There is a concept of office shoes which is very common in the UK working world but which I came across in Germany only occasionally. In order to protect the expensive, exclusive and shiny office shoes with the very sensitive leather sole from the wilderness of London’s streets, from the forces of the nature and from all other potential harm they could suffer on the triathlon to work, the British office workforce chooses very resistant sneakers for their way to work and change these at work for the expensive, exclusive and shiny office shoes.
Generally, that is no bad idea. But I have serious doubts whether this rationale actually works out. Okay, office shoes are widely protected from rain, pavement and other harm on the way to and from work. However, there is still a lunch break where most people leave office to grab a soup or sandwich; it hasn’t to be mentioned that they wear their office shoes of course. In addition, office shoes are stored in the office which means that the shoes are never treated with shoe care products, a fact that has certainly a negative impact on the life time of the shoes. And additionally, most men (that argument is only partly true for the ladies) have only one of pair of office shoes which means that they are used very frequently without any possibility for the materials to regenerate. I have to admit that I am a bit special, but I am honestly not convinced about the concept of office shoes.
Nevertheless, some of my colleagues do not store their office shoes in a locker and there are a few nice examples I would like to share.
Our youngster’s non office shoes are properly place below the desk during work time:
One partner tries to hide her shoes beneath the cupboard:
One colleague has found a practical solution involving the desk.
One final comment: Probably the popularity of office shoes is just due to the fact that most people find office shoes uncomfortable. Thus, just keep calm and wear sneakers!