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Why Slip-On dress shoes are always better

March 25, 2011

While I’m aware that this issue is not gender-bound, this post is mostly for the guys.

1.  Shoelaces have no aesthetic appeal

Let’s just cut right to the chase here:  Shoelaces are a purely functional creation.  They allow for more flexibility in the size of the shoe to allow for more comfort or tighter hold.  However, this is somewhat a moot point because the only reason somebody would need this flexibility is if they couldn’t find a properly-fitting shoe in the first place.  Unless you’re so apathetic in your shopping that you buy the first pair that fits, you should be able to find dress shoes that are both comfortable and fit snugly without the need for extra flexibility (unless, of course, you’re young enough that your feet are still growing–in which case it is perfectly acceptable so as to get the most out of your shoes).

But let’s look at an example and judge for aesthetics:

Now, these are perfectly acceptable looking shoes when you talk about the basics.  There is a little shine to them, but not too much, they’re not overly-flashy, and they should be OK to go with most black pants.  Then there are the laces.  Now aside from the fact that the laces are brown on black, how ridiculously goofy do they look?    The big loops and the loose-hanging strands.  Imagine these shoes without the laces and they instantly become classier and more fashionable.

2.  Shoelaces can reduce a shoe’s lifespan

While this shouldn’t be a problem with well-made shoes, sometimes you’re in a pinch financially and you just need to buy a cheaper dress shoe.  No complaints there, we’ve all been in that situation.  However, when you have a cheaper shoe, the friction of the laces being pulled against their eyelets (as they’re apparently called) can often wear down those holes so that they become too big and, as a result, less functional.

3.  Shoelaces are annoying to tie

While you may not be as lazy as me (which, to be fair, is a pretty tough accomplishment), I’m sure that at some point, while tying your shoes, you’ve probably thought to yourself, “Man, this is stupid.”  I’m also sure that many of you, having figured out just how stupid it is, decided just to forgo tying your shoes altogether and just tried to “slip them on.”  Unfortunately, you probably also realized how quickly this can ruin the backs of your shoes.  While this may not be a huge problem with sneakers, it can look pretty bad on dress shoes.  This is a huge issue in Asia, because you’re constantly taking your shoes on and off when entering somebody’s apartment/house or (sometimes) office.  I’ve seen some pretty beat-up looking shoes around here because nobody wants to take the time to tie and untie their shoes, but sometimes you need to wear something just a bit more formal than flip-flops.

4.  Being able to slip off your shoes at work is awesome

Now, of course, there are a few caveats to this point.  If you have people who work closely around you, if you have unusually stinky feet, if you wear mismatching/ugly/worn-out socks–DO NOT DO THIS!  Reactions will range from outright horror to becoming a social outcast and the butt of many jokes.  However, let’s assume that you have at least a private cubicle and that your feet are of average stinkyness.  If that’s the case, then after a long day of standing (as a teacher, this is very applicable), it can feel great to “let loose the dogs” for a little bit.

To be fair, if you’ve done your research and you’ve found a really comfortable pair of shoes, this may not even be necessary–but even the most comfortable dress shoes can make your feet desire a bit of freedom every now and then.  As a result, it’s much more convenient to have slip-on shoes rather than ones that require to to tie and untie them every time you want to get up and run to the copier.

5.  Shoelaces come untied

I’m sure that this piece of art has a profound meaning behind it, but I’m going to use it to point out that people look ridiculous when they’re tying their shoes–even moreso when it’s in an office setting.  It’s belittling and puts you in an awkward position around people whose respect you’d like to garner.  Maybe it’s not a huge issue, and people will probably forget about it quickly, but it’s one of those small things that adds up in the long-run.  While dress shoes have short laces in order to minimize the occurrence of this embarrassment, it still happens often enough (and since the shoelaces are shorter, it becomes more difficult to double-knot them [let’s not even get started on how ridiculous the double-knot looks]).


So, on the con side: while wearing dress shoes that you have to tie, your shoes lose aesthetic class in favor of an unnecessary function, you run the risk of your shoes wearing out more quickly, you have to tie and untie them every time you put them on or take them off, it’s less practical to remove your shoes when you want to let your feet breathe, and they can come untied leading to embarrassing situations.  On the plus side, you can… break up the color with some horizontal lines?  You don’t want to draw that much attention to your dress shoes.  Leave the flash for more casual-wear.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Val permalink
    March 26, 2011 2:55 am

    Speaking as a woman, strappy heels are a pain. (sure the straps more pleasant to view than laces) There comes a point in the night where you have to take them off because, believe it or not they become painful to wear. Slip on heels are much more comfortable.

    • atrainv permalink*
      March 26, 2011 9:48 am

      Yeah, I assumed women faced the same issue, I just couldn’t speak from experience. However, I think you bring up a good point that with strappy shoes you have a discomfort level that you have to take into consideration rather than just aesthetics or utility.

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