Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Christian Shoes?

Like pretty much everyone else on the planet, I have a spam folder for filtering the junk from the good stuff. Sometimes though, good stuff is mistakenly auto-filed into the spam folder so from time to time I open it and do a quick scan to see if something found it's way in there by accident. I did that today and one of the subject lines caught my attention:
"Carla, re: Christian shoes!"
We'll get to the shoes in a minute, but I wanted to point something about about "re". Normally, if there is a "re" in the subject line of an email, it dupes your brain into thinking along the lines of "oh, this must be something I've responded to before" and then compels you to open it. Spammers may be annoying, but they're definitely not stupid - they know what will get most people to open their junk. Pfft on junk. (And for the record, no I have never corresponded with anyone about Christian shoes, not that it really matters if I had.)

Now, about those shoes...

The subject line caught my eye but not enough to open the mail. Instead I decided to google "christian shoes". Sure enough, there are retailers out there who are selling Christian shoes. There's this one, which features a storefront ad with nice looking young people in Christian shoes (I'll confess right here, I actually like the pink ones - and I don't care who knows it). Then there's this one, with a more urban-street-punk sorta style to it - along with those really hideous trendy ballet/princess flat, thingies. Definitely not me, but I'm sure they sell well to someone. That last one also has Cobian sandals. I'm not exactly sure what makes them "Christian shoes" since they look exactly like the flip flops/thongs you can get at any WalMart/Target store, but there they are, all the same.

Christian shoes?I'll confess that at first I thought "oh come ON!" and dismissed the idea as just another scheme to profit from Christianity. But, I have to be fair and gracious and remind myself that hey, I design Christian t-shirts, mugs, wall art, and all kinds of other things, so where do I get off judging someone for designing or selling Christian shoes? Especially pink, converse-style Christian shoes, that I would actually wear (but definitely not for $50.00 bucks. I know many people easily pay that, but a $50.00 shoe is certainly not on the budget of this stay at home mom with 900 kids). At first, the idea seemed desperately tacky, but the more thought I gave it the more I wondered if I hadn't jumped the gun.
Sure, there is TONS of merchandise out there that quickly and easily falls into the "Jesus-Junk" category, but I'm not so sure shoes fit into that category. I mean... we all wear them anyway (they're practical, not frivilous dust-collectors), and we have no issue with wearing shoes with the high-end brand name prominently displayed on them - so why not wear cool shoes with a Christian logo or Bible verse or reference on them?

So, I wonder what you think. Would you buy them? Would you wear them? Are they in fact as tacky as I first thought? Just out of curiosity, what name or logo can folks see on your current pair of tennis shoes - and if you could spend the same amount of money on a shoe that had a Bible verse in place of that logo, which pair of shoes would you get?

Great Christian t-shirts and gift ideas for the whole family