I am a penny pincher when it comes to footwear. I usually buy the least expensive shoes I can find. Over the past 5 years I have resorted to buying cheap $10.95 shoes from Walmart. They don't last very long, but I can afford to buy 2 or 3 pair a year, for less money than most people pay for a pair of shoes. I'm not into the status of designer brands and I don't consider myself a vain person, but sometimes I feel a little intimidated when I'm wearing such cheap shoes.
My one exception to buying cheap shoes is for running or sports. I have always bought pretty basic basketball shoes, but when I ran marathons, I invested in decent shoes so I wouldn't be permanently disabled by the time I finished the race.
Last week I saw a guy at the gym wearing a pair of what I recognized to be the Walmart cheapies which I have worn in the past. I felt a close brotherhood to him that can only be rivaled by men who have spent time in fox holes together. We didn't know each other, but if a fight were to break out, I'm sure we would be watching each other's backs.
Anyway, back to my story. The last time I bought shoes I actually splurged and upgraded to the $24.00 model. This shoe didn't look like an old woman's orthopedic corrective shoe. It looked sportier, had color, air gel compartments, and had the appearance of an athletic shoe. (see the picture above.) I was feeling pretty good about these shoes, but sometime over the last month both of my shoe's air gel compartments got punctured, so now they make a squeaky noise which sounds like a mix between a rubber duck and a whoopee cushion each time I take a step. It's not so bad on carpet, but if I'm on a hard surface or if my shoes are wet, it can be embarrassing. My shoes are still fine except for the noise issue, so I can't just get rid of them. I have resorted to walking slowly on the sides of my feet in a bull legged fashion to minimize the noise and draw less attention to myself. In case you were wondering, walking like that kind of defeats the purpose.
So the next time you see someone walking bull legged, making squeaky toot sounds with each step, don't feel bad for them. They probably saved a lot of money when they bought their shoes.