Paul Simon sang about shoes that had diamonds on the soles. “Well that’s one way to lose / These walking blues / Diamonds on the soles of your shoes.” Paul might have been figuratively speaking, but even so, people often talk about the significance of shoes: what one chooses to wear on one’s feet is thought to be rather revealing of character.

“Even today, you can still tell a gentleman by his shoes,” says Jemima Lewis on The Telegraph. This is despite the fact that pretty much everyone these days “regardless of class or creed” wears dirty trainers, says Lewis. She provides a few interesting examples to illustrate the point: Silvio Berlusconi posing in his office in 1977 in shiny, high-heeled boots (I repeat, the 70s), and Michael Bloomberg in loafers. Berlusconi on the one hand, judged according to his heeled boots (“Everything you need to know about the future Italian PM…is right there on his feet,” says Lewis) and Bloomberg, the eighth richest man in America at the time the article was written, noted to be wearing ‘unassuming’ black slip-ons.

Shoes might not mean a thing to some people, but to others they mean a lot, both in terms of style and comfort. Depending on the shoe in question, they might even hazard a chance at getting rid of any walking blues, perhaps even more so if we look to the future of shoes.

Nike has announced that it will be releasing ‘Back to the Future’ shoes in 2016, “turning fiction into fact” by recreating the self-lacing high-top trainers that Marty McFly wore in the 1989 movie Back to the Future Part II. These shoes of the future seem, well, futuristic, and for that reason, slightly implausible in terms of replacing our current foot attire. There’s room in the wardrobe, but I don’t think the classics are going anywhere anytime soon. Brogues, oxfords, loafers…even classic Converse Chuck Taylors are practically primary colors in any shoe lovers collection. They’ve achieved this status through their craftsmanship and the brands that stand behind them; they understand that shoes mean a lot more than simply what people choose to wear on their feet.

And I wear hand made (by Vogal Boots in NYC….who’ve been handcrafting boots since 1879), black leather retro Chelsea boots (aka Beatle’s boots) from the 60s…every day.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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