My apologies for the light posting the last few weeks. Between travel and the craziness of December, combined with finishing up client projects, blogging dropped a bit on the list of things to do. However, a topic has stuck in my mind the last few days and it has to come out—shoes.
“Why shoes?” you ask. In part, because the variety of shoes available blows the mind. For example, this morning I went snowshoeing (thus the picture on the right), and I wore my trail running shoes. These particular shoes are different than my regular running shoes. Then there’s my everyday footwear. I usually wear a pair of Doc Marten sandals (yes, even during winter) with just about everything, much to my more stylish mother’s chagrin. So, in theory, my closet should be empty of all other shoes because these are the only three pairs I wear regularly. Sigh. I wish it was so.
My closet is home to approximately 30 OTHER pairs of shoes. And I strongly suspect that I’m not alone in my ownership of multiple pairs of shoes that rarely see the light of day. Let’s leave behind the number of shoes people may own and look at why people choose the shoes they do. For reasons I won’t examine too closely, I spent some of last Saturday in a shopping mall. Anyway, I passed the time by people watching and ended up with one central idea, “What possesses women to wear high heels, to the mall, in December?” Everywhere I looked, women were wearing tiny, spindly, tortuous-looking footwear that looked impossible to maintain one’s balance in, let alone walk without falling.
Our shoes are an excellent example of storytelling in the marketplace. Manolo Blahnik, maker of famous footwear, said in all seriousness that, ” My shoes are special shoes for discerning feet.” (link) Discerning feet? That’s a new one for me.
Using logic, not emotion, how many shoes does any one person need? I definitely don’t need 30, and yet, that’s what I own. So how did this happen? I listened to the story that I needed to have shoes that specifically matched individual outfits. I listened to the story that I needed to have shoes that specifically matched certain activities.
While I like to believe I’m a savvy consumer, and I suspect many of you do, too, our shoe-buying habits give us away. During the next few days as you give and receive gifts, think about the stories you’ve been told and how they may or may not relate to our habit of buying more shoes to join our other shoes in the closet.
(Image courtesy of m.prinke)