a little something for the shoe fetishists

photo challenge day #6: a photo of your favorite shoes. i think this is a weird one. it’s difficult for me to wrap my mind around the idea of someone having favorite shoes. i mainly think of shoes as a tool to help me avoid contracting ringworm. if left to my own devices, i wear slippers as much as possible. slippers are like pajamas for your feet, & i think we all know how i feel about pajamas. (i love them.)

these shoes are looking hella busted, because i wore them pretty much every day for four or five months this past summer. they are glittery pink toms & they are so comfortable once you break them in to the point that the glitter stops scratching your feet & causing horrifying abrasions. they are like slippers, but socially acceptable for public venues.

about a month after i bought these shoes, the first toms i have ever purchased, the news broke that the founder of the company was speaking at a focus on the family event. the reports went even further, stating that toms & focus on the family were parterning up somehow in the area of charitable giving or something. crunchy hippie lefty liberals love toms because they give a pair of shoes to an “impoverished child,” mostly in developing nations, for every pair of shoes sold. who doesn’t love helping out impoverished children by doing nothing more than buying yourself a pair of shoes? personally, i think it’s nice, but gimmicky, & i could definitely live without all the photos all over the toms website of the founder dude, blake mycoskie, with his arms around little brown children. it has kind of a white man’s burden/colonial fantasies for the new millennium flavor, & plus blake has perfected this open-mouthed grin for photographs that i find really disturbing, like he’s about to unhinge his jaw & eat the children. & needless to say, anyone who knows anything about politics at all knows that “focus on the family” is pretty much synonymous with “homophobia”.

so, i was wicked bummed. ordinarily my modus operandi upon hearing such news would be to walk around town & notice all the hipsters & cool kids wearing toms & silently judge them for being so ignorant as to support the shoe company of someone who supports homophobia. god, people are so stupid, amirite? but now i myself was one of those cool kids. & i loved the shoes so i kept wearing them. (part of the reason they look so awful is because i wore them to the beach on my birthday. going to the beach is a great way to ruin any shoes.) it didn’t take toms long to release a statement saying that they had been unaware that focus on the family was linked to homophobia, & to make clear that they are not in any kind of partnership together, & that basically they hope queers will still buy their shoes. i am kind of wondering how the fuck you spend more than half an hour on this earth without realizing that focus on the family is kind of homophobic, so the statement rings a little disingenuous, & i probably won’t buy toms in the future. but i will wear these shoes when the weather is appropriate until they literally fall apart.

my sorels! it’s hard to tell in the photo, but these have pink accents (which have discolored into looking orange-ish due to salt exposure) & pale pink laces (NOT white–i’m not a white supremacist skinhead). i got them at an army/navy surplus store in downtown boston for like $12 or something. they have thermal waterproof liners & are amazing. they’re insanely heavy, at least five pounds each, but they keep my feet toasty & dry in the worst of weather. unfortunately, their weight makes me walk weird. jared calls them my “gallumphing boots,” because he says i gallumph rather than walk when i wear them. i think he means i shuffle (not in a LMFAO way, unfortunately, although i am teaching myself that dance). i haven’t had much reason to bust them out this winter. it’s february 13 & last night was our first significant snowfall. we have maybe two inches of accumulation, & it’s supposed to be over fifty degrees for the rest of the week, so it should melt in no time. but if there is ever a blizzard, i will have no reason to fear for my feet with these guys.

john fluevog operettas. i almost never wear these because…come on. i’m always wearing baggy jeans & a hoodie. i don’t think heels would add much to such an ensemble. the photo makes clear that i also do not take care of them. i could probably stand to polish them up a bit & do something to keep the toes from cracking. especially because they were kind of insanely expensive–easily the most expensive shoes i own. they were a birthday present to myself when i turned thirty. i guess i was thinking that turning thirty is a big deal, a threshold in adult living, & that i should have some adult shoes. not that fluevogs are particularly adult–they look like a footwear that dr. seuss might dream up while high on opium. but you know, being a grad school widow, sometimes i have to go to fancy events where i am expected to look nice, & i have exactly one nice dress, & it is long enough that it must be worn with heels or else i look stumpy. i always get tons of compliments on these shoes. my only regret is that i bought them in this red color. i never wear red. i don’t know what i was thinking.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

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