I am very fortunate in that I am able to wear casual shoes to work. I understand that last summer there were moves afoot (pun fully intended) to ban the wearing of certain shoes at work, such as flip-flops. Well, perhaps there was a summer last year, but as I write in early September, I can hear the rain pounding outside and it feels like anything but summer. This won’t stop me wearing my flip-flops, though. I actually find them ideal in the rain since your feet get wet, but there are no saturated socks to worry about; nor are you concerned about rain damage on the actual shoe as you can be with more substantial shoes. The rain hits mainly your foot, the sole tends to be rubber and very little damage can occur. Besides, flip-flops tend to be cheap and cheerful and easily replaceable once broken.
I do, however, have full understanding as to why these types of shoe might not be considered suitable for work and after my aunty fell and broke her ankle, (no alcohol had been embibed) wearing such footgear, I was told by a nurse that flip-flops account for a large number of falls. Along with slippers, which I would never suggest anyone wears to work, though, frankly in terms of style they’re not much worse than those dreadful slip-on mule things.
It’s in the dead of winter I struggle, though. Flip-flops are great to team with dresses, skirts, posh blouses and the like and you can still look well presented and well turned out. I manage to keep them on my feet from April to November, without looking (particularly) daft around the workplace. December to March is not an option, though. It is now that I would benefit by wearing walking or hiking shoes, but these look impossibly silly with a frock, or even with posh trousers. (Yes, I tried…) The kind of garb that suits this footwear is too casual and utilitarian to look appropriate in the lecture hall or office. If they looked ok with more formal clothes, I would certainly wear them to work because I love my hiking shoes and next to the flip-flop, they are my favourite footwear for functionality, comfort and just being plain wearable.
Normal work shoes, such as court shoes, Mary Janes, wedge heels and the like (obviously I’m referring to ladies’ options here – and doubtless male choices like brogues and Chelsea boots are adequately comfortable) just don’t do your feet any favours when worn for long periods. In fact I’ve come across more appealing instruments of torture than the average pointy toed, 5 inch heel worn by so many women at work.
Over the winter months, when denied both my flip-flops and my hiking shoes at work, my only recourse is to live in my Brasher hiking shoes at the weekends…..or perhaps I could change my job…