Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Clothes May Make the Man...But Do Shoes Break Him?

(I started this post in early December, but it got lost in the holiday shuffle. Since the situation came up again last night, I thought I'd finally finish it.)

I had several concerts in a row right after Thanksgiving, and by the end of the last night, it was almost as if the mere act of walking had become a chore. Sure, I was on my feet for a long period of time, but I think it was something else on my feet that was the problem: Dress shoes.

I've never been a huge fan of dressing up, and, in a perfect world, I'd be getting paid for playing nearly every time the situation arose. I definitely have my stylin' gig suit, but I don't always feel right when I'm dressed "to the nines"--maybe it's because I'm somewhat of a "rumpled" type anyway (I gave up ironing years ago, since clothes just naturally look wrinkled on me), and the usual Texas heat doesn't help. But mild discomfort is one thing; those shoes were causing me actual physical pain. The same thing would happen yesterday while I was making a fraternity chapter visit at another area university; I had just enough free time to make a few walks across campus, and I was feeling it later.

You've heard the old joke about the guy who goes into the doctor and says, "Doctor! Doctor! It hurts when I do this...." and he makes some unusual arm motion or something. The doctor replies, "Well...stop doing that." Sure enough, when I returned to my regular shoes--both back in December and today--I felt fine; my feet weren't achy, my knees un-creaked....it was all good. But it really made me feel bad for the people whose jobs require them to wear dress shoes regularly. How much money is spent on things like orthotics, massage therapy, trips to the podiatrist and even surgery, all in the name of "looking sharp"? Sure, we guys don't have it as bad as the women who subject themselves to ridiculously high heels on a daily basis, but I guess you could say this is our equivalent.

I'm not sure what the answer is here. I do have a backup pair of black shoes, purchased on my last Stephenville trip when I realized that I'd left mine at home. They're spongier than my usual dress shoes, but they also make me look a little like I should be managing a McDonald's or something. I like the style of my usual "jazz oxfords," but style does come at a price.

So I know that many Musings readers are not from the business world, but I'm just curious: Has anyone else experienced a similar problem? Are dress shoes just a really, really bad idea, or is it a problem unique to me? Fire away in the comments...

Blowing out the candles: Happy birthday Coop! A celebratory Trifecta certainly awaits. He'll be having a good time with his new toy, which is not a new piece of percussion equipment, but rather one of these. He shares his birthday with a wide variety of notables: Gilbert Gottfried, Bernadette Peters, Mario Andretti, and Tommy Tune.

1 comment:

Shawn said...

Man I hate dress shoes. But I quit my job. Not because of it... but I really though tennis shoes that looked casual would have been better. The shoes that go with my suit are absolutely horrible on the feet though.