Will the squeaky wheel possibly get the grease?

Published 6:30 pm Friday, January 13, 2023

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What is it with women’s shoes? I started cleaning out the bottom of a closet and there were countless pairs of shoes, all sitting there waiting to be worn. As I went through them, a great number had to be put in the discard box.
The problem: most of the toes of the shoes were scuffed. Some had been polished and re-polished but did not look good enough to wear – other than for every day.
Some, like one grey pair, were unfixable because matching grey polish could not be found, and another pair of gray patent leather shoes would never look good again because the shine was gone in patches.
Even the toes on black shoes are hard to fix. Not too long ago, I bought a pair of black suede leather winter shoes. I paid enough for them they should have held up, but very quickly I noticed spots on the toes were a dark gray and in some cases, a bit of light grey was showing through from being scuffed.
I was about to go out, but they were not to be worn this way. I thought I could dab some black shoe polish on the toes, but all I had was the solid-type shoe polish. That wouldn’t do, so I began to think – a black Sharpie pen might work! And it did!
I dabbed the ink on the toes of those black suede shoes and they looked pretty good. Ah, good, I thought, as I remembered I had a silver gray Sharpie. I tried it on a pair of the gray shoes — but it didn’t work. The grays were in very different shades!
Now, is it me and the way I wear my shoes, or does every woman have this problem? I can’t remember having shoes do this in the past. Shoes, even women’s shoes, would wear and wear and wear.
If one has really good leather shoes, it should not be a problem. How many shoes do we women buy are real leather? Not many. I have a pair of brown leather shoes and the toes have done the same. Many – even the expensive ones – are not real leather – just made to look that way.
How many years have men been able to wear the same shoes year after year and still have that wonderful shine? Men can even have their shoes resoled and keep wearing them – if they can find a shoe shop – which appears to be a disappearing breed! Even men’s work shoes can have reinforced toes.
I do not wear high heels anymore. I notice many others also do not. Comfort is the reason so many women wear low-heeled shoes and what we used to call tennis shoes. Companies make such cute ones and the good ones cost a bunch.
So, what is it with women’s shoes? Do we keep buying them and when the toes give out, toss them away? Or do we demand shoe companies make them of a little better quality? Just because a shoe wears a brand name doesn’t mean it will last long on the toes.
The other problem I have with shoes is finding a pair my size. Going over boxes and boxes of the ones I like in the store, there is every size but a seven –particularly if they are on sale.
Undoubtedly, three quarters of the women in America wear a size seven shoe. So if I find a shoe I really like and go through countless sizes and don’t find a seven, I may be disturbed.
Meanwhile back in my closet, many of these shoes are going away, mostly because they have worn, unfixable toes. I could get flip-flops in every color. They last and last, but pretty cold in the winter. Or should we all go for plastic shoes that might not scuff?
Maybe like stockings that used to run. We fussed about them and quit wearing them until they made better ones. We showed them! Now almost nobody wears them.
The old saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease!” could come true.

Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at bobann70@att.net.