As a person of the female inclination, I love shoes. Heels, especially. Now, to be fair, I am NOT one of those women who effortlessly wear any height. I am 6'2" (1,90m, more or less) and extremely imbalanced. I twist my ankle several times a year, followed by weeks of pain.
And still I love them. Because of the confidence boost they give me and because of how they make my feet look smaller (uk size 10. EU 44. International EFFING BIG FEET!).
I adore prancing around on cute kitten heels, strutting my stuff on chunky wedges and parading in elegant courts. And yes, occasionally having an intimate encounter with the concrete. Eh, it's all worth it. And hey, if no one sees you fall, it's not that embarrassing. ;)
But anyone who's looked outside these days realises that, no matter how gorgeous they are, there is no excuse for heels.
Heels are a serious threat to your personal safety this time of year. Not only are cheaper samples often poorly constructed and wobbly on their own account, they give you a smaller foot surface. Therefore, less grip on the floor. And suddenly one leg slips away from under you and you find yourself facedown on the pavement, dangerously close to what has been left by a negligent pet owner. Or in any other utterly embarrassing, and often painful position. If, mind you IF, you manage to get up again without broken limbs or visible bruises, you will still have to carry your shameful experience for the rest of the day. You now have to face the world, your entire front covered in snow, evidence of your clumsiness.
With snow comes grit and salt, and as I noticed last winter, these do not do your shoes any favours. The grit severely damaged my favourite (and EXPENSIVE) boots. Several pebbles got embedded in the rubber soles, leaving dents and even holes behind. The salt brutally murdered the leather. It has left a rough patch on the tips, and a white line running all the way across. I can polish all I want, the line isn't going anywhere. Even when I cover it in black opaque polishing cream, it is still visible. Shoes ruined. Forever. Dundundun.
So what do I wear? The ugliest, chunkiest and most unflattering hiking shoes. With laces, eyelets and buckles. And guess what, I get compliments on them. People go "wow, you don't seem to be bothered by the snow at all." Grip, ladies, is more important than looking hot. And I'm so glad not to be alone in this. It is rare to see anyone wear heels. The higher the heel, the more difficult it is to find. I do see one-inchers. But NO ONE wears foothigh stiletto heels.
And in fact, it is rather refreshing to see nothing but uggs, loafers, sneakers and snowboots. It makes me appreciate the comfy shoe once again. My massive mountaineering shoes don't look inappropriate. The fact that my feet don't slide in every direction but where I want them to go, now gives me the same confident strut as heels did a week ago.
I also take a very quiet, secret pleasure in watching the rare tentative heel-wearer make their embarrassing slip.
But let's face it, once the frost is gone, those cute 3-inchers will be back on my feet. And I'll be the one greeting the floor. Hopefully when no one is around. Because heels are hot, even if you're a clutz in them.