In My Own Shoes

Kelly - Parker, Colorado
Entered on May 18, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Clip-clopity soles and some wild embellishments. They’re ridiculous and impractical and perfect. From head to ankle she’s a jeans-and-tee Plain Jane, but then, wham! Her feet provide the ideal canvas for self-expression. This is her inspiration, her foundation, her identity.

I believe in shoes. I’m a woman and, surprise, surprise, I believe in shoes. But I believe in them not so much as an accessory but as a piece of symbolic necessity, a powerhouse in charge of rationing energy, emotion, persona, and mindset. Shoes create a support, not merely in the literal stance of a body, but also in the flesh-buried stance of a being’s core.

The feel of the arch, heel, and toe, all held in the underpinning of a pair of sneakers or stilettos or clogs, develops a mood that vines up the legs to the very heart of a person. A man of cheaply-clad feet will be pained, will be a grump of ages; lace a finely-built Dr. Marten around his bunions and watch the scowl drip off his face. Do not underestimate the potential effect of shoes on a person’s day, on his very outlook on life—just a few steps can change you.

A good shoe, like anything else that fits right, gives way to an enormous beauty of spirit. But beyond comfort, beyond size and traction, is the immense importance a shoe holds in regards to a woman’s confidence and emotional state for the entire length of its sporting. When, for instance, a woman necessitates retail therapy, no prescription is as potent and forceful in its cure of blistered psychoses as a new pair of shoes. They may rebuilt her confidence after a breakup, reconstruct her foundation after an identity crisis, or, a seemingly hollow task, complete the preeminent fashionista ensemble, a feat that will deem the victor unchangeably elated for the whole of the outfit’s lifespan. They are the cherry on the inverted top of an ice cream sundae of blouses and slacks. Upon devouring, I believe this fruit is the secret to contentment.

A good shoe is good. A bad shoe is abhorrent. The yin and yang of the footwear realm, a man or woman will inevitably encounter both good and bad shoes across his or her existence. And while I wish the perfect pair upon each life, I cannot help but note and warn of ankle-biters, of arch-rubbers, of the nagging, biting, chaffing, scraping, blister-bubbling edges of certain loafers. With each step, they snatch away a chunk of one’s well-being, chipping away steadily at the pursuit of happiness. You will feel this ache. It will find you. But when it does, be not submissive: tear away the leather and, if no cushioned alternative be found, let your skin be skin. There are too many bad shoes in the world to allow a pair to soak into you too deeply.

I believe in choice. I believe that every person’s feet may choose between the blacks and whites of identities, be it in the form of running shoe or knee-high boot. They will, through trails, find a fit and love it; do not deny them the quest for this utopia. Walk a mile in your own shoes and ask, “how do I feel?” The answer may well be your eternal philosophy.