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Our Love Affairs in Pairs

Why Women Can’t Live Without Shoes


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From Cinderella to Carrie Bradshaw, it was proven time and again that women love ’em some shoes. Oh well, some is an understatement. Some women have a legion of shoes ready to defend them when the why-buy-too-many-shoes argument arises. Did you know there are compelling scientific explanations behind our love affair with shoes? Read on.


The natural high

According to Martin Lindstrom, author of Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy, trying a pair of shoes on boosts our mood triggered by the release of dopamine. Dopamine, which is also dubbed as the ‘happy hormone,’ provides any person with the feel-good high. The kind of high that people get when taking a drug. Dopamine gradually increases and builds upon the excitement until you finally made a purchase. Afterward, the high will flat-line.

For purchases other than shoes, some of us may feel guilty about the purchase. However, we tend to rationalize shoe buying as a practical buy regardless of its price, so we usually don’t feel guilty about it. After all, we can use it several times a week until it wears out or gets damaged. And, we get another set of high when we pair our new shoes with a new dress, for instance.

Lindstrom also claims that dopamine is not the only thing at work when buying a pair of shoes. Humans have ingrained ‘hoarding behavior.’ Thus, buying shoes stimulates the pre-frontal cortex area of our brain. Such area is also known as the collecting spot (or C-spot). Shoe shopping makes us happy, so we keep on buying them or collecting them in essence, according to Suzanne Ferriss, editor of Footnotes: On Shoes.


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The high in the high

Shoes may cost a fortune, but we still buy it. Money, or our ability to buy, is not the sole reason why we become happy after shopping for a new pair of shoes. The shoes itself conveys a kind of bliss that only shoes can give us and nothing else.

Shoes often have more advantages than clothes. Anyone can wear the shoes that he or she wants. Anyone can buy the shoes that he or she wants from Steve Madden to Manolo Blahnik. We are all capable of owning one. Thankfully, even owning luxury shoes is no longer a privilege shared by Hollywood A-listers, IT-girls, socialites, heiresses, etc. The pleasures of the elite are now the leading trends of the mass.

We are now carving intimate relationships with shoes that we ourselves are not sure when it started. Some experts say that such a relationship begins as soon as we learn to walk. When we were young, although you might not remember it, our natural high is feeling all grown up. What do we do? We try our mother’s clothes, lipstick and, of course, shoes. For our young self, this is what womanhood feels like.

Forward to the day when we start asserting ourselves. What better way to proclaim your independence than buying your very first pair of shoes with the money that you saved or worked hard for. Eventually, our shoes speak for us at any given time.


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Now, let me give you the eight rules for happy feet.

1) Buy a pair of shoes that is a half-size bigger. Comfort is intrinsical to elegance. That’s according to Audrey Hepburn.

2) Measure your feet. They won’t be in the same size 5 or 10 years from now. They get longer and wider.

3) Buy shoes in the evening, not in the morning. Feet are at their biggest during nighttime.

4) Don’t wear the same shoes every day. Change daily so the shoes won’t lose shape sooner than expected.

5) Walk around barefoot whenever the opportunity knocks.

6) Massage the feet after a prolonged wearing of high heels.

7) Check for small deformations especially the genetically acquired. These are completely preventable.

8) Accept and love your feet. Pamper them with great care.


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To lighten things a bit, here’s a collection of the best shoe quotes ever from the self-proclaimed shoe addicts themselves.

I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes. -Oprah Winfrey

To wear dreams on one’s feet is to begin to give a reality to one’s dreams. -Roger Vivier

Craziness in a shoe is great – you can have much more freedom, you can exaggerate and it doesn’t feel stupid. -Miuccia Prada

Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world. -Marilyn Monroe

A woman with good shoes is never ugly. -Coco Chanel

You can never take too much care over the choice of your shoes. Too many women think that they are unimportant, but the real proof of an elegant woman is what is on he feet. -Christian Dior

I can’t concentrate in flats. -Victoria Beckham

I see a pair of shoes I adore, and it doesn’t matter if they have them in my size. I buy them anyway. -Keira Knightley

How can you live the high life if you do not wear the high heels? -Sonia Rykiel

As a child, I trained myself to dance in very high heels. At 13, in Destiny’s Child, we were told to wear heels, but at first we couldn’t walk in them. We couldn’t keep our knees straight, but we learned. -Beyoncé

I would hate for someone to look at my shoes and say, “Oh my God! They look so comfortable! -Christian Louboutin

I actually have more shoes than anyone will ever know. -Tamara Mellon

If your hair is done properly and you’re wearing good shoes, you can get away with anything. -Iris Apfel

Nicki Minaj has a better booty, but I have better shoes. -Rihanna

Keep your head, heels and standards high. -Lola Stark

I can be naked as long as I’m wearing the right pair of shoes. -Anna Dello Russo

The average woman falls in love seven times a year. Only six are with shoes. -Kenneth Cole

Shoes must have very high heels and platforms to put women’s beauty on a pedestal. -Vivienne Westwood

Men tell me that I’ve saved their marriages. It costs them a fortune in shoes, but it’s cheaper than a divorce. -Manolo Blahnik

To me, shoes are like pizza: There is no bad shoe. -Kelly Ripa

I can be in the dumps of dumpsters and go buy a new pair of shoes, and then it’s okay. Even if it’s just for the time being, for that moment it’s what I need. -Britney Spears

I own one pair of Prada shoes. They make my feet hurt … It’s not the shoes’ fault; they are exquisitely made. I blame my feet. I’ve got my mother’s feet. -Meryl Streep

My name is Sarah Jessica, and I own well over 100 pairs of Manolo Blahniks. -Sarah Jessica Parker

My mom would take me to restaurants, and the first thing I’d ask for would be a pen and a napkin, and I’d sketch shoes and shoes and shoes. -Alexander Wang

If I’m going dancing, then I wear the highest heels with the shortest dress. -Kate Moss

Oh yes, I love to do shoes. I’m not a fetishist, but I love to do shoes. -Karl Lagerfeld

I definitely spend the most money on shoes, partly because vintage footwear can be a little funky – in a bad way. I like to keep things pretty simple up top and then go weird with the shoes. -Chloe Sevigny

A woman can carry a bag, but it is the shoe that carries the woman. -Christian Louboutin

Always wear high heels. Yes, they give you power. You move differently, sit differently, and even speak differently. -Carine Roitfeld

My shoes are special shoes for discerning feet. -Manolo Blahnik

Life is short, your heels shouldn’t be! -Brian Atwood

I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot. -Marilyn Monroe


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