Visit any courthouse on a rainy day and you will see plenty of attorneys entering the building with waterproof shoe covers on their feet. Strangely enough, you might notice a difference between younger and older lawyers. The older ones have no trouble with shoe covers whereas the younger ones consider them undignified. Well, shoe covers are more dignified than dirty shoes.
Shoe covers were a lot more popular back in the days when streets were muddy and filled with debris. And if you are old enough to remember the Nixon era, you probably remember when kids weren’t allowed outdoors in foul weather without their galoshes. But time and fashion trends changed that. Shoe covers are not nearly as common as they once were.
They Don’t Look Cool
So why did shoe covers decline in popularity? There could be any number of reasons, but one possibility is as simple as fashion choices. They just don’t look cool. People would rather show off their expensive leather shoes – even in the rain – than hide them in a pair of waterproof shoe covers.
The thing is that dirty shoes don’t look cool, either. Walk into a courtroom or business meeting wearing shoes spotted with water and dirt and you are risking a significant blow to your reputation. Dirty shoes are a sign to others that you are not too concerned about your image.
Look, there’s nothing dignified about wearing shoes stained by winter road salt. There’s nothing classy about arriving at your destination with rain-soaked feet. The noise your sloshing shoes make with every step doesn’t lend itself well to demonstrating your class and sophistication.
No One Is Paying Attention
You might also consider the fact that no one is paying attention to your footwear in the middle of a rainstorm. Everyone around you is concentrating on the same thing you are: getting where you need to go so you can get out of the rain. It is not until you enter the building that people start paying attention.
That’s not a problem, according to Salt Lake City-based GC Tech Design. Your high-end shoe covers generally come with a waterproof storage bag. The minute you enter a building, you pull off your shoe covers and place them in the bag. The bag can be slipped into your overcoat pocket or your briefcase. Either way, it is out of sight and out of mind.
No one is paying attention to your footwear outside. But inside, it’s another matter. You’ll offer a more dignified presentation by arriving with clean, sharp looking shoes anchoring your look. That’s what people will pay attention to. That’s what they will notice.
Choosing a Good Pair
Now that we have revealed the indignity of wearing dirty shoes, let’s talk about choosing a good pair of shoe covers. There are some important things to look for. First on the list is materials.
There is no point in buying shoe covers if they are not waterproof. So look for products that are made with silicone, rubber, or a waterproof fabric. The latter is the best of the three choices given that it is lightweight and breathable. That’s another topic for another post though.
Next, you’ll need a pair that fits snugly. If your shoe covers are too loose, they can let water in despite being made of a waterproof material. Furthermore, too loose a fit creates a tripping hazard.
You might consider waterproof shoe covers too undignified to wear. That is entirely up to you. But just remember that there is more dignity in a good pair of shoe covers than there is in dirty shoes.