I’m sure that most of us have done this at one point or another. You leave the house in one pair of shoes, and change into a second pair when you reach your destination. I can think of three instances when this works quite well:

  1. Braving the elements: When it’s snowy, slushy or very wet, it’s a good idea to wear sensible shoes when you’re outside. For example, snow boots or rubber wellington boots in the treacherous outside conditions and ordinary shoes when you’re back indoors on safe ground.
  2. Commuting in Comfort: If you commute on foot, you can wear comfortable walking shoes during the commute but switch to prettier and dressier footwear once you reach your destination.
  3. Visiting in Style: Some households do not permit shoes indoors. If you’re uncomfortable wearing socks or walking barefoot in another person’s home, bring along a pair of slippers or house shoes to change into once you’re there.

The strategy definitely has drawbacks:

  • Sometimes the more practical footwear doesn’t look fabulous with what I’m wearing. Like when I wear snow-friendly Doc Martens with a business casual outfit that’s begging for dressy boots, or when I pair ballet flats with a frock that looks infinitely better with pumps.
  • Carrying an extra pair of shoes is cumbersome and storing them on the other side is not always possible.
  • Keeping the heel height of both pairs of footwear the same is a pain. Trousers that are hemmed for heels drag on the ground when wearing flats. Annoying!

All in all these are reasonable compromises, so I from time to time I do switch my footwear. I pull together the look as best as I can with the practical shoes, and keep the second pair of shoes in mind so that the transition is easy. I’m fine with making the temporary sacrifice in the spirit of safety, warmth and foot comfort.

Is this something you do? If so, do you have any additional tips to share?