The Great Shoe Debate: To Flip ‘N Flop or Not – Two Perspectives

Laura G., friend and frequent commenter, and I are off to Chicago to visit the oh-so-fabulous Esquire Wears Prada. Shopping and shenanigans are sure to ensue and based on the 50+ emails exchanged over the last few days re plans and packing, it will be a stylish affair for sure.

Given the occasion, and the fact that it’s almost midnight, I haven’t finished packing and have a 7:45am flight, I’m giving you a combo a guest/reblog featuring both of the fine ladies with whom I’m spending my weekend.

As if you couldn’t guess, Ms. EWP LOVES shoes. Laura G., on the other hand, has a bit of a love hate relationship with footwear.

EWP – Just Say “No” to Flipflops (Originally post here).

I keep seeing people walking around in flip flops. It’s so gross. Can you please tell them to stop.”

Dear Reader, I will gladly tell people to ditch the gross rubber slabs. These are flip flops. They are cheap. They are too young for anyone out of school to be wearing. And they make awful slapping sounds when you walk.

[No, that is not me pictured above. God forbid!]

I absolutely do not understand people’s extreme attachment to flip flops. Sure I own some and do find use for them – when going to the pool, the beach, or the nail salon – but in everyday life, they just don’t belong.

And good lord, do NOT get me started on people who wear them to work. Even if you have a casual workplace, wearing flip flops to the office makes you hard to take seriously and definitely does not do you any favors in getting ahead. If you take your work seriously, then take your footwear seriously and don’t wear flip flops to work. And that goes for the flip-flops-to-commute women too. Nothing looks more ridiculous with your suit than $5 pieces of rubber attached to your feet. I put you in the same category as the suits + white sneakers women. And you really don’t want to be in that category. Trust me!!

Laura G. – “My Feet Hurt!!”

Last time Em was out of town, I read this post over at Fashionologie titled “Mini Wedges are the New Flats” and immediately wanted to write about it for a guest post.  Em explained that would involve more than linking to the article, which was really all I had.  I would have to put a fresh take on it or say why I liked the idea.  Which left me with the following:  I LIKE THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE CUTE WITHOUT BEING HIGH AND THEY HAVE A BETTER THAN USUAL LIKELIHOOD OF NOT BEING SO UNCOMFORTABLE THAT I CAN’T BEAR TO WEAR THEM!

Which brings me to the not-so-stylish thing I wanted to ask the Capital Style readers and involves a bit of a rant to start.  I don’t think people understand how much my feet hurt in nearly EVERYTHING.  Flats hurt my feet, sneakers hurt my feet, sandals hurt my feet and heels REALLY hurt my feet. This is compounded by the fact that I live somewhere where I walk a bare minimum of two miles every day and more most days.  (Also – my walk is more of a stomp and about three times the pace the average person).

All of which is to say, I hate shoes.  Oh yes, I am a girl and I love the way shoes look.  I own dozens of pairs of them and wear about 3 pair. I am happiest when barefoot or in flip-flops, which are truly the only pair of shoes that, as a rule, don’t hurt my feet.  And I do not care what you fashionistas have to say about flip-flops and what a travesty they are. [Editor's Note: Oooooh EWP, she called you out].

So my question to the rest of you is this: are your feet actually comfortable in sky-high heels?  I have read quotes from Sarah Jessica Parker, so famous for running around in Jimmy Choos and Louboutins for years as Carrie Bradshaw, talking about the damage that has done to her feet.  I’ve also read other women who say that wearing heels is just about suffering through the pain.  And yet, I have friends who wear multi-inch heels most days and don’t seem to bat an eye.  So, for you, are they actually comfortable, or have you just learned to tolerate them?

On a totally different note – anyone have any suggestions for unique boutiques or stores in Chicago?

  1. Okay, I was offended by the EWP post. And not because I literally own the flip flops pictured, though I would never wear them to work or to commute to work. I wear Reefs all of the time when not in the office. And definitely wear them to commute to work for as long as possible weather-wise as I also walk a minimum of 2 miles a day. Once it gets cold enough, I cave and wear a pair of flats to walk to work but, as Laura says, they still hurt. They all hurt. This, plus my ginormous feet, causes me not to be “into” shoes. From a healthy foot perspective, though, flip flops are bad for you, too (also, I trip in them, a lot). *Sigh.* There is no good answer.

  2. I have made my view clear on this several times – i am totally with laura. Do I recognize that flip-flops or tennis shoes are not the best looking way to bottom-off my work attire? Sure. Does that stop me from wearing them when walking miles to and from work every day? Nope. Its too far to suffer through. And also, I am not really trying to impress other commuters. In fact, when i see a co-commuter suffering through their walk in heels, i mostly think, “those shoes are slowing you down.” And flats aren’t necessarily a suitable substitute. They hurt my feet just as much as other dress shoes when worn over long distances.

  3. I’m not telling people to wear heels to walk to work. I’m saying wear a sensible, but not gross, commuter shoe. There are SO MANY options out there that are not flip flops. No one can take you as a professional with a flip flop on. Also, they’re just plain gross.

  4. Pingback: Something Blue | Emily Kate Hargrove – Capital Style

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