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November 23, 2023

Walk softly…

With these words a notorious, late 19th century American statesman described his foreign policy. He was no doubt thinking of boots. However with the improvement of roads and sidewalks the half-shoe replaced the boot as the principal footwear of the gentleman underway.

Until the age of the popular automobile an elegant promenade or step in the ballroom was governed by the classic shoes in Oxford or Derby cut. Simple or brogued, capped or smooth, brown or black, the shoe met the suit and the occasion, whether gala or dinner at home.

There is nothing extreme about care for the extremities. Covering the head, gloving the hands, match shoeing the feet. Strangely the automobile has taken the thought out of how to walk. Some people think nothing of a couple thousands spent on tyres and forget the soles that bear them from cradle to grave.

Taking the right steps on the pavement to stay warm and dry means a good pair in the morning and slippers to end the day. If one does not belong to the bare-footed folk, then while spoiling one’s toes at night may render the day’s woes more light. There is no need to carry anything very big, walking softly is its own reward.

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