Walking 22 years of miles in my shoes

I have this little pair of shoes that I love.

I had them on last week at work. And last month at Mass. And a year ago at a graduation party. I wear them everywhere.

They are all-at-once chic and super cute.

You know the sort. You have a few pairs yourself. They are your “go-to” shoes in a pinch.

You can dress them up or down. They pair equally well with a sundress or a work suit or a pair of blue jeans and a sweater.

Mine are beige with a delicate, understated flat bow across the top and bear the slightest hint of a paisley design throughout. They have heels but not so high that they are ridiculous.

They are classic enough to wear nearly anyplace and even though I’ve had them a very, very long time, they’ve managed to remain stylish and relevant.

Despite their considerable action over the past many years, they’ve been able to retain their color, shape and consistency — so remarkably well that, without fail, every single wearing evokes an, “Oh my gosh, I love your shoes!” The appreciation of them seems universal. It comes from folks I know as well as random passers-by.

And when people learn how many years they’ve belonged to my wardrobe collection, they are duly impressed. Rightly so, to be fair.

Because I’ve had them such a very long time, they are extremely comfortable. They slip right on and off — no muss, no fuss.

Heck, sometimes, I forget I even have them on, which is more than I can say for most of the pairs I’ve purchased since I picked up these little babies (ON SALE, BTW!) in 1995.

That’s what I said.

They are “broken in” without being deformed, tattered or offensive in an olfactory sense or any other. And they don’t even require Odor Eaters — maybe just the occasional dab of powder now and again.

They’ve trudged up office stairs and toured around campuses and carried me around conferences. They have slogged through torrential rainstorms and traipsed across countless parking lots.

I can easily and happily drive, dance or decompress in them.

They have pretty much guided me in and out of formal and social functions for nearly half of my adult life. They are sturdy little kicks and have outlasted the lifespan of any other article of clothing I own.

It’s not that they are devoid of all signs of wear and tear.

I mean, clearly, the heels have a bit of permanent discoloration at their very backs. Truth be told, I have tripped in them but only scarcely over their lifetime.

And yes, once in a while, they get hung up on a carpeted step or a storm grate, causing me temporary irritation or even a little hurt.

Okay, fine, I’ve cussed them out a few times.

But at they end of the day, they hold up darned well despite the fact that the bottoms are worn and the name brand has long since worn away from the inserts.

And sure, if you look closely enough, you can see the tiny stain on the right one.

But that’s just a badge of honor, really, having been received in the line of duty at a wedding 22 years ago nearly to the day.

It was a beautiful, sunny day. Hardly a cloud in the sky and 75 degrees all day without so much as a hint of humidity.

Yep, Sept. 2, 1995, the first day I wore my cute little pretty-but-sensible shoes walking down the aisle to marry my husband. They were steady and even and reliable that day — just like they are now.

Indeed, their staying power is due to the fact that they were clearly made well, hand-crafted with much attention to detail and built upon one very solid base.

Yeah, I think I’ll keep those buggers around for a while longer. The hubby, too.

Happy anniversary, Ker! I love you almost as much as my wedding shoes.

Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist whose favorite little beige shoes continue to transport her from one adventure to the next. Find out what they’re up to this week at her daily blog www.patriciakimerer.com.