November 15, 2020

Why I Don't Understand Patten Shoe Covers

As I was mindlessly scrolling through social media one day, I came across a sponsored ad for Patten Place, a brand that sells rubber shoe covers for high heels. At first glance, I was excited about a possible solution to a problem I have faced many times: the heartache of walking through unexpected rain or snow in a pair of shoes that were most definitely not made for it. And yet, the more I looked into Patten covers, the more bewildered I became about the concept.

Patten shoe covers are marketed towards the “heel lover” and are designed to work only with high heels. So…you’re telling me these are for people who love wearing heels so much they not only want to wear high heels at the main event, they also want to experience the agony of wearing torture devices on the way to the event? No one is even going to see how fabulous-looking your torture devices are if they’re concealed underneath a shoe cover—so you’d be wearing heels on the way to an event for the pure sake of wearing heels. Look, I know there are people who love their stilettos, but does anyone willingly squish their feet atop two sticks without being able to show off the beauty behind their pain?

Okay, even if we assume an unwavering commitment to footwear that would make your podiatrist deeply disappointed, what advantage does a Patten cover have over simply bringing another pair of shoes? You could buy your own set of wedged rainboots and change into them before/after an event, or just as easily store them in a drawer at the office or in the trunk of your car in case of flash floods. Pattens still take up the same amount of space as a regular pair of shoes, and you still have to find a way of carrying them around once you take them off, so functionally, I struggle to see a significant advantage of using a shoe cover. At $98 a pop, Pattens are practically the price of another pair of shoes anyway—and yet you can’t actually wear them as another pair of shoes. 

The only marginal benefit I can ascertain is Pattens may be a tad lighter than a normal pair of shoes, and they may save you the time, hassle and possible embarrassing awkwardness of switching between shoes. And I do acknowledge shoe covers allow you to “free up” shoes that would otherwise be relegated to the drawer in the office or trunk of your car, thus saving you from “wasting” a perfectly good pair of shoes by needing to assign it to backup duty.  

Of course, I am only remarking on the concept of Patten covers, and cannot comment on their quality or comfort. For covers designed to fit over heels ranging from 2.5-4.5 inches, I do wonder if there would be the possibility of blisters or scuffing in areas where it may not fit quite right. Aside from that concern, I would be interested in seeing Patten Place come out with more practical covers for flat shoes, or even a regular, wearable pair of rainboots in a design similar to its Pattens. With relatively sleek lines and buttons with its cursive logo in gold, I do think Patten covers—particularly in the camel colour—look chic compared to most galoshes out there.

As it stands though, I can’t sufficiently rationalize the value-add of Patten covers. Can you?

Image Source: Patten Place, Kickstarter