Why and How to Step up Your Shoe Game

By Matt Dawson
old shoes

Photo by Max Nelson

This article goes out to the Catholic guy that we all know, who has a deep passion for his faith, a steady career, a heart of gold, and one super-comfy pair of grass-stained Asics that he wears everywhere. Gentlemen, if you are taking your call to the vocation of marriage seriously, then I recommend that you invest some time into your shoe situation. 

In the midst of the larger discussions of vocation and the sacrament of matrimony, strong shoe game gets lost. Catholics can be fixated on pivotal, but lofty, ideas like chastity, modesty, chivalry, marriage, and children. This focus makes a lot of sense in the big picture; however, it’s all going to be irrelevant if a man can’t get a date because he has never asked himself one simple question: “WHAT ARE THOOOOOSE!!!??? What ARE those?!”

We, the traditional Catholic men, need a lot of help in our shoe life. Some of us actually take pride in our lack of shoes and view it as a mark of a life of poverty.  We can also believe that our ugly shoes show a masculine disregard for fashion, and women will like that. Some of the best of us were homeschooled, so we’re getting a late start on the concept of being seen in public. Another hallmark of the Catholic upbringing is the large family, with all of its “hand-me-downs,” which conditioned us from a very early age to have utter disregard for our kicks. Last but not least, think how many of us often come from families where money wasn’t easy to come by, and the shoe budget suffered tremendously.

These are all good excuses for terrible shoes, but fellas, the ladies of the Catholic dating world deserve better. They should not need to compromise in this area, which, judging from my conversations with them, seems to be a more important area than some of us might guess.

So get to work on building up a solid stable of shoes to look your best in a variety of scenarios. Sometimes when I hear that I should get nice shoes, my mind goes right to “dress shoes,” like for a job interview and church. Those are great to have, but to give yourself the best chance, have shoes that are going to go to bat for you in every situation; the ones you wear to work every day might be different from what you’ll need when meeting for a casual drink, and also probably different from what you’d wear taking a romantic stroll. 

And how do you know what’s a good shoe for a particular situation? You just need to start paying attention. It’s not rocket science. Start by signing up for emails from a shoe store, and see what they’re trying to sell. Find role models – be it in the real world or pop-culture – and try to loosely pattern after their look.

And to all the sisters, mothers, and aunts, who are concerned for the aging bachelor in their family, please intervene. The Saint Anne novena can work wonders, but imagine if that novena were paired with a substantial DSW gift card this Christmas.