Sunday, November 29, 2009

Office survival guide: footwear

It is important to balance the conflicting needs to look professional and be comfortable. Often these are mutually exclusive goals; the point of professional clothing is to be constraining and uncomfortable. Dress shoes and sport coats are conspicuous consumption. One cannot wear these clothes and build a house or spot weld on an assembly line. The only thing you can physically do is push papers around. But I like to push the envelope of comfort.

If you work in a more casual office you can get away with wearing shoes that aren't made of leather and don't have hard heels. My choice is Vans Camacho. Skate shoes? Surely you jest?

I kid you not. I haven't found athletic shoes that are as non-descript and all black as these. They are comfortable and I can easily pass as professional wearing these. And I can run in these shoes. They have soft heels so my feet and ankles don't hurt from wearing them. And because they are generously padded and not leather, I don't have a sweat problem with them either.

These shoes regularly go out of production and then come back in a few months later, so if you can't find them be patient. I almost bought a pair of Sketchers instead, but that is another story.

If you can find some inexpensive shoes that look like dress shoes but feel like athletic shoes, let me know. I'm not married to skate shoes.

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