Monday, February 8, 2010

An Introduction to Through the Sole

For some people shoes are just something to protect their feet from the elements. For others, shoes drive irrational behavior. 

For example, a 46 year-old man was recently arrested in Newark, Delaware after stealing shoes for 20 years, according to the article “Police nab suspected shoe thief,” from The Charleston Daily Mail ( Police confiscated 150 boxes of stolen goods, many containing shoes.

Women are usually believed to have the larger shoe obsession, but, as the above example shows, men also enjoy shoes. 

The fundamental question is: why do human beings like shoes so much? 

Researchers are beginning to analyze why people like and buys shoes, which gets to the essence of the question. Moreover, one needs to look at the history of shoes and human beings to unearth whether there a reason people desire shoes. If not, are human beings irrational for wanting shoes? Finally, researchers are beginning to examine the effects of wearing certain type of shoes, such as high heels. Despite ill effects to feet and legs, women persist on wearing high heels. This suggests that at some level, the love for shoes become irrational. Overall, shoes reflect both a necessity, protection from the natural elements, and an irrational want, the desire to have numerous pairs, despite the possibility of negative effects.

“The American public, it would seem, cannot carry on without new shoes. Boots, booties, sneakers, pumps — for the last few months they have all been selling well as the broader economy struggles toward recovery” Stephanie Rosenbloom, “A Not-So-Guilty Pleasure,” The NY Times,

Understanding shoes is part of understanding human nature. Although wanting shoes may seem frivolous, it gives comfort. Although the song has been overplayed, “The Christmas Shoes,” (lyrics can be found here:, hints at the importance of shoes.

“Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please
It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there's not much time
You see she's been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes would make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight”

To understand why humans like and desire shoes helps one to understand oneself and society. In the shoes that carry one’s feet through one’s daily life, there is a reflection of the wearer.

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