How much does comfort matter to your daily dress? We ask the question based on a December 2021 piece published online by the Connecticut Post. The article got us to thinking about professional men and their dress shoes. We realized that, while dress shoes do not have to be uncomfortable, they often are. That is unfortunate.
The Post's Juan Negroni was inspired to write the piece after a recent trip had him spending time hanging around the airport. Negroni noticed just how many people were wearing 'comfort' shoes rather than dress shoes. He apparently came to the realization that more and more people are making clothing choices based on what's comfortable rather than what is stylish.
Incidentally, even a good pair of comfort shoes demand's minimal protection in inclement weather. Indeed, you don't have to be wearing a pair of expensive Italian dress shoes to enjoy the benefits and protection of our waterproof shoe covers for men. Our shoe covers are not just silicone rubber overshoes. They are state-of-the-art covers that protect your feet and footwear against rain, snow, road salt, and more.
The Post-Pandemic Life
In his piece, Negroni muses over the possibility that the COVID pandemic has influenced how people shop for clothing. It is hard to argue his point. People stuck at home for weeks on end were determined to be comfortable. In terms of work, they only had to look nice during video calls. And even at that, they only had to look nice from the waist up.
Why wear a pair of uncomfortable dress shoes at home when it's not necessary? Why not invest in a good pair of comfort shoes you have no trouble spending the day in? The boss isn't going to see your feet on a Zoom call – unless you are completely unskilled with computers and webcams.
Negroni might be right to a certain degree. But even before coronavirus was a thing, consumers began embracing the trend of comfort over formality. So perhaps the pandemic didn't cause the shift. Maybe it merely accelerated it.
The Dress Shoe Conundrum
A lack of formality notwithstanding, it is curious to consider what might easily be referred to as a 'dress shoe conundrum'. That conundrum is as follows: dress shoes are the best-looking shoes for most formal occasions, yet they also happen to be some of the most uncomfortable shoes on the market. Why is that?
There may be no answer to the question. But if there is one, perhaps it is rooted in a difference between work and play. Negroni refers to comfort shoes as "sneakers on steroids" in the headline of his article. He then goes on to explain what he means, at least to some degree.
Let's face it, sneakers have been associated with leisure for as long as anyone can remember. They are supposed to be comfortable for that very reason. After all, trying to play tennis or basketball would be a very uncomfortable exercise in wingtips or pumps.
So maybe it's a case of association. We associate comfortable shoes with leisure, thereby making them inappropriate for a professional setting. That which is considered formal doesn't have to be uncomfortable because work is work. As strange as it sounds, that may be the deep, hidden psyche behind uncomfortable dress shoes.
Dress shoes don't have to be uncomfortable, but perhaps yours are. Still, make a point of protecting them with waterproof overshoes. The investment you made in your shoes is also an investment in your professional image. Do what you can to protect that image. And when you're not working, enjoy those comfort shoes.