Saturday, November 19, 2011

The hell of heels - my summer shoe inventory

I hate my shoes. I have too many of them. I have just done the annual task of sorting out the summer ones and putting the winter ones away and like a coward didn't find any summer ones I could pass on to charity or even just bin - or winter ones come to that.

I'm a hoarder. And I even hoard shoes I don't like or which are uncomfortable because:

  • One day I might wear that pair of brown Bally loafers I bought in 1999, even though they are a little bit tight. They were expensive. 
  • If I throw out that pair of black flat sandals because they hurt my feet, I need to replace them with something similar that doesn't hurt, and finding such a pair in my price bracket will be a challenge
  • Those lime green slide heels with the fake flowers on top kill me, I can't walk in them at all, but hell they are pretty! 
  • Those purple pumps, similar to these, can only be worn if I'm sitting most of the time. I wore them to a Melbourne Cup function and couldn't believe my feet could be in so much pain.

You get the gist. I have now sorted into pairs on my wardrobe floor probably thirty pairs of shoes, knowing that throughout this summer I won't wear most of them, or only wear them once or twice.

And I lust for more. I want a pair of platform sandals which can replace about three pairs of shoes I hate, and a decent, and comfortable, and trendy pair of flat sandals with lots of straps on them which can replace another three.

The trouble is most shoes hurt me. Slides rub back and forth and make the balls of my feet feel like they are on fire. Same with pumps; it's the ball of my foot that screams for mercy.

Pumps or any closed shoes tend to rub the back of my heels/ankle when they are new, too; even a pair of ballet flats from Ziera - supposedly made for comfort -  I bought last month left me with ragged peels of skin and a bloody heel for a week or two.  Thankfully my ballet flats from Bloch fit like a soft glove.

The only pair of heels I have that I can wear for hours are lilac ones by Milana, which I reserve for special occasions as I don't want to wear them to death; they have to last me as Milana no longer makes that style. It means all my evening and posh clothes have to have a purple tinge to them but that's fine by me :-).

If I'm planning a day in town where we're walking around a lot, and catching public transport, and on our feet for six hours, I have to plan my outfit from the ground up. I refuse to wear my trainers for a day in town although they are the most comfortable shoes I own. It looks daggy. Or touristy. Middle aged, especially with a skirt. So I have to select a pair of shoes that won't rub the balls of my feet or give me horrific blisters on the back of my heels.

That leaves me with the choice of ballet flats or FitFlops. In winter, it's flat boots, a no brainer. I love my winter boots. It's the summer shoes that give me grief.

You can only get away with flat shoes and a skirt if you're tall and thin. Think Audrey Hepburn. The rest of us have to struggle to make our calves look a little less like a leg of lamb.

The nature of my work means most of the time I work from home, so my feet have got used to flat shoes and boots most of the time, and in summer none at all or the fab FitFlops. For business meetings, and I have two or three a week, I have to shoehorn myself into something that looks a little bit corporate otherwise I look like a public servant (sorry to any public servants reading this... if anyone reads this at all... but gee some of you dress like you don't care what you look like). Even walking from the car to my main client's office I can get that burning sensation in the ball of my foot with the wrong shoes. So annoying!

Having spent half an hour looking despairingly at my shoe collection - why do I have six pairs of black sandals in various if not similar heel heights? Why?  -  I've now made the decision to find a pair of platforms which will be as comfortable as is possible on me, and the strappy this-year flat sandals, and to chuck at least six pairs, no matter how much they cost in the first place.

Any other people suffering a similar shoe dilemma out there?

And do you feel guilty for having too many shoes when there are so many people who don't have any?

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