My Shoes Are Under Attack

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - Sarah G. Schmidt's home


The rants, aka: opinions or pet peeves, not so gently expressed in the following are the sole opinions of Sarah G. Schmidt. They are not meant to target, insult or harm. They are to spark conversation and really I may just need to vent. You’ve been told and forewarned, all right? Here goes...

I love Calgary. I do. It has been the home of many things: my formal education, my career, and my regularly tested skill of layering smart, yet with style. There are so many things that are great about this city. I know the weather may be drastic to many, but it is milder than back home. I try to keep that in mind as the mornings are getting darker and very brisk, and the evening chill is creeping in. Winter is a just a wink away. Gushing about this epic city aside, what I refuse to accept is the apparent citywide attack on my slim, high-heeled shoes. That’s right, I am defending my defenseless stilettos.

While in transit is an opportunity to be stylish. Often, I express this through a high, stiletto-heeled shoe.

I am happy to clippty-clap my way to and from work taking the city bus. I am pleased to throw on a pair of sky high heels and take in a sports game. Oh, those enthusiastic cheers and hoots aren’t for my shoes? They are for the game? Weird. Further, I like to shop stylishly and often wear the harmonizing shoes. However, I feel as though the varied ground walkable to Calgarians is a death trap for beautiful shoes.

Take the mall for instance. Why would they choose a tile that has a grout width exactly the size of my heel? Very curious it is.  It’s as if they want me to get stuck. I have ‘blown a tire’ many times mid stride at Market Mall. The last time this happened I am a sure I heard some laughs coming from an ill-fitting-tracksuit-wearing and double-wide-deluxe-stroller-pushing mom. I remember thinking to myself as I pull out my trapped pump, “I refuse to be judged negatively. As if I am the one who is dressed like a fool.” I’m at a mall, people!

I am amazed that when surrounded by stylish retail options, people choose to show up in frumpy, worn out track gear that is doing nothing for them. I feel that if you are going to a mall to shop for clothing, take a look at what you are choosing to wear there. You wouldn’t wrestle in stilettos so why would you shop in training gear?

The same stop-in-my-tracks-because-my-shoe-is-stuck-in-a-crack-yet-I’m-still-walking-oh-now-I-stepped-bare-foot-on-the-ground-eww-so-gross happens downtown when trotting to and from the core for work. Typically, Calgarians in an office environment downtown dress up for work. That often includes wearing heels. Yippee.

While some choose to wear commuter shoes to and fro (aka: dirty, worn sneakers that may spontaneously combust from the filth and likely stench or donning rain boots when it’s not raining), I simply refuse. I carefully selected my outfit for the day, considering the weather conditions, including the shoes. It’s a complete look. I begged my parents as very young lass to let me wear heels for years before they conceded. I am not keen to waste any more time.

Sometimes as I walk to the office, my heels are scraped and slashed by the awkward cracks in sidewalk. It’s also more of a pretend-it’s-the-hot-lava-game tip toe adventure when there is construction and subsequent closed sidewalks. It’s as if they are directly punishing my shoes for the advancement of a car lane. It’s not a fair fight if you ask me. They are helpless shoes after all. I am curious to know when the sidewalks will get the attention of the repair crews. I could rattle off list the precarious spots on my commute quicker than you can say, ‘Half Off Shoe Sale.’

Mid strut, many pedestrians have asked me, “How can you walk in those shoes.” I reply, usually with a cheeky undertone, “Just put left in front of right until you reach your desired destination.” Shoes were made to be walked in.

From all of this parading whilst in heels, I am doing my part to help local businesses. I am a frequent user of my local shoe repair shop’s skillful services, be it a new heel pad or an altogether new sole. I get frequent pedicures down the street in my neighborhood and tip largely as an attempt at showing my appreciation for the extreme work done on my beat up dawgs. Further, I am happy to donate an older pair when I buy a new pair. You’re welcome, Calgary economy.

Why all the feet fuss? Because I love how I feel when wearing a great shoe. It gives posture, perk and a swagger in my step that makes me feel alive. Plus it textures an outfit. I refuse to accept that I deserve to get punished for it. My shoes are taking beating enough for Team SGS Style. That’s right, Calgary, proudly atop my SchmidtBox*, I have flipped you the stiletto shaming bird.

At the very least I’ll leave you to consider this: how can ugly shoes ever be comfortable? (I owe credit for that phrase but have no idea who said it or where I first heard it).

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*Sarah G. Schmidt’s personal soapbox from which she spouts her frequent rants.