Buying Shoes and Living Life: Luck or Logic?

Vijay Violet
3 min readOct 11, 2021


A pair of blue shoes

I run regularly. I buy running shoes regularly. I bought shoes last week. This is the first time I have shopped for an object at an indoor store since the beginning of the pandemic!

Before I get to my shoe buying story, I have to tell you about a close cousin with whom I grew up. My grandmother would take some grandchildren, including him and me, to buy gifts on special occasions. She would have a plan and take us to a specific section of the store. We would be discussing our likes and dislikes, except my cousin. He had a simple approach. If we were shopping for shirts, he would find the most expensive and that was that. My grandmother would ask him if he liked the shirt. His simple answer would be that there was a good reason why it was priced higher than the others, and that knowledge was good enough for him. Suffices to say I could not follow his reasoning.

Back to the shoe story. I am paranoid about running out of running shoes. So I buy and keep just enough in my closet. I can’t buy too many or too far in advance, because then I will miss out on the latest shoe technology. Now it was time to replenish. Online shopping, it was going to be, because of the pandemic. Weather conditions where we have moved now are different from where we were. It is colder with more rain and snow. So I have to account for more factors. Following many days of searching, reading reviews, and analyzing, I bought a pair online. I hated the pair almost instantaneously when it arrived. It won’t do.

The shoes had to be bought at a store. A store in a quaint little town an hour away had a couple of pairs that fit my specifications. The few customers who were at that vast shoe store with high ceilings had their masks on, so the thoughts of indoor virus exposure took a backseat. I tried on a few pairs I had researched carefully and settled on one. As I was finishing up, out of the blue, the shoe salesperson asked if I had tried on the pair right behind me on the racks. I hadn’t. I asked if this blue pair was vegan — shoes that don’t have leather or other animal products in them. He said they were. They fit well.

Should I buy the pair that I had researched and analyzed logically, or be impulsive and take the surprise blue alternative? Answer to that question turned out to be straightforward, thanks to my cousin. The salesperson said the blue pair was more expensive. With a knowing look, I said that there must be a good reason why they were priced higher. I bought them.

My lucky new shoes are a delight. I love them!

So often in life our choices are arbitrary. Those of us with privilege and wealth routinely find ourselves in situations where no choice is bad. The underprivileged are often stuck in situations where no choice is good. It is easy to confuse luck and logic — merely being fortunate with being smart and vice versa.

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Vijay Violet

I am an American. I care about the planet, its people and animals. I care about the oppressed and marginalized. And I care about the poor, both working and not.