I love shoes. I love stilettos, espadrilles, clunky heels, cute little strappy sandals, and ballet flats with sequined designs. I love shoes made with artistic appeal, where the designer pushes the footwear envelope and makes a thing of beauty, that doubles as a gorgeous pedestal. I love standing in a shoe store admiring the beautiful choices, of style, material and function.
Oh who am I kidding?
I love looking at all those pretty shoes. My feet on the other hand loathe them. I have weird feet, a high arch, wide at the toe and very narrow at the heel. I can try on every pair of shoes in my size at a store, and none of them will fit. Buying tennis shoes is an ordeal, as I have a hell of a time finding a pair that hits my arch right, without squishing my toes. Flip flops? Forget it, I can’t stand things in between my very sensitive and extra tickly toes. Heels? If I manage to conquer the task of finding a pair that fits, it doesn’t solve the two other major issues I have with shoes, the fact that I a living trip hazard, and that I have chronic, often painful back issues which can cause my left limb to swell much larger than my right
That leave my shoe options to the plain, supportive and functional. Think low heeled, clogs, adjustable mary janes, a pair of white tennies, a pair of black, (absconded from my husband) and socks. Unfortunately cute, stylish and would look great with that summer frock are not part of the equation. Anything that is remotely attractive can cause my back to twinge in anticipation, just trying on a pair. Walking across a room in pretty shoes of any kind, will remind me that my body is no longer constructed for fashionable.
Because my shoe options are limited to the denizens of the practical and not quite attractive, I rarely buy shoes. I will instead wear a pair till they are almost falling apart, the tread only a memory, the insole worn to an afterthought, and the outside of the shoe looking battle worn. If they’ve been comfortable, even if in a decrepit state, I have a very hard time bringing myself to throw an old pair away. It takes me a while to trust a new pair to deliver comfort.
Because of my feet’s hatred of all things shoes, the first thing I take off, at any opportunity are those shoes. If I am out for dinner, just don’t look under the table, the dressy shoes I forced my feet into, are tucked under the chair. If I am at church, just don’t look under the back pew to the left. There is a good chance I left my shoes there, and I have processed with the rest of the choir to the front as we all sing the opening hymn. If I am at work, I may have shoes sitting under my desk, with my feet propped up on a file storage box, that also resides there. When I get home, I drop my purse on a dining chair, my lunchbox on the kitchen counter, and head straight to my bedroom, where I immediately start kicking off footwear. My feet are happiest when they are in the nude, or in a pair of socks if its chilly. As its the most comfortable state for that part of my body, I try to respect its wishes as much as possible.
So if I compliment you on your footwear, its because I am admiring a thing of beauty. I am also just a bit jealous. My feet, on the other hand, just can’t wait till I get my own shoes off.