I am not a Barbie or a ballerina.
That is my mantra, every time I go shopping for work shoes and see the latest rogue’s gallery that pass for women’s professional shoes. “Why do you hate us?” I want to ask the designers and manufacturers. “What are you thinking?” I want to ask the women who encourage them by buying such nonsense. I fume silently.
Okay, that’s a lie, I’m pretty vocal about my displeasure. I complain about the selection in women’s shoes to anyone who will listen and ask for men’s styles in my size. Then I get out my little soapbox and talk briefly about why women suffer disproportionately from bunions, hammertoe, plantar fasciitis, and a host of other maladies.
But honestly, it’s not just my achy feet talking. It’s my equally offended ego.
Men get power shoes. We get…..ballet flats. I don’t know about you, but the last time I wore a tutu, I was 6.
Men get stability. We get….wobbly heels that make walking difficult, and walking meetings unthinkable.
Men get comfort. We get…..to keep a pair of slippers at our desks for when the pain becomes unbearable.
And to top it all off, men get classic styles that last for years and go with everything, while we get to repeat this madness every season.
In short, men’s shoes protect their feet – which, really, is the point of shoes, isn’t it? – while women’s footwear makes us vulnerable. To pain, injury, and overspending.
Here’s my story: I am a Professional. I work in an Office. I do many things there, some more interesting than others, but at no time do I fight, seduce, or pirouette, which seems to be what most designers think women do all day. (Honey, I’m off to the arena; hand me my briefcase and my gladiator sandals.) I frequently counsel executives on the best way to present their messages, which means when I walk into the boardroom, I need to look like I belong there. I need shoes that say “I am competent. I am confident. I get things done.”
And that, in short, is why I created this website. I hope to show the shoe industry that there is a critical mass who would buy high quality, American-made women’s wingtips, women’s cap toes, and women’s oxfords, and we need a go-to brand that produces them consistently. These menswear-inspired shoes look sleek and chic with slacks and suits. They’re neutral and don’t require a frantic change of handbag on the way out the door in the morning. Best of all, when you wear that kind of shoe, you feel as confident as you look.
If you think wearing shoes like that is a radical idea, ask yourself this one question:
Would a man carry his shoes to work in a bag?
Let’s stop the madness. Please join me.