Saturday, March 24, 2007


Are shoes an article of clothing that guard your feet from rocks and rough terrain or are they pieces of art? We, women have a strange magnetism to these wonderful articles of costume. Our inexplicable attraction between woman and the shoe made me curious and led me to study the relationship. I am thirteen and I am already attracted. Why the magnetism?

The appeal of shoes could be what you are when you wear them. I have danced since I was three, and whenever I put on a pair of shoes, any type of shoes, I begin to tap dance in them. I do it unconsciously and rather amuse the sales woman. So whenever I think of shoes, one of the first pictures that I see is a pair of feet tap dancing away. Maybe other women think of themselves as a model or a powerful executive.

I talked to a variety of women to see if they would rather wear a more practical shoe or a more stylish high-heeled one. Most of them confessed that they would prefer a more stylish shoe. So I began to ask “why?” Why would women choose an uncomfortable yet showy shoe over a comfortable, practical one? Is it the media, the fashion magazines and the stores shouting to us, “You need these shoes!” People are being constantly bombarded with messages that they cannot be happy without a certain type of shoe. People listen to the propaganda, not their own feet.

Shoe marketers love film stars for they embrace luxury. People like to emulate celebrities. Who doesn’t want to be rich and well known? One shoe designer’s job was to outfit an actress with proper shoes that enhanced the movie, showed her personality, and also were comfortable. The shoe manufacturers also love film stars because they are walking, larger than life shoe models. It's obvious then that people who see a superstar wearing Prada mules immediately try and find a duplicate.

Dal Co., a shoe boutique in Rome, makes custom shoes for their well-heeled clients. They will make any shoe fit your feet perfectly. I could even design a shoe and send it into their boutique , and the shoe makers (and their elves) would tackle the project. Yet these shoes do not come cheap; the cost is about 500 dollars a pair. But this price does not stop people from visiting the shop and getting custom shoes made for themselves.

In conclusion, people have a great love for shoes, but this is ironic because women are in physical pain in many stylish shoes. I think that high heel shoes are like Chinese foot binding. Who can run or work in Gucci stiletto heeled boots? I would rather boycott heels and bond with flats. It's more likely that people will keep their relationship with shoes. Although it is hard to explain why, it’s true and probably will always be this way, but who knows maybe socks will have a major breakthrough.