Thursday, May 25, 2006

Happy Birthday Feet

Since my Achilles tendon went belly-up, I’ve been forced to wear "my grandmother’s shoes." They are ugly. They are plain. They are big boats, made even bigger by my size 10 foot. They frequently lace up and have round toes and huge soles to cushion tender soles. Even worse, they cost a fortune. It’s really adding insult to injury when you have to pay over $100 for truly ugly shoes. Mine cost $200 and up. Yes, $200 for butt-ugly shoes.

Even though I complain about these shoes, and there are only two brands I can wear comfortably, I’m grateful that these shoes exist and that I can find them in my size. The Drews are for diabetic and problem feet. They are made with extra depth and cushion my foot with every step. My toes are never cramped. I’m not diabetic but my feet need the width in the toe and support for the arches these shoes provide. Even before I got plantar fasciitis my feet hurt. The balls of my feet always burned in high heels and I tend to walk with my big toe pointed up (instead of down) so pointy toed shoes create blisters. In the Drews I no longer have trouble with the soles of my feet or my toes, and here you can see why:

All the Drews look pretty much alike. I have both the lace-ups and the Velcro closings and I have them in different colors (brown, blue, tan, and black) but no way can these be called stylish shoes.

The other brand shoe I can wear is Finn Comfort. These are all European handmade and cost twice what Drews do. I own this shoe in black, red, and green (and a couple of other styles but they pretty much look like this):

The Finn Comfort shoes exercise my arches and help strengthen the problem areas. They are a mite more stylish than the Drews but at work I can’t wear them a lot because I spend time walking around on gravel and in mud. The sandals don’t support my ankles the same as the Drews so I tend to tip over in them.

My shoes have become the metaphor for how I feel about my life. One minute I was tripping around in black patent Mary Jane Ferragamos and feeling all cute and sassy and young knowing I could conquer the world.

Today is my 60th birthday. Like my shoe style, I’ve suddenly crossed the line into fuddy-duddy. I’m plodding along, trading style for comfort (and glad that I can). I still covet pretty shoes but I’m smart enough now not to wear them. My feet are happy but I still feel the need to excuse my choice of footwear.

I’m really not so old I’d actually buy the grandmotherly shoes if I had a choice in the matter so don’t assume when you meet me that you can tell what kind of person I am by my shoes. The Drews and the Finns merely reflect the condition and not the attitude.


abigail-road said...

Hey Milly, Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Shoes shoes shoes.....I'm going to buy some cute summer shoes tomorrow, for the first time in a couple years...and I'm ridiculously excited!

snugpug said...

One word - Birkenstocks. They used to be strappy brown things missionaries in the field wore --- I used to call them missionary sandals. Now they come in neon colours, glow-in-the-dark straps for that disco outing, in open-toed sandals and in covered shoe form that I can wear to work. I haven't worn anything else since I saved up for my first pair.

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