A column about my shoes

by Chris Lowrance

TV tells us that,besides loving chocolate, crying a lot and hating when you leave thetoilet seat up, women own many shoes. I became aware of the latter as Iworked to clean the apartment I share with my fiancée last weekend.Shoes here. Shoes there. Shoes in closets and under coffee tables andbeneath the cat. I took all these shoes and lined them up in ourkitchen. All told, there were about fourteen pairs (I didn’t raid thedeep closets, where I’m sure more lurked). Such shoes for two people!Truly, women love their shoes. Except half of them were mine. TV wisdom fails me again. Theysay you can tell a lot by a man’s shoes. Where he’s been, where he’sgoing, how big his equipment is… supposedly it’s all in those twolumps of sweatshop-produced rubber and cotton. My history with shoes isan odd one. A few notables: GI Joe Velcro shoes, because I was alate-blooming in regards to shoelaces; the sneakers I wrapped in blackelectrical tape as a teen; the 6-inch-platform knee-high pleather bootsI wore to prom and the steel-toed work boots I never had to kick anyonein the knee with, unfortunately. Still, I never expected to havemore that two or three pairs of shoes at a time. So, in an effort todetermine why I have so many fricken’ shoes, and also because I havenothing better to write about, here’s a description of the form andfunction of my footwear. Monotone black Chuck Taylors: Becauseeven Converse can be goth. It costs me cred that I bought my first pairas a freshman in college. I earn it back because I’m still wearing thesame pair, five years later. With no real support of any kind, theseserve to keep broken glass out of my skin and little more. Skull-covered K-Mart slip-ons: Thanks, mom. Deadman’s Florsheims: From an actual dead man. He was an aunt-in-law’sbrother-in-law or something, and somehow his perfect size 8’s madetheir way back to me. These things are slick, so when I pull on my deadman’s shoes, I mean business. Crocs: For leaving up your assif you don’t shut up about my owning a pair. They have uses, most ofwhich involve mud. I do agree that the president looked like an idiotin them. Jungle boots: My second pair of this army surplusstaple. You have to add some Dr. Scholl’s inserts if you don’t want tofeel like Iraqi insurgents beat the bottoms of your feet with clubs,but the payoff is year-round comfort due to the same tech that keepsOur Boys’ feet from turning green and detaching. Running Shoes:Why are these the only non-black shoes I own? Because they are forrunning. If they were "being-looked-at" shoes, I might care aboutmatching them to my wardrobe. Creepers: My latest frivolouspurchase. I love these shoes – a little classy, a little scary. Not forthe job interview, but good when I want something a little dressierthan my frayed Chucks (yes, I would consider creepers dressy). Acoworker called them "garish in a good way." As you can see, allof them fill a certain niche in my closet. I guess that’s pretty manly,right? My shoes are like tools for my feet, performing a function thatcould not be accomplished without them. Also, they look cool. Carrie Bradshaw, eat your heart out. To comment on this story, e-mail Chris Lowrance at