“What?! You got another pair of shoes? How many do you need anyway?” Sound familiar? I’m sure you said this to your wife or girlfriend at least once, or at the very least rolled yours eyes at yet another purchase of heels that were just “too cute” to leave in the store. I’ve struggled with the idea of women having a pair of shoes for each outfit and in some cases two or three, trying to understand the addiction women have with footwear. My girlfriend must have about 40 different pairs of shoes and boots, ranging in color, style, comfort, heal size etc.
This is something about women I don’t see changing anytime soon, but honestly, when you see a woman in a great pair of shoes it is something wonderful to behold. And considering the complex nature of women’s clothing, do we as men really expect them to go out in a pair of sneakers? Making an effort to understand a woman’s fetish over shoes we can come to appreciate the ritual of shopping and mindset of women when it comes to shoes and as men we might make a small step in understanding the women in our lives, or at least the obsession with shoes a little better.
1. The Ritual of Shopping: Women’s shopping habits can be traced back to ancient hunting and gathering times. Men tend to go out, find a specific item and get out. This was critical when you had to get the kill home as soon as possible. Women, on the other hand traditionally gathered edible plants and became adept at choosing the right color, smell and texture to make sure of the quality. Fast-forward to modern times and the same mindset continues. Women linger in stores, searching for sales and studying the fabrics, color and texture.
2. Reconnaissance: Go shopping with your woman. This might sound like torture but given the effort you might get some insight into her addiction. She also wants your opinion. Don’t act bored, take the time and look at her feet and give your honest opinion because in a way she’s buying them for you. Think of it this way, picture her in her hottest dress and then picture her either in flats or the spiky heals she’s trying on in front of you. Which do you prefer?
3. The Psyche of Shoes: There was a poll done as to why women love shoes and some of the reasons where from the obviousness of looking great with a particular outfit to the feeling of empowerment from the added height. Because women’s shoes are so varied in style they can become a form of self-expression, feeling sexy, classy and powerful. Shopping for them is also a form of female bonding, a chance to hang out with the girls and not get hit on by every guy within earshot. I mean, how many men are there is the woman’s shoe department?
4. Sexy, Sexy, Sexy: Shoes also have the element of sex. But why are heels hot? Helen Fisher, PhD, professor of anthropology at Rutgers University says they literally raise your status because they make you taller. Fisher goes on to say that when a woman wears them, she assumes a primal mating pose called lordosis, her butt lifts and her back arches. If this doesn’t give you a new appreciation for women’s shoes I don’t know what will.
Stephen Maser is Editor-in-Chief of http://www.GentlemansFashion.com, an informational website on everything relating to men and fashion.
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