Comment: Women should give those fancy shoes the boot

WE WOMEN are a weird lot sometimes.

I have a cupboard full of shoes; my partner, who owns four pairs (deck shoes - colour, navy blue - one pair; dress shoes - colour, black - one pair; work boots - colour, indeterminate - one pair; joggers - colour, filthy - one pair) cannot (or will not) understand that it's just not possible for females to be that frugal.

We need sandals, dress shoes (with different heel heights), dress boots (of different lengths) and shoes to fit whatever sport we are involved in, all in various colours to go with various outfits.

I can't wear brown shoes with a black outfit, but can get away with the opposite. Suede is a no-no in summer, and patent leather in winter is social death.

And that's before I get started on toe and heel shapes.

Now, my budget doesn't run to cover all of those categories any more (and neither does my level of interest in fashion trends, frankly).

Gone are the days where I had a pair of what they used to call "follow me home" pumps, with stiletto heels, in just about every colour of the rainbow - the red and hot pink pairs were my favourites.

I have been blessed with nice feet; no nasty bony bits poking out anywhere, easy-to-pedicure nails and perfectly straight toes free from any ghastly fungus.

But they blister at the drop of a hat - or shoe, even a shoe that I have worn hundreds of times before.

I break in every pair I buy, wear them gingerly for an hour at a time before committing to an evening out, then I wear them comfortably and happily for six months and … bingo.

Blisters the size of 20-cent coins with no warning.

I've taken to carrying plastic containers of fabulous blister patches but the upshot is, once the shoes produce pain, I can no longer wear them.

I'm clearly not the only one afflicted thus; at my stepson's wedding in March I watched nearly all of the female guests hobbling around in crippling footwear.

Nearly all of them carried a supremely daggy pair of what we used to call Jiffies; little flat flexible slippers, into which they had all changed by the end of the evening.

My other stepson's partner had beautifully pedicured feet that were squished into gorgeous Jimmy Choos with a peep toe; she grimaced at every step.

Men don't understand why women wear shoes that are uncomfortable - and I must confess, neither do I.

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