I ordered some new shoes this week. I have short, wide, and tall feet that are hard to fit. I used to dread going shoe shopping because out of every ten pairs that were supposed to be my size maybe one pair would fit me. Then, years ago, I found these Northfield Oxford shoes. They fit great and I have been buying them ever since. They are about a hundred dollars a pair plus I have to get insoles for then since they don’t have enough padding for me. So cheap they’re not.

But this little piece of writing isn’t about my shoes. My shoes just got me thinking about shoes in general. One observation, that has been made numerous times, is that women like shoes a lot more than men do. Cue all the shoe shopping references from “Sex and the City”.

A second observation is that a bunch of guy I used to work with were concerned with how a woman’s feet (and shoes) looked. They were by no means foot fetishists but a woman had to have pretty feet for these guys to be interested in her. This was foreign to me.

I’d also like to point out that these guys were ten to fifteen years younger than me. I mention this because none of my friends, who are my age (40-ish), have ever mentioned anything about a woman’s feet in any of our “guys sitting around talking about chicks” discussions. I mean never. And women are a common topic among men.

This brings me too the thought I had about a woman’s footwear and its relationship to the world. I think women’s feet and shoes have become a form of sexual expression. They always were to some extent but now it’s mainstream. It’s linked to women in the workplace.

With men and women working together all the time the subject of what is appropriate and what is not always comes up. In our society men are usually the aggressors and women usually are the ones who dress sexy to get a man’s attention. But that dynamic doesn’t always work in the office. A man can get into trouble for being too forward with a woman and a woman can get in trouble for dressing too sexy. These are the pitfalls of the modern office.

I think that the interest in the sexiness of women’s feet and shoes has grown up to compensate for this. If a bunch of guys are overheard talking about a woman’s tit’s or ass at work then there is a chance that they could get into some real trouble. If they talk about a women’s sexy shoes there is almost no chance of a reprimand. It’s not a hot button.

Women also have almost no chance of getting in trouble from their shoes. A woman could wear a top that is too low cut or a skirt that is too tight and be told to dress more appropriately but no one will ever mention her shoes. She could come to work in five inch spiked stripper heels and as long as she is wearing a conservative grey suit she won’t get into trouble.

So there is my though about shoes for the week. Not that women haven’t always used shoes to express their sexuality but because of the rules of the work place shoes and feet have taken on a new life as a safe and mainstream expression of sexuality.

I just never know where my thoughts are going to take me.