Thursday, February 15, 2007

what kind of shoes go with snow, ice, slush, and salt?

I worked from home yesterday so I had no idea how bad it was outside until I went out to dinner with Jesse (if you’re interested, Jesse took me to Chipotle, because I hadn’t been there in forever and my burrito was de-lish!). On our way back, it was like an obstacle course trying to maneuver through the parking lot to get to our building. If the ground wasn’t covered by several inches of snow, it was covered in ice or worse—a snowy, slushy mix. Thankfully, I wore my beat up Diesels to dinner.

But when I almost slipped on some ice (luckily, I had Jesse to grab on to), I realized something and began to stress over what I knew I just had to do the next day. If I was going to get to work in one piece Thursday, I would have to wear reasonable footwear. So my knee high boots with the pointy heel just weren’t going to work (ooh, but they’re oh so warm and fashionable). And I didn’t want to ruin my newish patent leather ballet flats. Nope, I would have to do something I swore I would never do while living and/or working in DC. I would have to wear sneakers with my work clothes.

I see those women every day (the ones that wear sneakers with their work clothes) and I wonder why they can’t wear more fashionable, comfortable shoes with their dressy pants or skirts. And I absolutely cringe when I spot a woman wearing a skirt with tights who tops off her outfit with white sport socks and sneaks. I try not to be judgmental. (really, I do!) After all, they may have a long walk to the office or maybe they have problems with their feet/ankles (and as a frequent sufferer of ankle injuries, I can totally relate) and sneakers provide the best support. But seriously though, there are plenty of shoes out there that are made to be comfortable and happen to be very stylish, thereby eliminating the need for sneaks with work attire.

Before today, never did I think that I would be one of those women. But this morning, I found myself seriously considering ruining my patent leather flats just so I could avoid wearing my snow shoes (I have two pairs, one of them is from New Balance and the other is from Nike and they’re both weather proof but manly looking). The snow shoes are completely functional but ugly and they would look even uglier with my dress pants (they look fine with jeans). I decided that I loved my patent leather flats too much to ruin them with exposure to the elements, so I thought, maybe, just maybe my sneakers wouldn’t look so bad. I threw them on, laced ‘em up nice and tight, tossed my flats into my tote and forced myself to go out in public.

While waiting for the bus to arrive, I notice that the two women next to me had sneakers on with their work attire. I wonder if they went through the same internal conflict that I did this morning. Suddenly, I felt a brief connection with these women. We are not fashion victims! We are victims of this cruel, cruel weather (the kind that forces us to make bad fashion choices for the purposes of preventing injury or the public humiliation of falling in front of everyone).

Walking to work with the sneakers was kinda nice because I didn’t really worry about falling. There’s no way the patent leather flats would’ve made it. And I’m glad I spared the flats from all the snow, ice, slush, and salt.

Me, on the other hand? I gained a new perspective. Now I will always think twice before judging a woman for wearing sneakers with her work attire.

However, I myself will never be doing that again.


Hey Pretty said...

I'm one of those women who wears un-fashionable shoes with her otherwise cute clothes. I have a history of ankle problems and I like to walk. I'd rather be able to walk a mile in comfy shoes than not be able to because I'm in heals with pointy toes. I tend to favor Dansko clogs. They look okay with pants and are dream to walk in. Now, what are these cute, comfortable shoes you speak of? I have yet to find anything that successfully merges aesthetics with practicality.

Golden Silence said...

Ah, the price we have to pay...function over fashion. I wear these big clunky winter boots during this time of year...and I never get the women I see who wear stiletto heels to walk in snow and ice.

lizzie said...

hey pretty--my ankles are seriously effed up, so much so that surgery has already been recommended twice in order to fix them. i haven't heard of the clogs you mention but i'll definitely check 'em out. i usually get lucky with aerosoles shoes. they are amazingly comfortable and sometimes very cute (yes, they have some not so cute ones too) and i wore them alot at my old job where i was on my feet for 9 hours a day.

golden silence--just on my way home, i saw a woman with stiletto boots on trying to cross the street. she had to be held up and assisted by the guy she was with. just like you, i don't get why women would do that.

Alexis said...

I feel your pain. I have super cute black ballet flats that have seen better days (I think I need a new pair) and I hate wearing them in such weather. Same goes for other shoes. I have reconsidered my hatred of Uggs...I think I might want some...they look warm and better for show/slush/sleet/etc...they even have pretty pink ones!

lizzie said...

alexis--you know, i've never really hated uggs, i just always thought they would look awful on me. i see them on other people and they can look really cute.

oh and i heart pink!

Anonymous said...

i always wear a thin pair of steel ulta thin stileto heeled boots when its icy out and i never slip cos my heels dig into the ice to stop me slipping...always