Three years ago, I bought a pair of trainers for working out. They are very comfortable + supportive, but they are also pretty chunky + clunky. Two years ago, I bought a fair pair of trainers to wear in my everyday life. They aren't workout shoes, but are cute with jeans + leggings...and are leather. So when we went to California this past autumn, I bought a pair of trainers that would be more breezy...that I could wear for hikes + museums + lots of walking in the city...that would be cute + functional.
The hope that fueled the purchase of the last pair of trainers was that they would prove to be the ones that would replace the others as my perfect trainers...but...I already knew they were not as sturdy as my original pair + not as fair as my second pair. Ugh..."less but better" is complicated. I returned from California with bloody rubs on the back of my ankles. The next week we went to a concert where I stood + bounced + danced in those trainers for hours + ended up with holes starting in the fabric above each big toe...not cute or functional. Fail.
"Less but better" implies...like any good advertisement...that there is always something better out there. If we find it, our lives will be better + we will be happier. This concept continues to fuel our consumption impulses. The idea of "less but better" is prevalent in the simplicity community...but this concept often conflicts with or confuses the idea of lessening our impact on the planet...or really even the idea of simplicity.
This spring I decided that having one pair of trainers is more of a choice than a find. My original trainers are three years old, but still sturdy + functional. They have held up to countless miles of wear + have a lot of wear still left in them. I sold the leather trainers (which I had not worn much lately) + was able to return the holey trainers.
There will always be something better. The trick is to be satisfied with + to want + to use well...what we already have.