I'm not one of your trendy types with glamorous shoes. I almost never wear heels as a matter of principle - they're bad for the body. I like to walk a lot, since it's pretty much the only physical exercise I get; and since I'm late for the train almost every morning, I also need to be able to run from time to time. So I'm forced to wear untrendy shoes - the sort that your nana might wear, only a step up the fashion ladder from orthopedic ones. I can stride to work with great swiftness and purpose, but I look kind of gammy.
I'm not the only woman whose life is somewhat blighted by shoe-related issues. When I'm commuting each morning, I notice that many women wear running shoes, which they presumably change when they arrive at work. A friend of mine recommends this approach strongly. Late for the train one morning, she broke into a run, only to trip over her own trendy shoes and end up face first on the platform. There she lay, hoping that a) no one would notice, or b) she would quietly and inconspicuously die. It was not to be. Another punter grabbed my friend's shoe, which had flown off and landed some two metres distant, and brandished it helpfully at my friend, while berating the train conductor shrilly for no obvious reason. The other commuters looked on in amusement at the dishevelled Cindrella sprawled across the asphalt. In a far less amusing story, another friend of mine sustained an awful compound fracture, running to catch up with the parade to her own graduation. Ouch.
To me, wearing comfortable shoes to work - only to exchange them for impractical shoes - is as annoying as wearing uncomfortable footwear all day long. The idea of hauling a stinky pair of shoes about with me during the day is downright unappealing. What if I wanted to go to the pub after work? I'm hardly going to want to take my Plan B shoes with me. Clearly, I'm a bit of a throwback to second wave feminism, because I can't help but ask, why wear uncomfortable shoes in the first place? Heels still look to me like tools of the patriarchy - false consciousness for the feet - and no amount of third wave reclaiming makes them easier to run in.
I don't expect to gain enough sympathy to start a mass movement around sensible shoes, even from those many other women who have sustained needless and embarassing shoe-related injuries. So it looks like I'm going to be wearing dowdy shoes by myself. I'll look kind of funny, but I'll pace confidently past you on Lambton Quay as you tap along in your aesthetically pleasing heels. Just as well I'm not the Prime Minister's wife, or the media would be mocking my fashion sense even as I type...