Cracked.com inadvertently hits on some of the truth of the matter:
While men often don’t get women’s almost religious zeal for footwear, women often fail to grasp why men often times are incapable of giving one single shit about them, and sometimes, somehow, inexplicably don’t notice shoes at all.
Shoes are easy for men to miss because they’re as far away from the eyes as possible. Let’s say an attractive woman enters a room with several men in it. (This has happened before.) In noticing the girl, the men will tend to go for the eye contact first and work their way down. But the path a male eye must follow between a girl’s eyes and her feet is loaded with detours. If his eyeline makes it to the knee, that’s typically a bad thing since there are several parts of a girl that male eyes are eager to explore. This is what makes the female obsession with shoes so troubling for self-centered males. A woman could win the man of her dreams while wearing clown shoes over bulging hobbit feet. Guys won’t notice.
Actually, they’d probably notice the atrocities being represented as footwear by the likes of Alexander McQueen, and they’d much prefer the clown shoes, believe me.
And if I’m self-centered, my center is decidedly off-center, so I might not go for eye contact at first: I might look as far away as possible without actually leaving the scene. Which puts me exactly where you think it does. (These particular shoes are being worn by Kate Snow, co-anchor of the weekend edition of Good Morning America, who so far as I can tell in no way resembles Bilbo Baggins.)
This tendency perhaps was exacerbated by three years in a Catholic school, where all the girls dressed alike and most of them were far more mature (in several senses) than I, a period during which I learned some of the meanings of “humility” and almost all of the fine detail points of Bass Weejuns. But not even Weejuns are sacrosanct these days, so those of us with eyes cast downward are forced to adjust.