Like many women I know, I have a vast array of shoes. Unlike clothing, shoes, for the most part, continue to fit whether you gain or lose weight, so they are the bright spot in a sometimes cruel and taunting closet.

For this reason, women take their shoes very seriously and many will spend quite some time organizing their shoes by either height or color or occasion.Personally, I organize mine by the amount of time I can spend in them before my feet fall off.

Take for example my regular everyday boots which I call my 10-hour shoes.  I can wear these all day without a problem as long as I get some breaks in between and am not scaling Mt. Everest.

Then I have my 3-5 hour shoes.  These are generally for one occasion out with minimal walking involved.  I call them my 3-5 hour-shoes because they are really good until that 3-hour mark, but can suddenly, without warning, turn on me between the 4th and 5th hour and become merciless instruments of podiatric torture.

My 1-hour shoes are generally for sitting and the occasional posing so people can admire them before I sit again.  There is really no walking involved in these shoes, except maybe to the bathroom, and even then, I will endeavor to hold it in rather than have to teeter my way across the room to go and use up even 7 minutes of my precious 60-minute time limit.

Then there are my 5-minute shoes.  Why, you might ask would someone buy shoes they can only wear for 5 minutes?  If you’re a woman you probably don’t need to ask this. But for the rest of the population, 5-minute shoes can best be described as those unbelievably gorgeous and obscenely expensive shoes you had to buy because they winked at you seductively from the store window and just happen to go perfectly with a new party dress you just got. When you bought them at the store, you had no idea they were 5 minute shoes because you only had them on for 2 or 3 minutes and were walking around on rugs with Tempurpedic cushioning (they plan it that way) so you don’t really know how they will feel in the real world. But then you wear them with your new party dress, go to an event, and discover after 5 minutes that they are so incredibly painful to actually wear, you immediately become crippled and will need to be rescued by a llama standing by in case of emergency who will carry you around the event for the rest of the night while he spits on the other guests.

After 5 minutes, they are so incredibly painful to wear,

you immediately become crippled and will need to be rescued by a llama

standing by in case of emergency who will carry you around the event for

the rest of the night while he spits on the other guests.

Most shoe store salespeople will not tell you that you are looking at 5-minute shoes.  They show you the fine workmanship, tell you how great they make your feet look, and complement your calves. So there you are strutting around the shoe store in your slinky shoes and your sweatpants hiked up over your knees like you are the queen of some fancy pilates class, while a good looking salesguy who looks at ugly feet all day tells you they make your legs look great. What the heck are you supposed to do?  So of course you buy them, wear them to some fancy event, and the next thing you know, you are riding around on a rescue llama.

Fortunately for me, I have fine-tuned my 5-minute shoe radar and rarely fall prey to the seduction of the killer shoe. But when I do, I know I always have my 24-hour pink fuzzy slippers to fall back on.


©2020, Beckerman. All rights reserved. Follow Tracy on her Facebook Fan page at,  join the Lost in Midlife group at and follow on Instagram @TracyinMidlife


  • Lucia Ann

    I have the same timed version of shoes. Since I retired, and the damn pandemic started, I wear slippers or flip flops. Whoo hoo!

    • admin

      Same! This was more of an issue before the pandemic. But recently I’ve been going out a but more, and suddenly I’m back in evil shoe land. Sigh! At least some of them are foot friendly!

  • Helene Giordano

    OMG my shoes also have time limits! We call them walking to a restaurant shoes, just walking in a party and sitting, etc. I related to every detail of this!

    • admin

      LOL! My husband thinks I’m out of my mind. It’s a woman thing for sure!

  • Amanda

    I plan on retiring on two months and I’m looking forward to wearing anything other than steel toe boots!

    • admin

      I’m all about the slippers these days! My feet are very happy.😄

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