From Where I Sit – Walk a Mile in My Shoes

Dorothy knew the magic of red slippers. Click your heels together three times, say ?There’s no place like home,? and suddenly You’re back in Kansas.

Earlier this year Pope Benedict XVI wore red loafers during his visit to the United States. Apparently this is a return to papal tradition. But why red? Red is the colour of martyrdom.

A Google search for more red-shoe stories led me to a website explaining the Red Shoe Project. In it the instructor offers to teach workshop participants how to make their own handcrafted red shoes. The result may be frivolous and fun, soulful and symbolic, revealing or cryptic in its message.

The origin of this idea is Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs’s story about red shoes in Women Who Run with the Wolves.

The site’s home page explores the symbolism of shoes (mobility, freedom, warmth, and protection) and the color red (passion, rage, heat, love, seduction, life, death). Ideally, participants will leave with insight and a sense of gratitude for the abundance we all enjoy.

Speaking of enjoying . . . doesn’t every girl want a pair of red shoes? Yes. Does the world really need any more black or brown shoes? Hell, no.

My latest pair of red shoes is only a day old and hasn’t hit the mean streets yet. I paid just over $180 dollars for a candy-apple red pair of Wolkys. The style is called Passion. they’re casual flats with contrasting top stitching, crossover straps with Velcro closure, and removable footbeds.

The Wolky is Dutch in design, though the shoes sold in North America are made in their Mexican factory. The word means ?cloud? and signifies the walking-on-clouds comfort. When you wear orthotics comfort is key and I think these will become favourites. I own very few pairs of shoes but the ones I have are expensive and well-made ones that promote foot health through sound design. These get bonus points for being stylin? hot red.

Cuz I was on a roll, I also bought my first pair of Josef Seibel shoes. This pair is more casual, oxblood in colour, and made in Hungary. This company has been making shoes since 1886 and, like Wolkys, stresses comfort without sacrificing style. No one with plantar fasciitis or other foot condition wants to wear matronly, grandmother shoes . . . at least not before we’re matronly grandmothers.

I’m looking forward to enjoying both pairs for years. And they’re in good company with my Merrells, Naots, and Birkenstocks. There’s not a Croc, Dawg, flip-flop, Manolo Blahnik, or Jimmy Choo among them.

Now if only someone would come up with a good looking navy shoe that doesn’t cripple I’d be set. There’s nothing worse than hobbling off into the sunset because of poor design, lousy workmanship, and blind devotion to fashion, from where I sit.

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