After my last big trip* I came home and wrote myself a note. It said: Vivé, no one cares what shoes you wear. My intention was to hang it somewhere I’d see it when I prepared for another trip. My intention was to fend off what I’m doing now: frantically searching for the perfect pair of travel shoes. You know the ones: versatile, supportive, attractive, able to go the miles. (A pair of good shoes not unlike a good man, it turns out.) When I spent a year traveling I brought a pair of Timberland lace-up boots, matte black, waterproof or close to it, and a pair of Birkenstock clogs. That’s all I wore for a year. I don’t remember the search for those shoes, but I am sure it was equally fraught. These days with the internet it’s possible to read lists of the best travel shoes, watch punchy videos about why a cork footbed or bendable sole will change your life, seek images of a pair worn with pants, worn with jeans, worn with skirts. I fall over and over again. Shoes for me are the ultimate seductresses, calling me to a passionate affair though often fizzling out at first touch. The two options on my feet were worn over cobblestone streets by others who raved of their performance. And yet, for me, not so much. I remind myself, Vivé, no one cares what shoes you wear. Oh, but I do. I wish I didn’t, but I do.
August 26, 2015
*When I write “last big trip” I do so with an awareness of the great fortune of being able to use that phrase.