantrum is viable, but whenever I enter a shoe shop with a small-footed friend I have to fight hard to resist the urge to slam my handbag and body to the floor and go mad. Why is it so impossible to comprehend that just as people are expanding, so their feet are expanding, and therefore there is a large market for bigger shoes? If I had even a modicum of artistic talent or business nouse, I’d start my own shoe line and make a killing.

My shoe rage isn’t just confined to the fact that I can’t skip about in pretty little shoes and that if I need a new outfit I have to start with the shoes and then hope I can find clothing that matches. I feel the shoe-related rage bubbling up inside me when I hear the ‘schlump schlump’ noise of hordes of girls, and some fashion-confused guys, schlepping their way round campus in UGG boots. It makes me want to screech ‘Pick up your feet, you slovenly harlots!’ before bemoaning that back in my day girls had the ability to walk properly and not shuffle about like they’d stepped in gum and their feet were stuck to the pavement.

I thought that particular branch of my shoe rage would be limited to autumn and winter, when people tend to want to clad their feet in dead sheep and be toasty warm, however the rage is starting to rise due to the dawning of the ‘flip flop slide’ where, yet again, people demonstrate their complete inability to pick up their feet. It’s as if they actually want me to screech at them like a banshee.

I think my only solutions are lobbying the university and making it a footwear-free zone, or carrying round a roll of duct tape and sellotaping shoes to feet. I appreciate that picking your feet up enough to avoid the shuffle sound when wearing flip flops might make you look like you’re wading through treacle or strutting your stuff down the Milan catwalks, but rather that than me attacking you with the sticky stuff, hmm? Read more by Alice.