A column about my shoes

by Chris Lowrance

TV tells us that, besides loving chocolate, crying a lot and hating when you leave the toilet seat up, women own many shoes. I became aware of the latter as I worked to clean the apartment I share with my fiancée last weekend. Shoes here. Shoes there. Shoes in closets and under coffee tables and beneath the cat.

I took all these shoes and lined them up in our kitchen. All told, there were about fourteen pairs (I didn’t raid the deep 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.

They say you can tell a lot by a man’s shoes. Where he’s been, where he’s going, how big his equipment is… supposedly it’s all in those two lumps of sweatshop-produced rubber and cotton. My history with shoes is an odd one. A few notables: GI Joe Velcro shoes, because I was a late-blooming in regards to shoelaces; the sneakers I wrapped in black electrical tape as a teen; the 6-inch-platform knee-high pleather boots I wore to prom and the steel-toed work boots I never had to kick anyone in the knee with, unfortunately.

Still, I never expected to have more that two or three pairs of shoes at a time. So, in an effort to determine why I have so many fricken’ shoes, and also because I have nothing better to write about, here’s a description of the form and function of my footwear.

Monotone black Chuck Taylors: Because even Converse can be goth. It costs me cred that I bought my first pair as a freshman in college. I earn it back because I’m still wearing the same pair, five years later. With no real support of any kind, these serve to keep broken glass out of my skin and little more.

Skull-covered K-Mart slip-ons: Thanks, mom.

Dead man’s Florsheims: From an actual dead man. He was an aunt-in-law’s brother-in-law or something, and somehow his perfect size 8’s made their way back to me. These things are slick, so when I pull on my dead man’s shoes, I mean business.

Crocs: For leaving up your ass if you don’t shut up about my owning a pair. They have uses, most of which involve mud. I do agree that the president looked like an idiot in them.

Jungle boots: My second pair of this army surplus staple. You have to add some Dr. Scholl’s inserts if you don’t want to feel like Iraqi insurgents beat the bottoms of your feet with clubs, but the payoff is year-round comfort due to the same tech that keeps Our Boys’ feet from turning green and detaching.

Running Shoes: Why are these the only non-black shoes I own? Because they are for running. If they were “being-looked-at” shoes, I might care about matching them to my wardrobe.

Creepers: My latest frivolous purchase. I love these shoes – a little classy, a little scary. Not for the job interview, but good when I want something a little dressier than my frayed Chucks (yes, I would consider creepers dressy). A coworker called them “garish in a good way.”

As you can see, all of 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 that could not be accomplished without them.

Also, they look cool. Carrie Bradshaw, eat your heart out.

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