the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Judging a Man by His Shoes


Statistics show that marriage makes a man healthier and happier (the statistics are not as rosy for women and marriage, sorry ladies).  One of most important things I learned from marriage is how to dress.  It all started in year one, when on a nice Sunday morning, I woke up to find that all of my old torn rock t-shirts suddenly disappeared and were replaced with Italian shirts from Nordstrom.   By year two, I had a couple of nice suits and I owned "slacks."  Sophia always dressed beautifully and I had to step up to the plate.

Now that we’re not living together, I’ve returned to my single male sartorial style  — which is dressing crappy.  Yesterday, Sophia and I went out with a couple of friends to a new trendy over-priced pretentious restaurant.  She took one look at my tattered sneakers.

"You’re too old to be wearing dirty Keds."


"You need to buy yourself some decent shoes."

"I have shoes."

"Attractive shoes, not beaten up ones.  And not children’s sneakers"

Sophia, like many fashionable women, is really into shoes.  I’ve never cared what shoes a woman wears.  In fact, I usually think that when a woman wears sexy high heels, she tends to walk clumsily and look uncomfortable.

"Neil, if you really want to start dating again, as you’ve  been claiming for the last year, you should know that a woman always looks at a man’s shoes. "

"You took me wearing crappy shoes."

"Some women are naive…"

Huh?  My shoes?  Women, is that true? 

Men, am I the only one who didn’t get the notice in the mail?  What nice shoes do you wear?  Do you know of any comfortable shoes that make a woman’s heart go aflutter?


  1. Hilary

    It’s true Neil. I always check out a guy’s shoes when I’m on a date.

  2. Neil

    No wonder I could never get a date in my twenties. It wasn’t me. It was my shoes.

  3. Richard

    Neil: Is this perhaps the kind of comfy-casual yet expensive looking shoe you’re looking for?

  4. Neil

    Let’s ask Sophia & Hilary.

  5. Sophia

    Much better than children’s sneakers, but still sort of

  6. Neil

    Sophia, I’m assuming these are bad for a first date…?

  7. Hilary

    (Re: Richard’s shoes) I think my dad wore those in the 80s. Sans socks.

  8. Jack

    Women and shoes. oy.

  9. maribeth

    It’s true — good shoes are *definitely* important.

    Skip the doofy Clark’s docksiders and go for Eccos if you demand the comfort of a sneaker with the facade of a dress shoe.

  10. Neil

    Thanks, Maribeth. Ecco it is! I think I like this one. Ladies, would this pass your shoe test?

  11. Neville Medhora

    Buy a nice pair from Nordstrom. They have no return policy, so ten years from now you can return them for cash or a new pair!

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