I’ve had many people ask me, “Why do women love shoes?” And I never quite know what to say. Who am I to speak for all women? Who says that all women love shoes? Why does it matter anyway?
And yet I sometimes catch myself wondering why it is that I love shoes as much as I do. Because there are many marvelous elements within my wardrobe, but I am most emotionally attached to my shoes.
And there’s definitely something to the idea that shoes are likely to fit and look amazing no matter how much weight you’ve lost or how bloated you feel, no matter how tired or crabby or upset you are. Shoes are a constant within outfits. They’re reliable. If they look great at 6 a.m., they’ll still look great at 9 p.m. (Barring unforeseen mud puddle encounters and the like.)
Shoes also have the power to transform outfits. A romantic, floaty, diaphanous outfit can get a dose of rocker with the addition of some hardware-encrusted stilettos. A preppy ensemble goes instantly punk when combat boots get added to the mix. Just add shoes and watch things shift.
But it occurred to me recently that shoes are also connected to ideas of travel, movement, and agility. We walk on them, rely on them to protect us from the streets and the weather, and our movements are aided or impeded by them. This lends them a considerable amount of power within our daily lives.
Yet they are somehow also imbued with power themselves. They influence our stance, posture, and overall physical demeanor. They make us feel taller, steadier, faster, sexier, capable of great feats. Shoes are powerful.
As you can see from these photos, I consider tall boots to be my power shoes. Nobody talks about “ass-kicking flip-flops,” ya know? There’s something especially mythic about boots, something rough and raw that seeps up into the wearer. I feel most like myself and most powerful when I’ve got on an amazing pair of boots.