Hello. Let me introduce myself – I am a registered, certified, no doubt about it, shoe fanatic. I didn’t always used to be this way, but I come by it honestly. My mother is one as well and I think she rubbed off on me because this only happened to me in the last five years or so. But once I was bitten by the shoe loving bug, I took off with a vengeance. In the winter, it’s all about the boots – short ones, long ones, black ones, blue ones, I even have some burgundy ones. In the summer time, it’s all about the sandals. BUT THERE NEEDS TO BE SOME RULES!!!
I am sure that every woman has (at one time or another) received the “Summer Sandal Pledge” email that circulates annually right as the warm weather hits. Just some friendly reminders about what should and should not occur as the weather heats up and the shoes become barer and barer and barer. For the record, I’ll hit some of the top parts of the pledge. (And men, this goes for you too! Women look at your feet just like you look at theirs)
1. Buy the right size. For goodness sake, if your toes are scraping the ground in front and/or your heels are dragging along in the back – you bought the wrong size! It is NOT cute to cram your size 8s into a size 6 and walk out the store. No one knows what size you wear – if you have to go up half-a-size so that the shoe fits probably – do it! I, for one, will personally thank you for doing so. One of my favorite “shoe lines” from a movie is from STEEL MAGNOLIAS when Daryl Hannah’s character asks Dolly Parton’s character, “what size shoe do you wear?” and Dolly responds, “I wear a 6, but a 7 felt so good, I bought an 8 – what size are those?” “a 9” “Perfect!” A shoe diva has got to do what a shoe diva has got to do.
2. Lotion your feet. Ok, I know I am supposed to say, “Get a pedicure”, but in these economic times, that is not possible for everyone. And it takes a lot to go to the nail salon and put your feet in those tubs that you don’t know how clean they are, or when they were last sanitized (Ok, maybe that is just me…I do have a little bit of MONK in me). And all of us aren't going to do home pedicures, even if our mommas did buy us the massaging soak tubs with rollers and all that stuff (Ok, that’s me again – sorry). But everybody can put lotion on their feet before they walk out the door. Nobody wants to see ashy, crusty, nasty looking feet and heels. (And if you have to polish your toes, keep it conservative – please!)
3. Take the price tags off your shoes. I don’t care if you did get them for only $9.99 at Payless’ buy one, get one 50% off sale – that is just tacky. If you want to be reminded about the great deal you got on a pair of shoes, put the sticker on the shoe box (because, of course, you keep your shoes in a shoe box and don’t just throw them under the bed, right?) and you can be reminded what a great bargain shopper you are every time you pull the box off the shelf or out of the closet.
4. Maintain your shoes. When you hear them clip clopping as you walk, check the heels and see if you need new taps. Take them to the shoe repairs and get them fixed. No one wants to hear you coming from three blocks away. (And, if you maintain them, you can wear them next season and still get the exclamations of “Girl, those are some sharp shoes!”. I am sure people are convinced I have more pairs of shoes than I actually have (and I have a lot) solely because my mom has taught me to take care of the ones I have.
5. Donate your old shoes when you know you will no longer wear them. I have been victim of buying “cute shoes”, only to discover once I wear them that they don’t fit right, or they hurt my feet, or they click as I walk – any number of things that don’t make them a perfect fit for me. It only takes one or two wears of the shoes for me to know if a pair of shoes isn't working and then I’m done. To the consignment shop or Goodwill or our church, they go. Let someone else enjoy wearing them if they don’t work for you.
So, those are my rules for summer shoes. What are yours? (And yes, that is my foot in the very cute sandals that I am wearing today...)