Somehow I have acquired more pairs of shoes than you'd think I own. What I mean by this is, I'm not very fashionable and I'm definitely not what you'd call a "shoe addict" and I'm pretty sure I only have 3 pairs of shoes that you'd classify as "heels", so if you know me you wouldn't expect me to own a lot of shoes. Especially since I only wear about 4 pairs regularly.
I think the main reason I have amassed such a large shoe collection is that I seem to usually buy pretty good quality shoes that never wear out. For example, I still wear a pair of Merrell hiking shoes that I got in grade 10. Grade 10 people, if you want to know how old I am compared to a grade 10, I started grade 10 in 2000. And yet these shoes have not worn out! They are still totes comfortable! How is this possible? I wore them almost every day walking to university and through my last 2.5 years of high school. And still wear them almost every day at work except in winter (I work at a very casual dressing office, I could get away with wearing sweats if I wanted to but I don't because that's super gross).
When I deliver training at work, I like to play an awesome icebreaker that my friend Sherri and I invented back in our science camp instructor days. One thing I really hate about most icebreakers is that they put people on the spot right away before anyone knows anyone, so they are often more uncomfortable than team-building. For example sometimes icebreakers consist of "find a partner you don't know, talk about your hopes and dreams for the future and innermost secrets, and then present them to the rest of the group, that consists of all grumpy old men who have worked here for 30 years except for you, Robyn". Okay that is a slight exaggeration but actually not really. So when I do icebreakers, as the instructor I like to put minimal pressure on the class and as much pressure as possible on me. With that long-winded introduction, the game is I come up with 10 totally random questions about myself that people who don't know me (or possibly even people who know me) would never know the answer to but have to guess the answers and then the winner gets a prize. Kids LOVED it and I have found that adults, even the grumpiest of old men, also love it. Best icebreaker ever, use it, you're welcome.
ANYWAY so one of the questions in that game is always "how old are these shoes?" and then I give a few options like 2 years, 5 years, 10 years. I decided to maybe retire my beloved Merrells after someone creepily answered "they are 10 years old because the soles are worn out but you don't drag your feet." It was very observant and something I had not noticed before.
I also kept a pair of Nike sport sandals from grade 5 all the way through high school and slightly into university until they just got so ugly that I threw them out. They were still perfectly comfortable actually. I'm also currently trying to wean myself off of a pair of leather clog-type shoes I got in high school that again, are so comfortable and not too falling apart.
I'm starting to run out of room for these shoes but I feel like buying 2-3 pairs of shoes a year is by no means excessive, except the new shoes I buy aren't usually replacements. Or actually they are often meant to be replacements but I am just too attached to the old comfortable shoes. And it's hard to break in new shoes to get to that awesome level of comfort when the old ones have had 10 years of shaping perfectly to my feet. What can compete with that experience?
I think I might go throw some old gross shoes in the garbage now. But not my Merrells just yet.