Wednesday June 27th, 2012 Category: Expert tips
Tell me, does this conversation sound familiar to you?
She says: “I need new shoes.”
You say: “You’ve got hundreds of pairs, what do you need another for?”
She says: “I need a pair to go with that new dress I bought and besides, you’re exaggerating, I haven’t got hundreds,” all the while rapidly running through a mental inventory of the contents of her wardrobes… and the loft, and the rack by the front door, and that cupboard under the stairs…
What about this conversation?
She says: “My feet hurt, these shoes are killing me. Give me a foot rub / piggyback, pleeease.”
You (sigh and) say: “If they hurt you so much why did you buy them in the first place?”
She says: “Because they’re so pretty, and they were a bargain.” Oh yes, never underestimate the power of a sale tag in convincing a girl she really needs those six-inch-stiletto-heeled-peep-toe-slingbacks… What do you mean you’ve no idea what I’ve just said? Don’t worry, we’ll get to that later.
If either of these scenarios sound familiar then you may be wondering why you should even bother buying her (yet another) pair of shoes, especially when a little Googling research suggests that whilst (UK) women own on average, and depending on which survey you read, somewhere in the region of 15 to 35 pairs of shoes, they wear only a fraction of them. Not to mention the detrimental effect certain shoe styles can have on our health.
Don’t believe me? Just ask a podiatrist, or any girl tottering down the street in her stocking feet at the end of a night out, or the Street Pastors dishing out free flip-flops. And it’s not just heels that healthcare professionals are up in arms about, it’s the innocent looking Ugg and the ballet pump too. Thankfully, however, Marilyn Monroe knew of one very good reason why you should. She said, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” And you know what? She was right. The right pair of shoes in the right situation can make us feel confident, powerful, sexy, unstoppable even.
“But,” you say “if you know all this why is it that you haven’t managed to buy yourself the perfect pair of shoes, and what makes you think I’ll manage it?”
A fair point I’ll grant you and not one I, and women more eloquent than me, can easily answer; not without contradicting myself hideously in the process anyway. In her book ‘How To Be A Woman’, Caitlin Moran dedicates almost a whole chapter to the subject of shoes, specifically heels, and how what we girls are lead to believe are the ‘right’ shoes aren’t in fact the ‘right’ shoes at all. All I personally can offer by way of explanation is that, as a bloke, you’re less likely to experience the same heart-ruling-head buying process (even among those of us who don’t have a shoe fetish to rival Carrie Bradshaw’s) when faced with things that make us say “Ooh, pretty!”, meaning you’re less likely to impulse purchase hugely inappropriate footwear.
Oh, and I’ll let you into a little secret too; we’re not necessarily looking for physically perfect. As always, thoughtful IS perfect – like the Sketchers ballet pumps I received from the Other Half because I complain constantly of not being able to find pretty shoes that are also good to walk in. (As it turned out the fit wasn’t right and I ended up exchanging them for suede boots with stout soles but, as that old adage goes, it was definitely the thought that counted; and the boots have been well worn).
So, maybe having read this far you’re starting to think that buying her something fabulous to go on her feet might be a good idea (you are, aren’t you?) but perhaps you’re still a little bemused about where to start? Well, never fear, in the next instalment I’ll give you a guide to the most popular styles and highlight some very important things to avoid if you want to stand a chance of getting your purchase anyway near ‘right’…