7 Things This Boomer Wants to Tell Shoe Companies
By Anne-Marie Kovacs, Chief Wife
Like most women, I love shoes. Shoes make – or break – the outfit. Shoes are faithful. They will always fit and remain the same size no matter the size fluctuations in other areas of your wardrobe. Belts especially.
Whole fairy tales are written about shoes and endless numbers of Pinterest boards are dedicated to shoes. I know I'm not alone.
So, for Pete's sake, why am I having such a gawd-darned hard time finding a wearable pair of nice, heeled black sandals for summer? My requirements are not so far fetched:
- be of mostly black color
- be a dress sandal, going-to-a-nice-dinner-or-event style
- well-priced but willing to pay premium for high quality & style
- stylish but not trendy
- my size – 8 ½ M
- no ankle strap or binding (just not flatttering on anyone past the age of 28)
- high heels but walkable
Ok, so it's seems like a long list but really, I know it's not unreasonable.
Take a look at these beauties by a classic French designer, real snakeskin and at about a quarter of the original price. I put them in my online shopping cart as soon as I saw them.
They meet all the criteria. Until I tried them on as soon as the packaged arrived. They were beautiful all right. And the desired color, and stylish and well-priced (thanks to the deal) and age-appropriate and… no, the heels were not “walkable”. At least not for more than 90 seconds. Nor for someone my age who is on the eve of ringing in at mid-century.
The beautiful but treacherous heels clocked in at 5 inches NET
in height (with the hidden platform at the heel but none at the toe) all sitting on a quarter inch stiletto. I don't know if I could have even pulled that off when I was in my twenties!
I returned these beautiful sandals. Verdict: unwearable.
I don't have a beef against the designer of this particular sandal. I have a beef with shoe manufacturers in general.
Shoe companies, here's what this boomer woman wants to say to you:
- Though I have, just barely a year ago, left your target market sweet spot of 18-49, please know that I still very much enjoy looking stylish, contemporary and yes, believe it, even sexy. I do not plan on integrating a walker to my look any time soon.
- I still wear heels. No, not everyday to just go to the market and the like, but I wear them for business and social outings. I like them and I will probably be wearing heels until I'm in my grave (set reminder to add that in my will).
- I am still vibrant, active, stylish and I have not given up on my looks and personal style. Gimme another 40 years and I might get lazy.
- It's not just me: There are about 38 million women over the age of 50 in the U.S. alone right now. “Women age 50 and older control net worth of $19 trillion and own more than three-fourths of the nation’s financial wealth”. So there's that (See other great She-conomy-pro stats here). We got a lot of dollars for stuff like shoes.
- It's not that I don't want to wear high-high heels. It's that now, it bloody HURTS. Did you know that 50% of the fat padding on our feet has already disappeared by the time we reach 50?
- I want chic AND wearable shoes. And mostly painless (See? I'm willing to compromise too). I want the shoe pictured above with an inch less in height. I know. I might not meet your criteria for couture design, but you know what? You'll sell more shoes.
- There IS an in-between. My footwear options cannot be limited to PAIN vs GRANNY. I love Aerosoles and own a couple pairs. I wear them when walking endless hours on the concrete trade show floors. For going out to to dinner? Not so much.
C'mon. Do I have to design them myself? Because, you know, I will. Just not like this: