For all walks of life – Equip your feet !

Ann Taylor Loft ShoesI was visiting a college the other day . There looking at all the youngsters , I couldn’t help but notice the complete dis-regard for clothing, grooming and especially their footwear.  Am not saying that all collegians have such a carefree disposition towards their appearance. There are also those colleges where everyday is almost like a fashion parade. But that’s another social set up altogether. Moving out from there I curiously looked around and was amazed to see the same dis-regard towards footwear almost everywhere .  It broke my heart to see perfectly nicely dressed people wearing worn out and mis-matched shoes, slippers, sandals and floaters . And the airport scenario just takes the cake. People who are to travel by air, you will observe that they would be wearing expensive branded shoes ; while the people who come to see them off will be sporting the same run of the mill worn out , non – descript footwear .

It is understandable that the majority of the people are concerned about the ease of wearing and the comfort factor of their footwear. Owing to the pathetic conditions of our roads and pathways, it is imperative to wear footwear that enable us to walk on uneven gravel littered and pot-hole marked grounds safely. However , why should aesthetic value of our footwear be crucified at the altar of disregard in the name of comfort. If one looks in the right places , one can find that there are footwear available ,  that are not only attractive to look at but also comfortable to wear and economical as well.

First things first , always buy good quality footwear from reliable brands. You  may have to pay slightly more for them , but the quality brand ensures not just comfort but also durability . So the money spent is stretched for a longer period of time. Secondly, it is best to buy the right fit and size. Many a times we get mis-guided by over zealous sales persons regarding the size of our footwear. The result is usually either the toes are spilling out of the front of the footwear or the ball of the heel is hanging over the rear edge of the slipper or sandal. In both cases , the feet end up looking extremely unappealing. It also gives the impression that you are not a person who takes care of details. If you have broad feet , please avoid toe crunching pointed pumps or even sandals / chappals that have a narrow frontal base . For broad feet there are many options like square or rounded front pumps or broad frontal base sandals and chappals. And if you are not too stringent about the severe official look for your shoes, you could opt for open toed shoes as well. Just make sure that your feet and toes are well groomed to be worthy of being seen through the peep toe shoes.

The third point to note is that different styles of shoes work with different types of outfits. While your pumps and peep toes may be classics with your western wear, they may not be right for your Indian and ethnic clothing. So remember to co-ordinate the style of your footwear with the style of the outfit. There are a variety of ethnic, embellished chappals and sandals available in the market to match and colour co-ordinate with your clothing choice. Last but not the least , pay attention to the heels too. Tall pointed stilettos may look sexy and elegant at parties and page three affairs, but for everyday wear, choose something that is not more than an inch or an inch and a half in height. You don’t want to drag down your energies and give invitation to varicose veins, painful corns and undue pressure on your knees and lower back.

Funnily , our shoe psychology is such that we wear ill -fitting worn out footwear on our sojourns outdoors but choose to wear good branded shoes when indoors. Walk into any gymnasium and you will see an array of colourful branded expensive shoes on everyones feet. It is the place to show off your pricey shoe style. Same is the case at airports as mentioned earlier. Those going indoors ( the cooler confines of the airport and the airplane) wear  attractive expensive shoes while those waving good-bye from the outside sport slippers and chappals that deserve very little mention. Perhaps the cleaner environment of the indoors encourages our heart to wear pricey shoes there, feeling secure in the knowledge that the dusty and rough outdoor conditions will not damage our prized possessions  [read, shoes :-) ] . But then thinking on the same lines of hygiene and care , why don’t we consider how harmful it is for our feet  to be exposed to all the rough conditions outdoors ; and that too in uncomfortable , unattractive and worn out footwear. Our feet carry the entire weight of our body and ironically we dis-regard where our feet are going and instead give more importance to where our footwears are going. Agreed that we spend a fortune on our footwear but then aren’t our feet just priceless ? We can replace our footwear anytime but our feet ?  Can we get another pair ? Think about it . Don’t our feet deserve better ? Better care , better protection  and of course better footwear ? So don’t think too much when you have to spend a little extra on those good quality footwear . So, like the Nike shoe brand slogan says  – Just Do It !!!

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