Since falling in love with Carrie Bradshaw at a young age, shoes have been a passion of mine. At 25, I started collecting sample sale Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik, and then, at 30, Noah bought me my first pair of Christian Louboutin classic pumps.
I don’t wear these types of shoes daily…for obvious reasons. So, I also have my daily Timberland boots, Dr. Martens, Nike running and training shoes, Rainbow sandals, Coach flats, and random non-name brand fashion boots.
I’ve always admired the (primarily) men who run down concrete stair cases without a second thought. The ones who can jump puddles with ease. The ones who don’t seem to fall and trip into the cracks on the sidewalks. Have you noticed those people, too?
I had written off that this freedom in movement was limited to those who don’t suffer from intrinsic vertigo and who are extremely athletic… I would, no matter how hard I tried, never fit into this group of people. I would be constantly twisting my ankle on uneven surface, walking sideways and carefully downstairs to avoid my heel from catching on the back of the stairs and face-planting into the pavement, and walking around a puddle instead of leaping over it (or, in my case, directly into the middle of it).
Have you ever noticed that certain products/brands are really popular in certain regions? Growing up in the midwest, everyone had Carhartt coats and overalls…Why? Because they’re incredibly warm for the brutal and windy midwest winters. Moving to California, it seemed that everyone had a Prius. Why? Because they’re really comfortable and economically savvy vehicles for long and traffic-filled commutes. Sometimes the popular products are popular for good reason. Here in New York, it seems that everyone has a pair of J’s (Jordan Shoes). I wrote is off as being an urban fashion piece. But, since I am a HUGE fan of shoe fashion, I had to get a pair.
Sneakerheads are quite simply people who love sneakers. This phenomenon has led to long lines at shoe retailers, expensive third-party “scalping” and resales, and massive collectors. Some of the most popular J’s are selling for more than $1500 on third-party sites like Flight Club and Stadium Goods. Move over Christian Louboutin – Nike – Jordan – has taken over.
I didn’t want to be a part of the feeding frenzy. So, I decided that I’d plan my order online. I’d follow the release schedule, and when a pair I wanted dropped, I go snag the MSRP “deal” that day.
A pair that I had been eyeing went on sale at 10:00 a.m. ET on a random Tuesday at Nike. I eagerly logged in at 10:02 a.m. ET, excited to spend my $120 on a pair of Jordan 1s.
Within 2 minutes online…
So, I went to our local Flight Club and stood in line…until closing…Nada…nothing…no sale.
What gives? Why are people doing this? Further, why am I doing this?
I gave up the hunt for the “shoe drops.”
Instead, I wandered into a JD Sports around Times Square on a random Sunday. I found a pair of Jordan 6 Rings in white, black, and Tiffany blue. It was meant to be!
I had read that I could actually save some money by buying boys sized shoes… But, I was a little nervous about asking to try on shoes in the children’s section. I decided to think about it some more. Since they were just there – in the store – I could come back later, if I built up the courage to pretend to be a little boy… 🤦🏼♀️
Just Do It
I did some research. Most women can’t wear the mens sizing. And, Jordan doesn’t make “women’s” shoes. Women who become sneakerheads learn their GS (Grade School) Boys sizing. And, don’t feel bad about trying them on. Those cheaper prices are actually the one and only time I can think of that the “pink tax” works in our favor.
Lining up the chart, my GS size is 6. So, I went back to JD Sports. Asked for a size 6 in the children’s department, and was quickly trying on a couple of different pairs that I had found. I wanted the 6 Rings to work…those were certainly my favorites… They did! They were the “showcase” pair…and they were the ONLY PAIR LEFT! Score! They’ve now been retired by Jordan and put back in the vault until their next release – many years from now. But, I managed to find a pair without the lines, without the online feeding frenzy, and with the added luxury of being able to try them on!
Back to the Title
A popular saying tells us that we can’t judge someone until we walk a mile in their shoes. I’m pretty sure that’s a metaphor 😂🤷🏼♀️, but I CAN say that the literal version of this is true. I had judged myself that I wasn’t going to be brave enough, athletic enough, or balanced enough to ever feel truly sure-on-my-feet.
But, it wasn’t me!
It was the shoes!
Looking at women’s shoes and women’s soles, they almost always have narrow arches, narrow heels, and narrow soles overall. They are sleek and feminine. The soles are flexible. Yes, even our running shoes. Maybe especially our running shoes.
Jordans are unapologetically wide-soled and even from toe box to heel – the soles don’t bend.
I found myself running down the subway stairs after only a few blocks…What was this???
The center of gravity had shifted. Instead of my balance being on the ball of my foot, now, I had the entire foot as my center of gravity. Even if my toes were hanging off the edge of the stairs, I still felt balanced because the sole was stable and had enough balance between the arch and the heel to feel supported.
I didn’t need to hold onto anything on the subway…all tilts, stops, and starts were grounded and supported by my wider base.
I’ve walked a mile (in fact, maybe 100 miles at this point) in his shoes. And, I can honestly say, it’s better for anything where being balanced and secure is important…Like, uh, always?
Are women meant to be “unstable”? Is it a big conspiracy theory?
I don’t think so…
What I do firmly believe is that women have been accustomed to taking up less space…
Be small— The less you weigh, the better.
Speak softly — don’t put all of the attention on yourself.
The smaller the “footprint,” the more feminine you are.
As women begin to take up more space… In their jobs, in politics, in life, and in their shoes (thank you very much!), we’re beginning to realize that the very thing that we treasured as being intrinsically ours — Our femininity — was the very thing causing our unbalances.
I’m learning to not be afraid to be “big.” Wear men’s shoes. Broaden your shoulders. Be loud. Take up space.
I might even use both armrests in the airplane one day – who knows?? I’m feeling CrAzY!
I’m not giving up my Christian Louboutins, but I’m definitely working on my street cred and confidence.
You with me?
Looking for more of my political and philosophical musings from this past year?
I usually post about our adventures (and misadventures) around New York City and our travel. But, occasionally inspiration strikes and I have to share opinions….
- Scandals are Sticky
- I am a Patriot
- Pretending, Normalizing, Mistaking…Feeling
- Midwest Manners, California Idealism, New York Passion
- Black Lives Matter: The Year to Wake Up
- United We Stand — Apart
- Questions on Quitting Quarantine
More Posts About New York
- Toasting Governor’s Island
- What to Pack for Your First Trip to New York City
- Toasting the New York Yankees
- Toasting Summer Vibes on Pier 17 and the North River Lobster Boat
- Toasting New York City’s Upper West Side
- Toasting Beacon and the Hudson River Valley
- Toasting the Top 10 Best of Spring in NYC
- Toasting Brooklyn’s Western Waterfront
- Toasting Coney Island, Brooklyn
- Toasting Gardens and Green Spaces in New York City
- Toasting Spring 2021
- Pizzas, Parties and Poetry in Greenwich Village
- The American Museum of Natural History
- Christmas in Midtown, Manhattan
- Holiday Spirit in NYC
- The NYC Zoos
- Tea Tasting in Soho and the Lower East Side
- The New York Botanical Gardens
- Halloween in New York City
- Exploring Queens: Long Island City
- Exploring Downtown Manhattan: FiDi
- Exploring Brooklyn: Red Hook
- The Best Observation Decks in NYC
- Exploring Queens: Rockaway Beach
- Exploring Our Neighborhood: Midtown East
- Exploring Central Park
Should I Come to New York in 2021?
YESSSS!!!! If you live in the U.S.A., then go get your vaccine and come visit! As of April 1, quarantine and testing will no longer be mandated. Quarantining for a few days is still recommended, but we are reaching the end of the formal testing, paperwork, and quarantines for domestic travelers! Huzzah!
***UPDATE*** On April 1, 2021 New York will no longer be requiring quarantines for domestic travel. International travelers will still be required to quarantine. All travelers will need to fill out a NYS traveler form upon arrival.
***UPDATE*** On May 17th the MTA Subway System will resume 24/7 service!
***UPDATE*** On May 19th NYC restaurants will resume indoor service at 100% capacity
***UPDATE*** On September 14th Broadway will re-open at 100% capacity
You’ve waited patiently, and New York is still here! Start planning your trips!
As always, don’t forget to Toast The Moon to all of your international travels by visiting our store, and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and the ‘gram to catch all of our latest posts and adventures!