Shoe Obsession

Discussion of fashion elements and looks that are traditionally considered somewhat "femme" but are presented in a masculine context. This is NOT about transvestism or crossdressing.

Shoe Obsession

Postby Daryl » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:28 am

Well, what I was afraid of finally happened: I became obsessed with getting footwear from across the gendered aisle. I bought everything on sale, which was a way of justifying it, but it was really the dazzling array of possibilities that pulled me forward more than anything. I bought some boots last year with heels and that experience started it. The heels improved my posture A LOT and reduced the pain in my messed up knees dramatically. When in heels I walk normally. When in flats I walk like a person with bad legs; gingerly and slightly hunched over on bad days. I eventually took to putting the heels on whenever any standing for more than a few minutes was going to happen; shopping, doing dishes, going for a hike, whatevs. Then the weather got too warm for boots so I thought since I am already hopping in and out of the women's wear shops, why not get my summer shoes there?

Apparently that was the needle that broke the haystack's back. Today I vowed that what I have acquired so far will have to do for at least another year. My wife says "make it two years" but she is also getting a bit of vicarious pleasure from my adventures, and may get herself one of my choices in her size, if the sale is still on tomorrow.

I do plan to post pictures of them on me, but here they are (from the women's retailer I use most often).

Image Image
Image Image
Image

The brown one with very high heels and two buckles has been my go-to pair for a while now, and has even fetched me a compliment in public. I have to admit, they are pretty on me...ahem, you know; man-pretty.
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Re: Shoe Obsession

Postby Mike » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:50 am

I have the same problem my friend. I think I have three pair of mens shoes...work boots mostly. I have about 40 pairs of heels and shoes from the other side of the aisle. Mens shoes aren't fun, they don't express anything.
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Re: Shoe Obsession

Postby Ralph » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:09 pm

Interesting that the heels help, rather than aggravate, posture and knee problems. I would have expected the opposite! That's why I always wear flats.

I found some ballet flats on sale last year and gave them a try, and I liked them so much I also picked up a slightly more expensive brand on Amazon.

Sizing was the big struggle. In men's shoes I wear a 9.5 wide, which is to say feet around 27cmx10cm. The ballet flats I got at Walmart are size 11W, so I figured that was more than big enough for my big feet. Especially considering that they're a soft stretchy leather. I took them home, tried them on, and they nearly cut my feet in half. MUCH too small! I don't have a shoe stretcher, so I put a tennis ball in each toe. A few days of stretching, aided by some work with a hair dryer at its hottest setting, and now they're wonderfully comfortable although I do end up with a faint red ligature mark across the tops of my feet at the end of the day.

From Amazon I got these Luoika flats that are a slightly firmer leather, but they go up to 13 extra-wide with the promise that their shoe sizes are "true wide width", which is to say the whole shoe is wider rather than just the upper. Burned by my experience with size 11 I still went with 12WW, and it was a mistake -- wide enough to fit, but at least 2 cm extra space at the heel. Sent them back and went with 10WW. Those fit at the heel without too much extra, but now we're back to the toes being too small even at extra-wide. So once again with the tennis balls and the hair dryer, and now they're rather comfortable. I prefer them for my daily home-office wear, then use the softer leather flats as my lazy lounging slippers.

You can see a comparison of my three types of ballet flats on my Wordpress page.
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Re: Shoe Obsession

Postby beachlion » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:36 pm

I have also a sligth shoe obsession. For male shoes I buy what I need, casual shoes, a pair of work shoes, shoes I use in the garden and shoes for fancy occasions. From the female side I started to order shoes because I wanted to know how it felt wearing them. I started with ankle boots because it was winter then. A few different heel heights. Then pumps with different heel heights. Also a ballet flat. I have to tell myself that I covered more or less the spectrum so no need to buy more.
Because I ordered them online, only two pair were a total failure. But they were cheap.
In general I think shoes are a very important part of the human race. I believe you can say something about the person by just looking at the shoes, fashion wise but also the state of maintenance. It is like the saying: show me your newspaper and I tell you who you are. Replace newspaper by shoes.
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Re: Shoe Obsession

Postby JeffB1959 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:38 am

Since I wear skirts and dresses, no way in hell could I pair them with (UGH!) plain, dull and boring men's shoes. My preferences regarding women's shoes are all over the board, I have high heeled pumps, ballet flats, knee high stiletto boots, thigh high stiletto boots and, for spring and summer, a goodly number of flat sandals, the latter I've come to really enjoy wearing. In short, a little of everything.
I don't want to LOOK like a woman, I just want to DRESS like a woman.
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Re: Shoe Obsession

Postby Daryl » Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:46 pm

Mike wrote:I have the same problem my friend. I think I have three pair of mens shoes...work boots mostly. I have about 40 pairs of heels and shoes from the other side of the aisle. Mens shoes aren't fun, they don't express anything.


I don't even have ten pairs yet, unless I count men's shoes too. See, THAT is what I have been afraid of! I already need to consider how to store them all. (I will never make a mean joke invoking the size Imelda Marcos' shoe collection again.)

Totally right that men's shoes are not "fun". I'm actually kind of surprised that "fun" even leaked into my garment thinking. Now, I see people on TV, for example the local newswoman or weathergirl, and I think "ooh, that looks like a fun dress (or fun shoes)". Fun? WTH is happening to me!? :shock:
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Re: Shoe Obsession

Postby Daryl » Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:03 pm

Ralph wrote:Interesting that the heels help, rather than aggravate, posture and knee problems. I would have expected the opposite! That's why I always wear flats.

I found some ballet flats on sale last year and gave them a try, and I liked them so much I also picked up a slightly more expensive brand on Amazon.

Sizing was the big struggle. In men's shoes I wear a 9.5 wide, which is to say feet around 27cmx10cm. The ballet flats I got at Walmart are size 11W, so I figured that was more than big enough for my big feet. Especially considering that they're a soft stretchy leather. I took them home, tried them on, and they nearly cut my feet in half. MUCH too small! I don't have a shoe stretcher, so I put a tennis ball in each toe. A few days of stretching, aided by some work with a hair dryer at its hottest setting, and now they're wonderfully comfortable although I do end up with a faint red ligature mark across the tops of my feet at the end of the day.

From Amazon I got these Luoika flats that are a slightly firmer leather, but they go up to 13 extra-wide with the promise that their shoe sizes are "true wide width", which is to say the whole shoe is wider rather than just the upper. Burned by my experience with size 11 I still went with 12WW, and it was a mistake -- wide enough to fit, but at least 2 cm extra space at the heel. Sent them back and went with 10WW. Those fit at the heel without too much extra, but now we're back to the toes being too small even at extra-wide. So once again with the tennis balls and the hair dryer, and now they're rather comfortable. I prefer them for my daily home-office wear, then use the softer leather flats as my lazy lounging slippers.


Sizes are a major challenge, especially since women's shoes often squeeze the toes together in an effort to make the feet look pointier and narrower. I am going to have to do some stretching on some of my new shoes too. I've heard that a little alcohol can help the synthetics stretch, though I will try to use heat first. Fortunately I have reversible wood clamps so I should be able to cobble some kind of rig together.

I am also finding sizes and widths are all over the map, as if the standards are barely even recommendations. I range from a women's 10 to a 12 (U.S. sizes) and even the "WW" width does not always mean I can afford to try dropping one size. It all depends on the shoe. I have not been able to wear anything smaller than an 11 in men's shoes for years (I measure 10.5) and a men's 12 has always been much too big. This makes ordering online a bit hit-and-miss so when I got a chance to sit in the plus-size women's store and try many things on, I took it.

The improvement in knee pain and posture that came with heels surprised me too, because we always hear how high heels are "bad for you in every way". I think that negative noise is just noise now. The risk of ankle damage from falling off a high heel, especially one with no ankle support, is probably real, and the risk from shoes that compress feet and toes too hard is probably real too, but just having an elevated heel is not a bad thing IMO. I have noticed that my muscles and ligaments have had to adapt, but for that I blame not being allowed to have a variety of footwear while growing up, as girls get to do. Playing catch-up at my age is bound to come with some pains, but so far they have been well worth it.
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Re: Shoe Obsession

Postby Gusto10 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:44 am

As to a variation in heel height, I would think that such could be advisable for reason that your body is not always in the same position and thus that your joints and spine will not be subjected to wear and tear at (almost) the same place. And why again question are they considered as womenswear whilst heels were "stolen" by women from men to start of with?
As most retailors of heeled shoes don't go beyond size 11(US-w), I did try Pleaser and its other labels. Eventhough ordering the same size, never the right size, either to big or to small. There are some German and French companies which carry larger sizes, but those shoes/boots do tend to be a reminder of Streetlife instead of daily wear.
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Re: Shoe Obsession

Postby dillon » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:53 am

Ralph wrote:Interesting that the heels help, rather than aggravate, posture and knee problems. I would have expected the opposite! That's why I always wear flats.

I found some ballet flats on sale last year and gave them a try, and I liked them so much I also picked up a slightly more expensive brand on Amazon.

Sizing was the big struggle. In men's shoes I wear a 9.5 wide, which is to say feet around 27cmx10cm. The ballet flats I got at Walmart are size 11W, so I figured that was more than big enough for my big feet. Especially considering that they're a soft stretchy leather. I took them home, tried them on, and they nearly cut my feet in half. MUCH too small! I don't have a shoe stretcher, so I put a tennis ball in each toe. A few days of stretching, aided by some work with a hair dryer at its hottest setting, and now they're wonderfully comfortable although I do end up with a faint red ligature mark across the tops of my feet at the end of the day.

From Amazon I got these Luoika flats that are a slightly firmer leather, but they go up to 13 extra-wide with the promise that their shoe sizes are "true wide width", which is to say the whole shoe is wider rather than just the upper. Burned by my experience with size 11 I still went with 12WW, and it was a mistake -- wide enough to fit, but at least 2 cm extra space at the heel. Sent them back and went with 10WW. Those fit at the heel without too much extra, but now we're back to the toes being too small even at extra-wide. So once again with the tennis balls and the hair dryer, and now they're rather comfortable. I prefer them for my daily home-office wear, then use the softer leather flats as my lazy lounging slippers.

You can see a comparison of my three types of ballet flats on my Wordpress page.


Heels also relieve plantar fasciitis, and achilles tendon pain. It's a moot point for me, since my only available "heels" are Scandinavian clogs. But they help.
As a matter of fact, the sun DOES shine out of my ...
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Re: Shoe Obsession

Postby brennk » Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:19 pm

You are not alone my friend in having a shoe obsession. I'm not into heels personally, but I am amassing a collection of ballet flats. I started for the comfort of not having anything across my instep, but the brand I have been buying, "Tieks," is so comfortable overall and comes in so many colors it is hard to resist.

IMG_7671s.jpg
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Re: Shoe Obsession

Postby Daryl » Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:03 am

Gusto10 wrote:As to a variation in heel height, I would think that such could be advisable for reason that your body is not always in the same position and thus that your joints and spine will not be subjected to wear and tear at (almost) the same place. And why again question are they considered as womenswear whilst heels were "stolen" by women from men to start of with?
As most retailors of heeled shoes don't go beyond size 11(US-w), I did try Pleaser and its other labels. Eventhough ordering the same size, never the right size, either to big or to small. There are some German and French companies which carry larger sizes, but those shoes/boots do tend to be a reminder of Streetlife instead of daily wear.


Yes, I think variation from the same position is definitely part of the benefit. When not wearing heels I tend to lock my knees back when standing but with heels I stay sprung, and the angle of that varies from shoe to shoe. Starting last year I wore boots and booties with 2.25 and 2.5 inch heels all winter and spring. This summer I have been spending a lot of time in 3.5 inch heels, plus some shoes with heels about the same height as the aforementioned booties. I think decades of always standing with knees locked back in that one position is probably a big contributor to my current knee problems, which can be downright debilitating on bad days (which only get more frequent as I get older). My mobility has increased dramatically because of the heels, and my wife attests that my posture and general gait is better when I have heels on.

Try looking into plus-size women's shops. Almost all the ones I am getting are house brands of the Reitman's retail empire, specifically their Penningtons and AdditionElle plus-size shops. The actual brand-name shoes they sell are not particularly true to the "wide" claim and rarely go above size 11, but the house brand does both quite well. Basically, I think, they are just shopping Asian manufacturers until they find products they think will work, selling shoes (etc.) on merits other than brand name.

In the US one shop that looks interesting to me in larger sized women's shoes (and general clothing) is Torrid. That may be worth a try. We have some here in Canada too but their online ordering doesn't match the Reitman's stores (which all ship from within Canada while Torrid ships from the USA) and the nearest one to me isn't very convenient so I have no motivation to even visit it.
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Re: Shoe Obsession

Postby Daryl » Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:06 am

brennk wrote:You are not alone my friend in having a shoe obsession. I'm not into heels personally, but I am amassing a collection of ballet flats. I started for the comfort of not having anything across my instep, but the brand I have been buying, "Tieks," is so comfortable overall and comes in so many colors it is hard to resist.

IMG_7671s.jpg


You are frightening me. I just started getting the same shoe in different colours, and have done that twice now.
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Re: Shoe Obsession

Postby nzfreestyler » Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:45 am

I would have to admit that I have a shoe obsession.
I have some shoes in 5 or 6 colours, and I have some shoes in the same colour many times over, eg I have 4 pairs of a black leather pump.
I must have close to 300 pairs in service now, and I keep buying pretty shoes when I see them in the shops, its fun when the seasons change and their are new heels to try. I dislike platforms and never wear platforms, most of my shoes are a stiletto heel of varying styles.

I have worn high heels for 15 years, the last 5 years I haven't worn a flat shoe once out of my house (ok there might be one ot two exceptions but I can't think of them to hand). I don't wear heels to go running though!! I do wear running shoes for that!
I wear 4-5 inch heels out every day, 5 inches is quite high for me - but 4 inches is a go to height for everything.
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Re: Shoe Obsession

Postby Jim » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:18 am

I don't have a shoe obsession. I keep my old homemade sandals in the car. If I'm out and about to someplace that requires shoes, I slip them on.
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Re: Shoe Obsession

Postby oldsalt1 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:25 pm

Some of us who had a professional ie accountant office manager etc position managed to survive With a pair of Black wing tips and brown wingtips. for more casual days black and brown loafers. and one pair of sneakers.

With a skirt its a little easier because you can match the skirt or the top oops I forgot does the bag match.

With a dress it has to match or compliment I have some skirt suits and a different pair of shoes for each outfit.

Once we finish with the pumps and sandals for the summer you have to start with the booties for fall and early spring.

That being done its time for knee boots for the colder days

All finally I have 2 pairs of mid thigh boots.

Is there such a thing as OCD for shoes. :lol: :lol:
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