They’re made of leather, plastic, canvas, wood, polymers and rubber.

They have a heel, a sole, a tongue and an upper.

Some have steel toe caps to protect those whose jobs require it.

Some slip on and others need to be tied on with laces.

Some are made for evenings out and some are made to take you to far off places.

Some are made for biking and hiking and some for ballet and sports.

All sorts of different types exist, some suitable for wearing with long pants and some worn only with shorts or skirts.

When some are put on they feel comfortable from day one whereas others never really fit and always seem to hurt.

Some of us pretend our feet are smaller than they are and we try on sizes that we know won’t fit.

We try to convince ourselves that they will stretch with wear, but then we think of the pain barrier we’ll have to pass through in getting there and we finally decide such a journey’s not worth it.

Some of us take care of them, polishing and cleaning them after every time on, but others fail to do so and as a consequence they don’t last very long.

One pair will last for years if they are cleaned, polished, re-heeled and resoled.

As will the owner if he maintains his health as he grows old.

Taking care of the things that are important in our lives, whether that be our wives and children or just ourselves helps to keep us alive.

This includes what we put on to walk around in as they have also been afforded the right to survive.


A poem by Stephen Austwick.