Aug 5, 2011

Why do women love shoes?

I must be honest upfront and admit that I chose this topic in a panic when asked to provide said topic ahead of time for the RWA promo blog. Imagine: Leah at desk at work, searching around the room desperately for some blog-worthy topic. mountains...handbag (getting closer)!

New shoes!
But rather than just post a photo of my American holiday shoe-booty (aren't they gorgeous!), I had a bit of a think about shoes, why I like them so much, and why I'm certainly not alone with this love.

A bit of googling proved that most people seem to agree that the main reason women love shoes so much is because *everyone* can have beautiful shoes. Shoes do not discriminate based on size or shape. Feet do not have fat days :)

I found some other reasons too, including that dopamine is released when trying on shoes, extra height is equated with extra power... It all sounded very scientific!

But then I thought about my own personal shoe odyssey. Until I started working, shoes were quite simply shoes. I just didn't get it, didn't understand why anyone would buy ridiculous shoes they'd rarely wear. Even though I used to love getting dressed up with my girlfriends and hitting the town, I did so in exactly one pair of black heels that I wore every single weekend. In fact, my first pair of work heels were very practical, chunky-heeled, round-toed pumps. With a strap.

Imminently sensible. And ugly.

But it took me a while to notice this. This occurred as I was trekking up Martin Place in Sydney each morning from George Street Station. For those unfamiliar with Martin Place, it's a wide pedestrian mall in the centre of the CBD, and - according to Wikipedia - it is "synonymous with corporate Australia". One day, as I headed up the slight hill, with my head down and thousands of pairs of feet walking with me, I discovered the phenomenon of the "pointy toed shoe". I suspect I was years behind (it was 2003) but at first I thought they looked terribly uncomfortable. And kind of dumb, as if anything, they made your foot look bigger.

But I'd started paying attention. One friend, who always looked amazing, rocked the pointy-toed look. So one day, I did it. I bought the pointiest pair of spindly heeled shoes I could find.

Three of my more adventurous heels. The tiger-print ones
are a few years old now, but still my favourites :)
The first day I wore them I was nervous. Surely people would laugh or comment on my crazy heels?

Of course, no one did. And me, in my first-year-out-of-Uni-budget work attire, had never, ever felt so glamorous.

Finally I got it - and I never looked back.

Pointy-shoes have come and gone, and my phase of wearing heels *everywhere* (including popping down to the shops) has thankfully come to an end. But I still love beautiful shoes. Beautiful shoes make me feel beautiful, it's as simple as that.

So - tell me - what is your favourite pair of shoes?


  1. I have a confession. I hate shoes. I'm one of those people who would walk around barefoot if she could. But if I had to pick a favorite pair, it would have to be my wedge sandals because they're comfortable and don't hurt my heels.

    Your shoes are much nicer though. (: Love the tiger print.

  2. I too have a confession I don't like shoes at all I too walk around barefoot at home and wear thongs where ever I can and to work a plain pair of flat black shoes I know boring but at least I am comfortable LOL. I often look at other peoples shoes and although lovely to look at I really wonder how on earth people can walk in them and what sort of pain they are in when they finally get to take them off.

    Leah your shoes look beautiful

    Have Fun

  3. Leah, I'm another non-fan of shoes. I have particularly large feet so could never find anything pretty when I was younger (so I have to disagree with the 'everyone can have beautiful shoes' statement, sorry!).

    And even now, like Helen, I prefer bare feet at home. In winter, when everyone else is wearing ugg boots or slippers at home, I wear fabulous knitted booties that my aunt makes - the closest thing to being barefoot! :)

    I bet you look great in those shoes in the photos - I'll have to look at your shoes at the conference to see what you're wearing!

  4. Gorgeous shoes, Leah! I'm a shoe lover... though you'd never know it by my shoe wardrobe! I have mostly very practical footwear - Blunnies, gumboots, Crocs, flat black slip-ons! LOL

    BUT, I have indulged in a pair of black patent leather with a medium heel and pointy toes to make eyes water. And they're amazingly comfortable and not too far for an accident prone Sagittarian to fall!

    I'm also a huge fan of bare-footedness - but we have too many biting ants around here to wander about outside with naked feet!

  5. Oh wow, I read your post Leah and I was thinking "I can't comment, I hate shoes" and what do I find a bunch of fellow barefooters!! Thanks Marlena, Helen and Rachel!

    I have a pair of black flat shoes and work boots that I live in when I need to wear shoes. Other than those I have a few going out shoes. I never got the shoe thing. Maybe because I avoid cities and never do the Martin Place walk!

    Thanks for the post, Leah.


  6. Marlena and Helen - I hate uncomfortable shoes, too :) For me, the trick is finding gorgeous shoes that are comfortable as well. But I totally understand the comfort factor - at home and on weekends my shoes of choice are my havianna thongs :)

    Rachel - Oh no, apologies for making such a sweeping statement :) I love the sound of your booties, although I'd find it hard to give up my pink ankle ugg boots!

    Sharon - Yay for another shoe lover! Was feeling a little lonely :)

  7. Oh Yes! The glory of a truly exquisite and therefore rarely worn shoe! I have a few pair.

    The other day, I came across a pair of divine suede red ankle boots - five inch heel. Size 7. Obviously made for me! But trying to form good habit against impulse buying, I decided to look around some more before coming back to make my purchase. I found a red scarf that had been dropped in my path by the gods - matched the boots perfectly!

    Bought scarf. Hurried back for boots. Tried boots on and - too small?? And they were the last pair!!!!

    There'll never be another pair like them...

  8. I love myself some "low" heels.. , which is approx 1 inch.. or less ;) and in which I can walk easily... If it has straps to hold my legs in place I'm too glad :)

    I just wear my "sports" shoes most of the times to go out..but a girl's gotta have some heels too!!!

    Fab post, btw :) Loved the pics...!!!!

  9. Catherine - I haven't had to do the Martin Place walk for a while (I'm back in WA now), but it was such a great chance to people watch.

    Robyn - OMG! Tragedy! But at least you got your scarf :)

    Ju - 100% agree! I don't live in heels (am wearing black leather flats right now), but a girl just have to have some gorgeous ones in her wardrobe, I reckon :)

  10. Oh, sorry :( I'm not a shoe fan either.

    My humungous feet (Rach, I think I'd out do you) are also ridiculousy narrow and combined with my orthotics make it a very difficult task to find shoes. So I only shoe shop about once every blue moon and then only out of desparation!

  11. I LOVE shoes! High, low, strappy, heels, wedge, peek, thong, court, mules, volley's, boots . . . I have to search hard for them though, because of my uncordinated flat feet (had to smile at Sharon's Sagittarian reference - for I too fall over and trip constantly)Still, I persevere, because shoes don't show tuck shop arms or muffin tops :)
    Great post.

  12. Anita - I think that some clever shoe designer needs to help you and Rachel out, because how terribly unfair to be unable to find beautiful shoes :(

    Helen - Hooray! Did you go and buy new shoes when you sold? I went straight out and bought two pairs :)

  13. Count me among the shoe lovers, Leah! I won't wear stilettos, but I would love to get me a pair of funky platform shoes. My favourites at the moment are a pair of green, open-toed sandals with white polka dots and a fab cork wedge heel. I take them out to stroke them every now and again.

    Ooh, and boots. Have a fondness for boots. I would be lost without my Doc Martens and I'll be wearing my knee high motorcycle-style boots at the conference.

    Fab post! :-)

  14. Being short in height I use to very high heels, but unfortunately now I feel shaky looking down from a height of two inches only!

    But I love looking and window shopping for beautiful shoes. There were some gorgeous shoe photos on twitter from the US RWA11 shoe addicts! Prices ranging above three thousand dollars! Lynn Raye Harris and Maisey Yates were tweeting the pictures

  15. Lol! Look at my typos!

    Leah, you have some beautiful shoes, girl!

    And congrats on your upcoming release!

  16. Great post :) My fave pair of shoes are a chunky browny-beige (sounds awful hey) number I bought in Sydney on work experience years ago. Plenty of other pairs have come and go, but these babies are STILL my favourite. I'll probably be wearing them at the Award's Dinner next weekend :)

  17. Oh yay, more shoe lovers!

    Michelle - I must say, my current favourite work shoes have a wedge heel (I think that's the name? The entire underside is solid). So comfortable, I love them! Just today I was shopping for boots to wear with jeans, but somehow I just can't seem to pull off the look, I just look like I'm about to go horse-riding :)

    Nas - I'm already tall, so I just get taller! $3000, wow! I doubt I've ever spent much more than $200 on shoes, I'd be too scared to wear anything much more expensive - it's so easy to scuff them! Oh, and thanks for the congrats, too :)

    Rach - I look forward to seeing them Rach! I think I'll only have boring heels this year, as I've got a work conference straight after RWA, so will be in the simple black heels from the photo at the top of this blog :)

  18. Leah I think I fall between the love and hate of shoes. I *love* good, dressy boots and then I also love myself a good pair of ugg boots too - slipping your toes into something warm and fleecy - ahhhh.... bliss!! In summer you'll more often than not find me in a pair of thongs - they're just so damn convenient!