Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Adulting in Logical Shoes

Once upon a time I walked everywhere in heels. And I mean everywhere. I would walk miles in platforms or 5 inch stilettos. Sometimes 5 inch platform stilettos. I took the bus and train in heels. I wore heels in rain, snow, sleet, day, night. If needed I could run in heels. More than a couple times I fell asleep still wearing heels.

In my late 20's I slowly started favoring shorter or thicker heels heels when I knew walking was going to be a thing. Then I found myself worrying about things like the pitch of the shoe, the level of the platform or lack thereof and whether or not my foot slid forward after hours of wear. Slowly I found myself favoring certain styles and spending more money on one good pair of heels than two or three shitty ones. Slowly I found a cobbler I love and started worrying about what kind of materials were used to make my shoes and what type on insole they have.

Slowly I was getting older.

Under my desk used to be empty. Now it's full
of shoes for every occasion. 
Having just celebrated by thirty-somthingth birthday and being securely settled into the mid-thirties, I find myself walking about a mile to the office from the train every day. I find myself chasing after toddlers who don’t give a rat’s ass whether or not you can wear heels on the grass. I find myself traipsing all over multiple floors of a downtown skyscraper, going to the gym at lunch and then walking a mile back to the train.

You know what’s awful for all these activities? Heels.

Sure, I still wear them in the office and to meetings. Sometimes I wear them through the airport so I can go straight off the plane to the office. I wear them when I go out with friends or my husband. I wear them shopping and whenever I’m not with my girls, but I am much pickier about what kinds of shoes I wear now.

I was talking to a colleague about shoes the other day and how the heels of your 20s retire and become more logical, more expensive, and are worn less often once you start to realize things like cheap shoes are bad for your feet, frostbite is not your friend and can do permanent damage, the sidewalk grates in Chicago are heels worst enemy, and there is no good way to ride a rush hour bus or El in heels if you don’t have a seat.

I still don’t fully embrace this new, logical, adult me who just bought a pair of supportive and logical walking shoes for those one mile speed walks to and from the train everyday. I still kind of hate the Sperry deck shoes I bought because they were a cute, sensible summer shoe to wear out with my girls. I shudder when I lace up my low wedge gladiators because there’s a sky-high pair that have only been worn four times this summer because it’s just not logical for me to be almost 6 feet tall to go to the park. I shed a tear when I think about all the shoes I don’t buy because they just don't make any damn sense in this new reality of being an adult.

I guess this is all part of growing up though. Everyone told me it was coming when they would say ‘I don’t know how you can walk in those,” and “Just wait until your my age.” Well, I’m not quite that age yet, and I’m not ruling anything out, but it’s my plan to keep rocking heels for decades to come. They may get shorter, or more comfortable. Hell, maybe my entire work shoe collection can consist of Cole Haan Nike Air heels (seriously, you can run in them), but I hope that I’ll still have some shoes that make people stop and stare. And leopard. Every woman should own at least one pair of leopard heels. Also snakeskin. If I have to be an adult I'm at least going to keep it interesting. 

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