March 07, 2008

Comparative reviews: These boots, which are made for walking, VS. others which are not.

My search for things to put on my feet has finally yielded a satisfactory result: I have become a Pacific Northwest dork in high-tech ergonomic dork shoes. They're actually pretty adorable for high-tech ergonomic dork shoes, and respectable enough to wear to work (although why I worry about that when even the Monday morning downtown types are wearing Keens with their suits, I don't know). They're also incredibly comfortable, which raises the following question:

If I was genuinely startled to catch a pair of cute women's shoes being comfy, which I was, then what the fuck are all the other shoe companies doing? It's not like I go around wearing towering pumps and pointy winkle pickers here; if I'm unaccustomed to comfiness in shoes it means toe-squeezing demons have infiltrated even the stompy-parachute-boot and recycled-hemp-moccasin market sectors.

New awesome shoes: Your feet go up right about here, and down here and here. We, too, go up here and down there and there. You will find this nice.

Old not awesome shoes: We think flat is a good shape for feet. Yours will adapt eventually. Onetwothreenotresponsibleforfallenarches!

New awesome shoes: Sidewalks are kind of hard. We think it might help if we were a little bit springy. Just enough so your heels don't hurt, okay?

Old not awesome shoes: If you want springy, you can develop a springy walk. This is not our problem.

New awesome shoes: We don't weigh much. You need to be able to ride a bike and and to sprint up the stairs to grab your jacket when you're late for the train and to surreptitiously dance to David Bowie when nobody's looking.

Old not awesome boots in particular: Five pounds. Not kidding. Five fucking pounds. You may as well just wear ankle weights all the time.

New awesome shoes: We have a neat little buckle strap that doesn't seem too breakable.

Old not awesome moccasins in particular: We have an attractive button fastening that turns out to be entirely decorative and secured by little loops of elastic thread that snap if subjected to too much stress.

New awesome shoes: Just go ahead and kick us off when you want to be barefoot. Won't take a second.

Old not awesome boots: Hahahahahahaha! Haaahahaha. You've got to be kidding me.

I find it worrying to contemplate the idea that something essentially functional in nature and kind of necessary on a daily basis could even make it to production if it failed basic tests like not making you hurt and not falling apart after you spent a bunch of money on it. I recognize that shoes are hardly the only offenders here -- women's underthings come to mind, for instance -- but, not to put too fine a point on it, you don't have to walk on your bra. It's slightly harder if you get frustrated with painful shoes to take them off and burn them.

Unless you get the ones that make your feet catch on fire, anyway.

Posted by dianna at March 7, 2008 11:01 AM

Now that you mention it, I do think that wrapping underwire bras around my feet and walking downtown would be more comfortable than trying to march around in most of the cute shoes I've bought and never wear. Your new shoes are total hippie shoes, but actually really cute. And comfy? That's just weird.

Nice job bringing in winkle-pickers, by the way.

Posted by: katie at March 7, 2008 09:09 PM

Thank you. I don't know if I'd know a winkle-picker if I saw one, but I'm led to understand they are the height of pointiness. Did you have some at some point? Would they have been part of your Gothdrobe?

Mine have actually already been accused of not being hippie enough; a co-worker called on me on Friday to justify buying vegan synthetic shoes made in China instead of leather shoes grown closer to home. I surprised myself by giving the honest answer that I only manage to function in the complicated world of daily decision-making by means of simplifying algorithms like ifnotvegan,then,donotbuy, and I'm aware that vegan may not always trump resource-efficient and socially-just but I'm not prepared to ditch the algorithm and deal with my life on an entirely case-law basis... instead of just telling her to fuck off and stop policing me. Anyway, my other shoes are the real hippie ones: the organic hemp moccasins with recycled-tire soles and reclaimed-cork insoles and renewable coconut buttons and what the fuck ever else. If only I didn't need to, you know, walk comfortably.

Posted by: Dianna at March 8, 2008 09:29 PM

I only know winkle-pickers from my previous and equally short-lived Beatles phase. Evidently they were the super pointy shoes to be rocking if you were peddling the Mersey Beat, or, potentially, if you were peddling some incredibly ironic uncoolness 20-something years later. Hence the look on the face of the dude working at Supercuts when Mom took me in there in 1987 and I, with a totally straight face, asked him to give me a DA.

Posted by: katie at March 9, 2008 01:05 AM

Hahaha! I had to look up D.A. to figure out what the hell it meant, which makes me either much less cool than you or much less of a dork. Hahahaha! Wait, did you get one? Because from my fuzzy recollections of 1987 you and I both rocked some pretty stellar embarrassing hairstyles, but I can't remember any ducks' arses specificially.

But now that we're on tails I'm suddenly recalling a third-grade classroom in which every single boy and even a few of the girls had rat tails. Oh god. It might have flown in the dirty South, but in suburban LA? Had we no shame?

Posted by: Dianna at March 9, 2008 12:48 PM