In which there are shoes – and “works”

by Craig on May 27, 2011



For the most part we men don’t understand shoes. We wear them, but we don’t “get” them. And I have an analogy to make – so I did research.

63% of men own 10 pairs of shoes or less. 82% of women on the other hand, own 11 pairs of shoes or more.

A little more research revealed this:
•    U.S. women on average own 27 pairs of shoes, wear only four pairs regularly, and on average wear a quarter of their shoes only once.
•    43 percent of women have been at least moderately injured by squeezing into new slingbacks or stilettos.
•    13 percent of women hide shoe purchases from their partner.

But this still didn’t tell me what the deal is about shoes. So I consulted an expert, a self confessed “shoe diva” and got better educated.

“There are basically only a few rules for shoes.

Can you walk in them?

Dance in them?

Will there be grass at the event…

if so, stilettos are out.


Choosing your shoes is an integral part of a woman’s day. You have to take into account every type of terrain you will encounter in the next 12 hours, especially as few of us have the luxury of changing during the day.

When I was teaching, I would have to think carefully about which shoes would best suit the day’s demands. Four classes in a row – ballet pumps were a must. An easy day with little need for walking – heels that were bearable for at least 90-minutes-of-teaching on your feet.

However, it doesn’t stop there.

If you are teaching teenagers, you also need to ponder the current fashions at that time. If wedges are in and you are still wearing two year old square heels,

you instantly lose credibility.

Considering there are five to six working days in a week, you need at least eighteen pairs of shoes for these situations. The count begins.

Social situations can often be the minefield of every self-respecting shoe diva. You are having dinner with friends so a pair of equally glam heels are a definite must. But…can you dance in your heels?

If not, there is a crisis on hand.

Your choices are either to go home (feigning extreme tiredness on account of the fact that you went shopping today) or suffer through the night, get blisters and have to spend the next week in flip flops. The easiest way to avert this crisis is to wear shoes that can handle dinner out, dancing and still be glamorous.

Shoe count – eighteen pairs (at the very least) for work, five to ten for dinners only, five to ten for dancing. We are already looking at forty pairs which are ABSOLUTELY necessary.

The changing world of fashion must also be accounted for. A true shoe diva must be ready for anything. You need to have:

wedge heels,

round toe,


kitten heels,


flip flops,

embellished flats,

sports shoes.

Taking this into account and the requirements of at least two pairs per style and you are already looking at approximately fifty to sixty pairs of shoes.

I haven’t even touched on the world of boots…”


So now I understand – a little.

Clearly there are more types of shoes than one. I get that a little better now. James writes of one kind of “works”, Paul writes of at least two.

Everybody walks around thinking that “works” are one size fits all…

but nope…

“works” are like shoes.

And I guess that’s where I can pick up next time…

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy Holman May 27, 2011 at 10:33 am

Wow! I’m impressed! For a man to go to all this trouble means that you are really interested in getting inside the female head – most men can’t be bothered with this. Most women think like you described above – however I am not most women and am actually pretty practical. When I was much younger I had to have the latest style even though it hurt my feet – Style for Comfort, after all. But now that I’m not that young anymore it really doesn’t matter – I like to be comfortable. I probably have 10 pairs while my husband has 3 – but 3 of those are flip flops – 2 are boots and the rest flats or very low heel :)


Craig May 27, 2011 at 4:24 pm

before writing this Cindy, I had no idea what she kitty heels were, or slingbacks for that matter:-)

I imagine anyone who is or has been a mom has simplified her shoe wardrobe, still – and you could tell me better than I could guess, but I’m guessing that as a man pines for box seat football or baseball tickets a woman pines for a new pair of shoes. But I’m just guessing. When I looked for an analogy of the different kinds of “works” found in the Bible – shoes came to mind first – I read a lot of blogs written by women :-) women write theology – and don’t tell any man I said this – women write theology better than men – it’s theology with heart. I heart heart! God bless you Cindy – and thank you again.


Debbie May 27, 2011 at 5:51 pm

So funny . . .love where this is going! Kind of embarrassed . . .I don’t have many shoes and none of them are the right ones to wear with what clothes I have. haha! I have one pair of sandals for warm weather and one pair of shoes for in between and and one pair of boots. I need help. Waiting for your next post. :)


Craig May 28, 2011 at 8:05 am

what’s funny is that when I wrote this I thought of you, and Cora, and others like you, and knew that I was going to get a, “but that’s not my life” response. And now I have. :-) I’m a little torn between just writing next for everyone to look at the “works”verses in Paul’s writing – you know – with just a concordance. It’s pretty easy to tell with the context which kind of “law” or “works”he’s writing about – you’re going through them myself worrying that people will get bored with the whole works/ grace thing. still mulling… Feel free to throw in some input if you feel so led. :-) God bless you Debbie.


Cora May 27, 2011 at 7:35 pm

I just laughed my way through your post, Craig, because I am one woman who is soooooo far removed from this that it isn’t even funny. I am shoe conscious. Always have been — even as a kid. But now, since I’m tall, and Dutch, I wear a size 12. And even those don’t fit right. And I NEVER want to appear taller. So my closet floor is pretty empty. Crocs are my favorites right now, and I wear them everywhere. I’ll take the game tickets. But I DO understand the shoe thing. And I can’t wait to read where this is all going!!!


Craig May 28, 2011 at 8:08 am

Cora, it was a “giggle-y” kind of post – so I’m glad you smiled when you read. It’s just that “works” is not the one-size-fits-all that so many people think it is – and we all need to stretch our thinking to wrap around the Bible instead of stretching it to wrap around our thoughts. No? Thank you Cora, most of the comedy of the subject is now gone :-) God bless you.


Debra May 28, 2011 at 8:03 pm

All God’s chillun got shoes! All kinds o’ shoes!
But you forgot the Birkenstock clogs and the Danskos…
I go for comfort in my walk with Jesus:)


Craig May 29, 2011 at 10:57 am

All God’s chillun got shoes! All kinds o’ shoes! – so funny – made me smile. And I didn’t forget Birkenstock clogs, or Danskos– I researched a little to look like I might possibly know what I was writing about in the metaphor – but I’m a shoe dunce – a shoe illiterate. I can imagine that you have some pretties in your closet – to go along with your comfort shoes. But I’m like you, I too go for comfort in my walk with our Lord. God bless you Debra.


Michelle May 30, 2011 at 4:30 am

Now you have me thinking about my shoes – hmm 2pr boots (wear one regularly, it’s coming into winter here), one pr runners (get lots of wear out of them)………about 4 pair I wear regularly in winter, and three pair I wear in summer……and shoes that I wonder why they are in my wardrobe! Comfort – that’s the big decider with arthritis in the joint below my big toe. Must be able to walk in them 😉

I think I like where you’re going with this, and now I’m going to go get rid of some shoes!


Craig June 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Michelle, I am behind on replying to some comments here and – and I kind of don’t want to miss one of yours. And your big toe – ouch – the pain that women go through for fashion – ouch – and for babies – not sure men could do either. The shoe analogy was only for one day and I’ve now embarked upon a different course with grace/works thing. Thank you as always for reading, and God bless and keep you.


Melissa May 30, 2011 at 6:02 pm

I would have said that I own only about five pairs of shoes … until I recently found at least a dozen old pairs in my closet. None of them fit me (they’re pre-baby, which makes them 14+ years old), so I ought to just give them (except for my wedding shoes) away.

I like where you’re going with this, even though some of those shoes look pretty painful to wear! Maybe that’s part of the, um, point. :)


Craig June 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Melissa, first of all I apologize for being so long in replying to your comment. Business and a little bit of sick, and – well – I’m just sorry. I learned about shoes writing this post – I’m afraid I only learned enough to let the analogy go through just this one day. I’m still a guy at heart. But the big thing being – there are definitely more than one kind of “works”. I have decided to really dig into this and so I’m branching off from the letter of James to see it in the context of the entire New Testament – to see if he has to stand alone with his infamous faith without works is dead verse. Thank you for reading, thank you – and God bless and keep you.


A. June 2, 2011 at 12:59 am

I am not a shoe person, per say, but have a few pairs, yet will just weigh in with Crocs rock. like to go barefoot as much as I can, even in quick bursts in the snow to put out or bring in the trash cans, etc., and bare feet are so affordable and last a long time. :)


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