To My Favorite Pair of Shoes on the Eve of Their Demise

Every pair of shoes is thrilling, if only for a moment. Some are meant to complete an outfit, some my wardrobe, others maybe even my life, to catapult me to new sartorial heights. Maybe I wear them - if they're flat and sensible and plain, it's likely that I do. Maybe they take up near permanent residence on my closet floor, too cute to toss, too high (or too colorful, or too likely to rub blisters on my heels) to actually wear most of the time.

There were shoes that I liked, but you were the shoes that I loved. The shoes that went with everything, that made me feel cool, that with years of wear fit the grooves of my toes and the curve of my arch like they'd been made for me. You were dirty and scuffed and, let's face it, beat all to hell, but you held me up and kept me going and had people saying "wow, those are great!" even when the rest of me was sad and boring. Time and wear might have left you a little banged up around the edges, but that didn't diminish your beauty or utility, anymore, I hope, than it will diminish mine.

You struck the perfect balance between classic and edgy, masculine and feminine. I wore you with shorts and skirts in the summer, tights and pants in the winter. You went to concerts and weddings, traveled at least three different countries with me. We must have taken a million steps together; no, more, 10 million, or a hundred. It took a little while for us to get to know each other, for your leather to soften, for my feet to toughen up, but soon it became clear that we were a match made in heaven.

I feel like I could have kept wearing you forever, even as your laces broke, your leather cracked, your stitching came unstitched. But at a certain point, I kind of owed it to you to let you go. You were tired, literally worn out, and it seemed a shame to keep dragging you out of the closet, parading you around in front of people when we both knew you ready to give up the ghost.

So really, I just want to say thank you! Thank you for being there with me for so many adventures. Thank you for supporting me, protecting me, making me feel good about myself. You may not have had feelings, but you definitely had soul (or, you know, sole). I don't think I'll ever have another pair quite like you.