What Shoes Have to Do With Creativity (Plus 5 Comfortable Pairs to Try)

5 Comfortable Shoes for Creatives

Fall will be here in just a few weeks, and that means it’s almost cozy sweater season! I know some artists think what they wear doesn’t impact their creative lives, but this New York Times article got me thinking about the intersection of writing and fashion. Worth a read!

It brings up two interesting nuggets. First, the role of the private/public writer:

“Authors may be a more authentic case study for understanding the sometimes subconscious connections between identity and image than any politician or celebrity — than anyone with a job that nominally requires regular public appearances and hence demands awareness of the tools of nonverbal communication. After all, they have no stylists, or even a nominal dress code. And yet every so often, when a book appears, they have to represent themselves in the world.”

And second, the idea that writers start to resemble their characters or their general point of view, in the same way owners often resemble their pets.

“When you spend a fair amount of time thinking about why a character would wear something, or what marks a character—their value system—it would be almost impossible for that same kind of thinking and analysis not to filter down into your own wardrobe, whether or not the effect was deliberate.”

Today we're starting at the bottom—shoes! I didn’t always think so deeply about my footwear, but that was before I tried on a pair of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned (more on those below). I actually feel happier walking around in them, like having comfortable feet means anything is possible.

Maybe it's true. Because when you're not thinking about whether or not a blister is forming on your heel, you can focus your attention on other important tasks, like writing that blog post, email, or book.


5 Favorite Shoes FINAL 2.jpg

5 Pairs of Comfortable Shoes (That Might Encourage Creativity)

If you came over to my house and peeked inside my closet, here are five of the shoes you'd find. I love a stylish shoe, but they have to be comfortable, too. This means I've sent more than a handful of pairs back because they didn't meet my standards

1. Allbirds Loungers
This San Francisco startup is all the rage in Silicon Valley. The loungers and runners are made almost entirely of New Zealand wool, which is both breathable and comfortable. It’s like walking on a cloud. My husband got a pair first, and I didn’t see what all the fuss was about but then he couldn’t stop talking about them, so… two pairs later, I’m one happy customer.

2. New Balance WRT96 Sneakers 
I’ve been a loyal New Balance fan since my high school cross-country days. My foot isn’t enormously wide but it certainly isn’t narrow, and I’ve always felt super comfortable in a pair of these, whether I’m running (not so much lately!) or strolling to the farmers’ market (much more likely).

3. Everlane Day Heels 
This is a newer addition to my closet, and I’m smitten. I picked the Dijon mustard-inspired color, but they’re all beautiful. I work in a pretty casual office, but these give you a little lift without the formality of a pointed toe and stiletto heel.

4. Gentle Souls Sandals 
The pair I have (and love) is a Grecian-inspired strappy number that doesn’t seem to be online anywhere (the linked pair is similar), but this brand is one of my favorites for sandals. Many are flat without any support at all (but super cute), and the ultra-plush sandals are well, not so cute. I wore my pair while pushing my son in my hometown’s Fourth of July parade this summer without any problems … and it was about 90 degrees and a little over a mile to go.

5. J. Crew Cece Ballet Flat
has been a go-to flat of mine for years. I’ve probably cycled through at least four colors, and if you peek into my desk drawer, you’ll find an old red pair stashed for my lunchtime walks. They’re made from Italian leather, and are padded enough to give your soles some support.

What do you think, is there a correlation between comfort and creativity?