Ever since my travels to Denmark and Chicago last month, I've realized that knee-high boots are not a luxury item, but an essential. The streets were full of women who know cold weather and style, and a lot of them were sporting boots.
I've never owned a pair of boots that weren't cowboy in nature. And although I've coveted the panache of the boot-wearing woman -- the way she strides through life, the way she's not shy about wearing skirts and showing her knees -- I never thought I could be her. I'm not a dashing person. I have no flair. I am functional at best. Boots, I figured, were for other people.
But Denmark and Chicago changed my mind. I started to see boots as a way to extend my skirt wardrobe into the colder weather, not to mention a way to deal with inclement conditions. I walk to work and back, sometimes several times a day, and my footwear needs a certain ruggedness, a can-do spirit.
On Sunday afternoon I took Cady Gray with me on some errands, and we hit the shoe store last of all. I had in mind to look over the selection of boots, and I even tried some on. Surprisingly, I felt like a boot woman all of a sudden. I didn't buy -- my weakness is endless comparison shopping -- but I acquired more confidence in my plan to become a boot wearer.
My trip to the shoe store wasn't just about boots, though. I needed a pair of dressy mules that I could wear to work, since my old reliable microfiber ones had long suffered from a bad case of sole separation. I pulled down a few, but my eye was caught by this number:
Becoming reconciled to boot-dom was having side effects. Heels were becoming acceptable, or even desirable -- despite decades of flatness. (Seriously, I haven't worn a heel above 2" since my twenties.) I didn't want another drably functional slip-on. I wanted ... style.
And I got it. I wore those shoes today, walking back and forth to the office twice, plus a turn around the east campus while Archer was in therapy. Although the shearling-lined interior is cozy and the square toe relatively unrestricting, my unused-to-heels feet suffered a bit. But I'm at the age where no one can criticize me for my choice of style over comfort. I've earned the right to decide what's more important on any given day. It's not what anyone is telling me to do -- it's what I want, and how I want to see myself.
Boots, here I come!