I don't buy shoes.

Life I don't buy shoes. That is to say I don't buy shoes for pleasure. I don't have a shoe collection. In fact, when the 'what number of shoes do you own?' conversation develops which it always seems to amongst any group of people who've nothing in common and nothing else to talk about, I'm forced to admit I have two pairs. What I'm wearing (or wearing when the conversation is taking place) and some foot torturers for best.

It hass always been this way, as long as I can remember. There was a phase in my twenties when I had three pair, but I still seemed to only wear one of them so that was redundant. I'm a create of habit, and I'm sure this habit is one of the few I've not grown out of since school. I'm 34. I do have retired pairs now, broken old leather things which have gone past their usefulness and I probably only keep in case I need to lie and say I have more than two, but really, yes, just two.

I'm choosy about shoes. Walking about Manchester today I must have seen hundreds, but could find fault with all of them. More often than not it's because looking at their thin soles, fragile sides, wiry laces and knowing how I tend to treat the things once they're on my feet, I know that it's really not worth spending the price of a holiday on anything too stylish, whatever stylish is these days. They won't last twenty-four hours.

They must be robust. Thick soles, snug sides. I also tend to dislike the styles. I like a patternless round frontage to look down at, yet everything seems to have wild old moccasin style stitching, or from the sides leading up to a point. Or some giant, grotesque brand logo on the side which looks like it was designed by a teenager on an exercise book during a boring lesson. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I walked and walked today, in and out of shops. Chains, independents, also the kinds of place which lead to the treatment Julia Roberts received first time around Pretty Woman, were nothing has a price on and you know that there's a reason for that.

I glance about at people's feet looking for ideas and realise that I don't like what they're wearing either. I curse myself for not hopping on that bus to Cheshire Oaks and buying some clones of what I'm wearing again, of sticking with what I know, instead of taking this risk of trying something different.

As time goes on all of the shoes are beginning to look the same. When I do find a pair I otherwise quite like they've got bright yellow stitching. I briefly consider buying them anyway and colouring them in before realising that's stupid. But this whole thing was stupid. What was wrong with me? What is wrong with me?

I'm desperate enough ultimately to get a bus then tram then bus out to the Trafford Centre even though I know it's just the same shops (just smaller, huddled together under roof) hoping that perhaps the stock's different, that perhaps that place I saw four years ago, last time I went to Trafford Centre, would still be open.

It wasn't.

But I found these in Clarks. And on budget:

I've decided to buy some trainers as well. I'll have any colour as long as they're not white.


  1. I don't buy them either. Well, not with any success. And if you think you've got it rough, you want to try being female and rubbish at shopping for shoes.
    Walk a mile in my shoes, in fact ;-)

  2. Actually, that makes me feel a lot better. How do you cope?

  3. Well I remember your shoes at university and they don't appear to have changed. Interestingly, I haven't changed from university regarding shoes either - I still have hundreds, still walk around in things that literally make my feet bleed and have no explanation for why I buy so many other than "they're shoes and I'm female". :s