Climbing Preikestolen, Norway, in Comfortable Shoes

NorwayA few years ago we  hiked to the top of Preikestolen in Norway. Preikestolen is a steep cliff that rises 604 metres (1982 feet) above Lysefjorden, opposite the Kjerag plateau. It has an almost flat top of approximately 25 by 25 metres (82 by 82 feet), and is a very popular hiking destination.

We were advised to wear good walking shoes because of the terrain. The hike up was steep and challenging, but the view from the top of the cliff was breathtaking. We stopped at the summit long enough to catch our breath, admire the view, and have lunch.

As we sat munching sandwiches, an elderly Norwegian woman arrived. She wore a simple cotton dress, knee high hose, and comfortable older-fashion sandals. She looked like she had just stepped out the back door to put wash on the line.  I was amazed that she could clamber over the rocks and boulders in a dress and sandals, but she did, and apparently in relative ease. I was impressed!

More people arrived onto the plateau at the summit, and most of them were dressed in serious hiking footwear. Then a young women came into view. She was wearing white, pointed toe, thin soled go-go boots, with clothing to match the look she was trying to achieve. I was amazed that she could clamber over the rocks and boulders too, but the look on her face said she hadn’t found it as easy as the elderly lady. “Ouch”, her feet said.

We all made it off the mountain that day. Some had sorer feet than others.  But what I don’t really understand is why some women think they have to stuff their feet into uncomfortable shoes. Men don’t do that, do they? Why do women?

I suppose the answer to that question is, “It is fashionable.” So the next question is, why are so many women slaves to fashion?

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