There’s No Business Like Shoe Business

I was looking for shoes last week. I don’t really need them, I have more shoes than I really need but since I was shopping anyway, why not? I found out why not.

I was at the local mall with the basic department stores, a shoe “warehouse,” and some discount department stores (you know, the ones that end in “Mart”).  No real shoe stores. For them you have to go into town, to a high end shopping area, or to an outlet mall. And that’s the shame of it. You see, for a man, unless you want athletic shoes or work boots, the only places to buy shoes are the real shoe stores.

I haven’t figured it out. These same modestly priced shoe stores and departments have plenty of women’s shoes in various styles – casual shoes, sports shoes, dressy shoes, sandals, boots, clogs, mules, pumps, flats, and yes, even athletic and work shoes. Women can buy shoes to work in, play in, go gardening ,shopping or boating, can go to the beach or to the mountains, go riding motorcycles, bicycles or horses, go to church, go to a marathon as either spectator or runner, or even go shopping. Men can buy shoes to play hoops or go to the worksite. Actually, men can buy athletic shoes with steel toes so he can go the work and stop off at the basketball court after without even having to change shoes. How convenient.

Anything more than that, anything like a Scotch grain loafer, a natty cap toe, a conservative wingtip, a plain toe slip on, a basic oxford, or a canvas moccasin aren’t going to be easy to find. For them you have to clear a day, plan a trip, pack your lunch, and check your bank balance.

And you look at us and wonder, often out loud, “are you really going to wear those shoes to church?”

That’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?


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