smittie - what amazing insights!! Kudos to you!! I have shown dogs in the past and this also requires specialized footwear for mud and outdoor shows. Although I too dislike the majority of hiking boots (who thinks we want neon multicolored ones?) if you can find black leather unembellished ones they are fantastic. The keen glarus are amazing but discontinued. Keen makes the revel III which is waterproof which is my back up pair. You should check out ariat. My favorite boots for the past 2 yrs the ariat extreme insulated waterproof. They are super refined out and so comfortable. The ariat heritage lacers are not not insulated with gortex but hold up well. ariat has a number of waterproof boots since they are meant for paddock boots and are very elegant on. Also Uggs makes their cecile, no support but hardy and more refined than a hiking boot with a decent tread. But I strongly urge you to try on full black leather hiking boots with no embellishment if you can find them. I actually adore they rate quality with very refined outfits, it's fun. But regular mesh/color do leave me cold. I don't sneakers either except for actual sport, they aren't waterproof they make no sense to me although they seem to be the forum choice. I'd pick a leather waterproof boot over them any day for function and appearance!!

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Ah, Suz, you've nailed it so well about rural/urban views on footwear. I remember realizing this as a Montrealer having lived in Tokyo and suddenly landing in a small town in BC. One key factor: transportation. When you live in a small town as opposed to a big city, suddenly when you walk out the door there is a new consideration that didn't used to be there: What transportation am I using to go where I'm going? And By foot is rarely what you reply (whereas it answers the question about 80% of the time or more when you live in the downtown area of a big city).

I got these Italian made leather tennis shoes, and they are by far the most comfortable. http://www.shoesthatfitme.com/.....+%7C+11830
I also got a cute pair of bright orange Ecco (faux-suede like fabric, not leather) and they are not nearly as comfortable, in fact they created blisters. http://www.mayrhofer.co.at/ecc.....-7717.html

@molly Mac: I know I can’t have one shoe to do it all! I do have some rainboots and I run around in flip flops a lot in the summer. Would like something more polished. Toms are a good idea. Must think on that.

@greyscale: yes, I had some idea I’d like to try some adidas or pumas. Some sort of slim-line sneaker. In a dark colour.

@gryffin: I’ll check out the ariat and keen. Have avoided looking at keens but my daughter has some simple winter boots from them that are rather nice.

@krish: I live in a walking neighbourhood so do a lot on foot (or bike) like groceries, library runs, some clothes shopping, coffee shops, beach. I drive into work though. I do like multipurpose shoes. Like for example, I will bike to the beach and on the way back, will stop in at the vegetable market where people are fairly well-dressed. So I kind of don’t want to be all geared up in that situation (although it’s not that bad).

I fee pretty strongly about snow boots, and wanting boots that will work on sidewalks but still look “towny” and somewhat sophisticated.

Then you're back to a fun regular sneaker, Smittie. I wear these in white all Summer long when I walk with Sam.

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Hi Christina F. I think you're absolutely right about men being shoe minimalists... but they can GET AWAY WITH IT.

Men just generally don't need as many shoes. For my hub, it's brown and black dress shoes, 2 pair sneakers (running and casual), slippers, boat shoes, 1 pair flip flops, work boots. So that's like no more than 10 pairs total.

It's hard for females to have so few, especially if you go into an office daily. We need heels, flats, boots, sandals, slippers, sneakers in dress and casual varieties. Rarely could we get away with only brown and black colors the way most men seem to do.

I love shoes, but I admit my collection has been getting out of hand. Plus, I no longer need so many heels and dress shoes, though I hate to get rid of them as good ones are expensive (and you need something for interviews and funerals and weddings). I just wish sometimes there was more of a do-it-all shoe for women or a magic convertible shoe.

Returning to what LisaP said, but with a twist. Many running shoes come in a water proof gortex lined model. I have one pair that I reserve for those slushy wet runs when I really don’t want wet feet. They have lasted several years. I also use them for mud slogging on hikes after it’s been raining, and for gardening, etc.