5 Reasons Why Women’s Shoes Will Change the World.

Amy

“Before you judge a manwalk a mile in his shoes” – this quote has always left me thinking ‘bet his shoes are comfier than mine’ before giving up my 2 inch wedges as an offering on the alter of  equality (in walking).

Not any more! A fashionable, on trend, foot revolution is happening and I am ON BOARD for it all.  Every black, white, grey or multicoloured sneaker/trainer/lace up/pump/shoe allows a foot to go unhindered into the day. Full of promise and with a bounce in each step. And not just to the gym, school run or grocery store, oh no! These shoes  are for every occasion! You heard me right there. No other shoe’s needed. Just keep ‘em clean and they are socially acceptable everywhere.  

Swanky bar? Check. Tried it and didn’t get thrown out nor frowned upon. 

Tea with granny? Check. Didn’t get asked what was my latest fitness craze was. 

School drop off? Check. Blended in with every other mum and dad living their best life in comfy, trendy shoes.

 I was at a trade fair this weekend and do you know what I saw? Lots of women walking. For hours. That’s right. Up and down the mile long exhibition centre they went looking wonderful at every age in their floaty dresses, smocks, jeans, tops, skirts and shirts… and all in comfy shoes. 

Equality in the [shoe] workplace? I believe the time has finally come.

How  will this change the world I hear you ask? 

Read below for my list of five reasons why:

1. We can now get sh*t done without stopping every hour to discreetly slip our shoes off and massage our poor belligerent feet.

Or indiscreetly. You do you. I often decide that a cup of tea will some how remedy my poor aching feet but alas! After nearly 30 years of topical application this procedure has not once altered the comfiness of said shoe. Not for want of trying though. One can oft be found with a cup of tea and feet un-decorously plonked on something that provides a higher elevation. To no avail.

2. When women are not hobbling around in foot deforming shoes they can be wholly present  in what ever they are doing.

Think about it. Can you work well if you have a headache or a pulled muscle irritating you? Nope.

It’s the same with restricting shoes  – the pain nibbling away at your conscious all the time. Every day of your working life. We have become so accustomed to this being the norm. Silently we acquiesce it to being one of the many ‘crosses’ we bear in our homage to ‘being a woman’. NO LONGER!

No longer restricted by foot binding, arch stretching conformity our comfy feet nag us no longer. Instead, we can get to work on other nagging issues like solving world issues, making sure help is going where it is needed most, being a boss, being free to move without restriction. You know. Human stuff.

One of my heroes Caitlin Moran puts it like this – “you can tell whether some misogynistic societal pressure is being exerted on women by calmly enquiring, ‘And are the men doing this, as well?’ [How to be a Woman] 

When did you last see a male CEO of a company with a high wage packet tiptoe past you on high heels tottering along to get to his next important meeting? No? You haven’t seen that you say. Neither have I. If the men are not doing this shoe malarkey then finally, neither are we. In a small, or large way equality has entered the workplace and life arena on our feet. Oh, and what comfy feet they are! 

3. We can now dance and prance all night long. “Why will that change the world?” I hear you ask. 

Endorphins. 

That is how.  Endorphins are released, problems are solved, creativity and higher functionality are procured through every dance step.  When we dance we tap into our inner warrior, our wilder selves that are so connected with all that is feminine, divine and healing.  It will fix years worth of therapy-inducing issues in one night. Don’t believe me? Slip those comfy shoes on, pull up your big girl dancing pants and try it out.  Have a problem at work? Relationship’s hard? Worrying preventing you from clear thinking? Crank that music up and have at it with your new shoes on .. 

4. Since we are now not conforming to the patriarchal standard of  sexy we can get shit done. Did I say that already?

Yep. That’s right. We are not trying to make our butts stick out in an alluring manner with our stilettos, or our calves look tauter due to the abnormal angle of our foot. We are not trying to make ourselves taller, leaner, slimmer, sexier with our shoe choice we are simply just putting shoes on to get things done.

We are now unstoppable. 

We are even fashionable!  It is not often that I sing the praises of the fashion industry with their choice of clobber for us mere mortals but for these sneaker/flats/lace-ups/pumps/trainers I applaud you and long may you continue creating comfortable attire for womenfolk.

5. We’ve levelled the playing field. Literally.

Though oft created for the male gaze men don’t really like high heels. They just don’t. They make them feel short.  And even though we wear them so WE don’t feel short, it seems an unfair advantage if he doesn’t have that style option. And they have to listen to us complain about them almost from the first moment we leave the house.  We scoff at their suggestions to change them. Unhelpful comments like ‘if they are not comfy, whydoyouevenwearthemiftheyaresopainful?’ are blatantly ignored as we hobble forth into the night. Not anymore with these shoes! Harmony and equality is restored. 

And isn’t that what feminism and being a woman is all about really? Being a human. Harmoniously and equally alongside other humans. In supportive footwear that doesn’t belong on the foot of an ageing grandma (unless you are or aspire to be one). Footwear that is on-trend, comfortable and doesn’t look like we are about to take off on a very fast power walk or intended jog. ( I like to keep my neon ‘go faster’ stripes to the gym and jogging path so they don’t interfere with the days chosen outfit/pattern/colour palette thank-you-very-much).

So, after all that how do you get on this foot-freeing bandwagon? I’ve had a little look around and have gathered a list of the most popular selling ‘comfies’ (as I shall now name them) or ‘POWER SHOES’ as they will forever be known in the annals of shoe history. (Again another few words that I have just bequeathed them) 

First of all. You be you.  Have not got time to go shopping? No interest in shopping?  Just grab a pair in your local grocery store along with your milk and bread. It is THAT easy and they are THAT accessible. On a budget? Most high street fashion stores are selling their own version of these. Maybe you can grab them in different colours (despite me lording on about the lack of needing more than one pair from now on, who am I actually kidding? Though not a slave to fashion I like shoes and all the colours and subtle different styles they come in) I am enjoying one black pair and one white pair at present. I’m also eyeing up a sparkly pair.

As for this comfiness actually trending and being popular? Here is a list of the most hash-tagged shoes at the time of print:

Adidas Neo

Nike Air Max 90

Adidas Originals

Converse Chuck Taylor: All Star

Vans Old Skool

Adidas superstar

So have at it. Use your money to quietly buy comfort but loudly declare the WAY FORWARD to the fashion bosses that be.  Wear those ‘comfies’ to change your world. Then the whole world. Stomp all over that playing field and level it out some more. It s like those Duracell batteries – there is no stopping us now! And when you can’t stop us or restrict us with our shoe wear then we can walk a mile in a man’s shoes, and they can walk a mile in ours because although they may be a little more sparkly they are comfortable and bring us a few steps closer to equality.

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    Amy Chadney
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