As a general matter, I dislike shoes.
We don’t wear shoes in the house. Whenever I’m home, I’m either barefoot or have a pair of slippers on (mainly in the winter when the floors get chilly).
Shoe buying is the most boring kind of shopping I know, and it usually involves pain. With the exception of slippers, most shoes I ever recall buying hurt when first purchased. After several wearings and bandaided heals, toes, whatever, usually you can break them in (although I’ve often wondered if they’re really actually breaking in your foot rather than the other way around) so you’re at the point of tolerance.
When I was a kid, I distinctly remember my entire footwear inventory being comprised of the following:
1) Black shoes (for times when I needed to be dressy, e.g., parties, temple, weddings, bar mitzvahs)
2) Sneakers (for anything and everything else)
OK, you can probably add to that the seasonal pair of soccer cleats and snow boots. But honesty, that was it.
When I reached into my closet for some footwear yesterday, I was momentarily struck by how much this had changed. I now have:
“Boat” sneakers (thinner and more lightweight, used mainly for biking in the morning)
Black casual shoes (older and newer)
Brown casual shoes (older and newer)
Black “dress” shoes (2 pair)
“Water” shoes (that stretchy black material)
“Walking” shoes (LL Bean or something)
How did this happen? When did this happen?
When I went downstairs, I found more!
Brown hiking boots
“Duck” shoes (for the really wet weather)
Timberland “work” boots
Old sneakers (for gardening, lawn work)
Again I wonder, how did this happen? Who let all these shoes into the house?
As I ponder this, my guess is that the Invasion of the Shoes (SAVE YOURSELF) was probably led by a search for more comfort.
And I must admit that with the advance of “business casual” in recent years, the shoe world (within the larger, global World Of Rob) has gotten a bit better for men. In honesty and fairness, I must give a shout out to Skechers for making some of the most comfortable “business casual” mens’ shoes I’ve ever worn. Dare I say it? Many of their shoes are actually comfortable from the first moment you try them on.
So if you come by the house and we ask you to take off your shoes when you come in, I hope you’ll understand that the request, as Dr. Freud would likely tell you, is a manifestation of my deep-seeded resentment of shoes.
Oh, and we also prefer to keep the floors clean.