Uggs May Predict How We'll Shoe-Shop Tomorrow

Quick, look in your closet. How many strappy, half-a-foot-high, glittery-to-the-toes stilettos do you have lined up? We'll wait, go ahead. Okay. Now, how about softer, plusher, definitely-not-near-as-sexy but built-to-last shoes are stashed alongside your peek-a-boo pumps? If the number has been growing, especially recently, there are trends pointing to why.

Writer Martha C. White forecasts the future in feet, and the crystal ball says Uggs. And more comfy, wearable shoes that could weather a year or two in these uncertain days. White talked to sole-searching experts in the slingbacks and slip-ons biz, and while, like everywhere in the consumer sector there are more scary stores than fairytale stories, there are some positives, like markdowns for thrifty-minded customers and the return of classics.

We also think a good thing for the professional cobbling industry is that shoes, for the most part, are never going to go away, at least not as long as we've built our cities around asphalt and cement, and bits of broken glass and junk lurk here and there. Sorry, Barefoot Movement. We definitely hear what you're saying, and we like it, but until we move to the grasslands or an empty beach, we gotta be be-shoe'd.

So, Uggs. And tennies. Maybe even those durable penny loafers we rocked back in the day (mmm, let's call it late '80s). Welcome back. Looks as if you'll be between us and the earth for some time to come.

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