Blather of a Shoe-Watcher

One thing that has always intrigued me is shoes. Especially now that I have officially become a member of the comfort generation. I like to shoe-watch, and marvel at what women consider attractive, functional, appropriate shoes. Or, in some of the cases depicted here, the term “shoes” may be a misnomer – the things women choose to put on their feet.

What is the exact history of this behavior, that women feel as if they must encase perhaps their most important appendages, that upon which they stand and which allows them to be mobile, into the most weather-inappropriate, unlovely, nay even bizarre, adornment?

It may have started in China with foot binding. And yes, there are pictures available of what this lady’s feet actually look like sans her teeny-tiny shoes, and no, I’m not posting it here because it may take the last meal away from the safe confines of your digestive tract. It’s hurl-worthy.

The strange custom may have originated among the upper class court dancers in the early Song dynasty, but this is unclear. It spread to the lower classes eventually and became very popular because men thought it to be highly attractive. OH! I get it now. Because MEN FOUND IT TO BE HIGHLY ATTRACTIVE! Well, then, ‘nough said.

The woman in the above photo is still alive today, and to assume she has a bit of trouble getting around is a no-brainer.

It’s no surprise to anyone that women dress up their lower extremities because this is what men like. Or so women think, and oh yeah, men also like butt implants, fake boobs and engorged lips. But do they really? And, more important, should women care if that’s what men like? It’s not like men are willing to don inappropriate and uncomfortable garb for the sake of a woman. But somehow, women need to do it for men? Where’s the equality in that?

Ya’ mean you want me to, like, take a shower or sumpin’?

Shouldn’t women care more about what they are doing to their bodies and say screw it if guys don’t like this? Get some Shibui!  I think that would be most appropriate in this day of supposed women’s liberation. But from the looks of the stuff we put on our feet, we aren’t very liberated, now are we?

Still, it is better than foot binding.

Here are a few reasons why women should not wear high heels, and note that they are all pretty much related to the actual health of the foot:

  • Foot pain
  • Increased chance of fractures and sprains
  • Creation of foot deformities, such as hammertoes and bunions
  • Unsteady gait
  • Stride is shortened
  • Inability to run
  • A decrease in normal rotation of the foot puts more rotation stress on the knee causing degeneration of the knee joint
  • Tendon problems

Okay, now here a few reasons why women should wear high heels, and note that these reasons are generally related to aesthetics, or man-pleasing:

  • The appearance of calves is accentuated
  • Posture is changed because a more upright carriage is required, considered seductive
  • Wearer appears taller
  • Wearer’s legs appear longer
  • Wearer’s feet appear smaller
  • Wearer’s toes appear shorter
  • Arches of the feet appear higher and better defined

Some articles even say that men are turned on by a woman in high heels because she is more vulnerable and can’t escape as easily. Now, isn’t that a good reason to NOT wear these things?

I believe that women should not be turned on by men who are turned on by high heels. Unless said women are also turned on by 24-inch biceps and snake tattoos. Then maybe. But in that case, they’d deserve each other.

Here are some examples of the most grotesque examples of “shoes” I found:

Very versatile, goes with anything!

Extra support for ballet dancers!

I love throwing on something comfortable and relaxing with a glass of wine!

Just thought I’d pop out to Wal-mart. Want anything?

Double Boots, for those who like to walk backwards.

And here are some that could be considered odd perhaps, yet not quite so freakish:

Ack! Dog shoes! Get the PETA people in here.

Feet shoes, but maybe better if those feet weren’t from an eighty-year-old guy

Ladder shoes?

Hoof shoes, for when you’re impersonating a goat

Wanta keep him away? Porcupine shoes.

Wheel shoes.Great for when you’re late for work.

Lastly, my favorites:

Ahh. Shibui!



17 thoughts on “Blather of a Shoe-Watcher

  1. Aaaaah! Some of those pics are scary! I never wear high heels, ever, because I believe confidence starts in the feet…if you’ve got good shoes, you’ll have a confident walk.

    And I also like the idea of being able to escape should some mugger hop out of the bushes.
    Good post! 🙂

    • Aren’t they scary though! I can scarcely imagine why women would wear some of these shoes, and yet they do. It’s all about comfort for me, otherwise, how can you enjoy yourself if you’re afraid you’re going to trip down a flight of stairs?

  2. Most of those shoes would make a podiatrist weep! I wear the same black comfy shoes every day. The only time I’ll attempt heels is when I’m dressed up all snazzy which is a rare event indeed. I will always choose comfort over style or the need to impress others. That is also why I don’t wear Spanx. I choose to breathe.

    Fun post!

    • Some podiatrists would be happy because they get a lot of business from women who have worn heels for years. I used to watch those girls on American Idol (though I am embarrased to admit I ever watched this but there are years when I did) in five-inch heels and the first thing they had to do was walk down a staircase, with no handrail, holding a mike, trying to sing the first notes of their song without killing themselves.

  3. Those dog shoes are brilliant, I would be both impressed, and scared enough to stay away from the woman who chose to wear those.

    Personally I’m not turned on by heels. I’m on the wear what you feel comfortable with front. But then I don’t get women who need 50+ pairs of shoes either.

    • They are all so lovely, it is hard to say which I like best!

      But seriously. Upon doing my research for this I discovered that a lot of men feel wearing heels denotes a shall-we-say certain “image”. So Good. Long live comfort.

  4. I HATE wearing shoes – any shoes. If the world was clean, if there were no prickles, I’d never wear any. Have you ever noticed how clumsy some women look as they stagger along in super high heels? Or how bow legged some of them look. Unfortunately, even I bow to fashion on occasion when I don a pair of high heels – for an hour!

    • I am also completely comfortable sans shoes, inside that is. You can always tell when a woman isn’t comfortable in her shoes, and I always feel like they can’t wait to get home and fling ’em off.

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