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Life lessons, conferences and singing feet

Life holds many seemingly obvious lessons, but regardless of how many times well-meaning folk point them out it seems we all have to make our own mistakes. Things like not putting eggs in the microwave, not ironing a v-neck with the front facing down and, crucially, not wearing high heels to a conference.

I’m not what you’d describe as a corporate dresser. Even at the ripe old age of *mumbles*, I’m still more of an ‘eclectic’ dresser. This is fine with me, but there are times that I feel the pressure to look the part. This weekend was the typical case in point – an international conference in Vienna for a client, and as I’d be representing them I felt the need to dress up, so I went shopping.

Bagging a few simple staples I felt confident that I could carry off semi-professional looking until I thought about the shoes. I needed something that looked grown-up. This probably meant not wearing my Converse. And then I saw a pair of neutral platform wedges in Gap, and my brain processed ‘wedges’ as ‘comfortable and ideal for running around in for three days’. So I cobbled together the rest of my cash and bought them. (see exhibit A)

I spent the day in them pre-show, wearing them to the airport, narrowly missing throwing myself down an escalator as I teetered around growing increasingly concerned about my shoe-buying decision. I made it to the bureau de change to get my Euros before collapsing into a café sofa desperate for some respite and a foot massage.

In a moment of clarity I popped into JD sports and bought a pair of very flat, very soft ‘flight shoes’ (see exhibit B) and at only £12.50 they were considerably cheaper than the blocks of wood that were currently swaddling my feet.

I spent the first day at the show wearing the platforms, looking very tall and corporate and barely able to walk.

By the second day, I had swollen feet and blisters. There was no other option but to wear the canvas flats. If feet could sing mine would have been headlining the Viennese opera that night.

On the third day I made an executive decision. The platforms were going back in my suitcase. I had work to do and needed the right shoes for the job. Pulling on my trusty converse (Exhibit C) I heard a million voices advising that conference shoes MUST be comfy and I nodded in vociferous agreement.

So if you’re headed for a conference, take my advice. Budget for a variety of footwear but dress for comfort, take your slippers for emergencies, and consider packing a scooter just in case things get desperate. Oh yes, and don’t eat the hot dogs, but that’s another story…
 

Wednesday, 7th March 2012

Tags:   shopping  /  shoes  /  conferences  /  sore feet  /  converse  /  gap  /  JD sports  /  Vienna
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