19 July 2019

Desert Island Shoes?


This spring I took a scalpel to my shoe collection and extracted several pair that I found less-than-comfortable or tattered or not fitting with my current aesthetic (if I’m honest, comfort was the main deciding factor). By the time surgery was done, the shoe section was 40% lighter. I took a victory lap and then called my older sister to boast. What she told me about her shoe-keeping practice made my jaw drop…then it made me consider who that might work for me.

My sister buys five pair of shoes at the start of each year, donates them at the end of the year, and buys new shoes for the upcoming year! WHAT?!

After our conversation, I took another lap around my shared closet space and really scrutinized my shoes. Would that practice work for me? What would I get rid of and what would I keep? Could I live with only five pairs? I mean, there are 8 pair that live in my office alone…and you can see the state of the home shoe collection.

A little soul searching made me think that rather than cull the existing herd of* footwear, I’d rather get rid of all and start afresh. In an ideal minimalist closet, these are the shoes that would sustain me for a hypothetical year:

  1. Wedge or closed toe pump: if I could ever find ones that are comfortable enough 
  2. Walking Sandal: to get me through the 5-mile walking commute in hazy, hot, humid summer.
  3. Closed sandal: also good for the work commute, but doubles as a sneaker, is wearable in winter with wool socks, can be camouflages by extra-long skirts. 
  4. Covered instep low shoe:  these help me look professional when teaching in slacks
  5. Mary Janes: my all-time favorite shoe style..I think because they remind me of being a kid...I used to look down to admire my Mary Janes often.

*while I disagree with anthropomorphizing accessories I cannot help but think that the shoes extracted from my collection—to leave only 5 pair—would feel jealous while the remaining shoes would feel guilty.