It’s All About the Shoes


Women’s tango shoes are so much more than podiatry adornments. They are our equipment, so to speak, and can make the difference between comfort and torture and elegance and elephance. Their structural design makes it possible to wear them for hours,  even those with mini-stilt heels.

The pleasures of shopping for gorgeous footwear makes schlepping for other kinds an exercise in ho-hummery. The first thing many of us do when we arrive at a festival is go directly to the shoe vendors and bathe our eyes in the lavish kaleidoscopic splendor. We’d love to say, “I’ll have a pair of each in my size.” And even if we purchase one or several pair, we’ll return repeatedly to make sure we haven’t missed an even more perfect pair, or possibly discover additional beauties the vendor may have added since our last visit.

Besides being shaped to distribute our weight correctly and help us maintain balance, they enhance the lines of our legs, ankles and arches. [Rumor has it a certain gender considers these features mildly interesting.]

Some shoes seem to have been made to be worn with certain attire. For example, I have a vibrant purple satin blouse and a pair of stunning purple shoes with matching ribbon to wrap around my ankles.  [See photo.]

Sometimes shoes become part of a rather complex decision making process. A new pair requires taking an inventory of our wardrobe, including scarves, earrings, etc. for possible accessorizing, and holding one or both of a pair near closet residents as we observe and analyze potential pairings.

It can take considerable time making, un-making, re-making decisions to achieve just the right combination and effect.  We might dress from the floor up, following the color scheme of our  footwear; or we might dress from the top down, starting with earrings to match our lower layer. Or from the center and progress either way or both up and down.

Whether we spend $20 or $200, each pair is selected carefully and for a specific reason. Often we remember who we danced with and in which shoes. If the tanda was magical, we might recall which music was playing, and even perhaps what steps were led.

When leaving home for a milonga, there is still  a chance something will trigger the necessity for one last decision revision. And, of course, a pair of comfy relief hitters reside in our car and/or dance bag.

Men’s shoes: Mostly black. Worn till they disintegrate.




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