With the influx of faux leather, it's not hard to fill our shoe cabinets.
They're mass produced, and, therefore, have considerably lower price tags.
Their designs are trendy, and have variety.
They're low maintenance.
But they're not the type of shoes you'll have a love affair with.
As a kid, I remember my Papa owning just two pairs—gray ankle boots and Oxfords, both from Florsheim.
He would clean them once a week, giving them mirror shine.
He died in 1996, and, just recently (more than 20 years later), I saw his shoes—dusty but still well preserved in my cabinet—and remembered when I used to think "good shoes take you good places" was his original quote.
I also realized (and forgot) owning 30 pairs—most of them dilapidated, with the faux leather peeling off.
I threw 27 of them.
The pair of boots, flats, and sneakers with curved soles I have kept, all made of natural leather, are more than ten years old and have aged beautifully.
In one of the recent events I attended, I learned that some leather shoes can last decades.
Manny Concepcion Jr., an executive of the 125-year-old brand Florsheim, shared, "Quality leather has its timeless appeal. They can last 20 years.
"You can have the soles replaced, but the leather won't fade and fail you."
They're, of course, a bit more pricey—from PHP10,000 to PHP20,000.
He continued, "It's like an investment. You spend a little more, but you get more out of your money.
"When buying, you look at the craftsmanship, quality, andiyan yung materials used including durability, and technology.
"On technology, did you know there are waterproof shoes? There's also what we call Comfortech, which keeps the feet dry and comfortable. Hindi rin siya madulas, and that's an important thing for us because we have rainy season.
"Meron ding lightweight."
How about the design?
"We have the reliable classics, which have been enhance over time. But choose pairs that will still look good years from now.
"And aside from the cut, pay attention to the fine details like yung stitching, dapat pulido kasi they add to the total look," Concepcion explained.
Practicality made me decide to have less pairs of shoes. I save money, time (because I don't have to dillydally about my choices), and effort.
And since my closet cleanup, I realized that quality will always be in fashion.