There’s a centuries-long list of exasperating misconceptions about single women: we’re lonely, bored, constantly on the prowl, jealous of others’ happy relationships, and we freeze our overlooked tushes off in winter. These misconceptions are both short-sighted and incorrect. See, society’s heteronormative fixation on single women is premised on the patriarchal idea that a woman is incomplete unless she’s bound romantically, sexually and, eventually, legally to a man.

Now that that’s out the way… What I’m here to talk about is how the different (real) stages of being single remind me of certain types of shoes.

Where’s the correlation, you ask? Well, just like shopping for shoes, being single is mostly choice-driven. Surprise! I mean, it’s not like a woman couldn’t just entertain a suitor at any point she felt like it; some women prefer to decline and do without. So the same way different types of shoes appeal to us for different occasions or mundane daily purposes, we also decide whether a relationship or being single is best for us at different phases in our lives.

This is why I’ve chosen four shoes that represent a woman’s single journey. Go on, Cinderella, and see if the shoe fits…

She who dribbles: Adidas Originals Samba

If shoes were single people

Adidas Originals SAMBA x Trevor Stuurman

If you’re not yet familiar with the term ‘dribble’, let me be your Urban Dictionary quick. Dribbling is a somewhat manipulative dating tool often employed by men, but don’t be fooled – women do it too. This entails leading people on, lying for personal gain, making someone unsure of where they stand with you just because you’re unsure of your own feelings, or promising someone the world and then suddenly ghosting them. Basically playing with someone’s feelings like a soccer ball – dribble, shibobo, score.

While I don’t encourage dribbling people at any point, I must say it goes without saying that the shoe most apt for this phase of being single is the Adidas Samba: ‘Released in the 1950s as an indoor soccer model, the Samba has since firmly cemented its position in both sport and culture. On home ground, soccer is the most widely played community sport, with the game and its traditions bringing unity to the people and hope to the aspirational who are forging their own unique paths,’ said Superbalist when they dropped the new line.

Thirsty, but making it fashion: bold sock boots

If shoes were single people

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There’s nothing wrong with craving attention every now and then. This is where communicating through your clothes comes in – dressing well is one thing, but dressing well with intention is another. See, there comes a time when you’re single and you want to be approached – just to see if you still got it, not because you actually want to act on anything (sometimes). Bright shoes aren’t to everyone’s taste, which is why they make for the perfect ‘look, but don’t touch’ statement, leaving it up to you.

Single forever and IDGAF: offbeat shoes

shoes for single people

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Your first love is fashion and you’d rather cuddle a faux fur coat than a temporary lover. Sometimes, you even feel sorry for people in relationships. Is this you? Then you probably have a really impressive arsenal of shoes, consisting of a few pairs that only you like. Single ladies who appreciate slightly ugly shoes are also most likely indifferent to romance a lot of the time; hence their same indifference to conventionally fashionable stompers.

Ready to say yes: stiletto sandals/open-toes

If shoes were single people

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And sometimes, single folk reach a place in their lives when they’re ready to be vulnerable, open up and love again. You are now no longer closed off and you’re exuding a positive, radiant energy that might attract the right person. It reminds me of the start of spring, when we dust off our pretty sandals (flats to stilettos), pedicure our toes and pamper our feet with just a little more care than usual. The message here is something along the lines of ‘hello world, I’ve been under construction and now I’m glowing again’.

Anyway, I know which shoe I am, can you guess?

Signed, the Sartorial Podiatrist.