This Week: Have your footwear choices changed as your life, or lifestyle, has changed?
In summer I wore flip-flops, but I don’t think that I ever got in a car wearing them. I did walk up the hill past four or five other houses to go to the little strip mall that was there. I gave up on flip-flops as I got to be a teen; I found them too uncomfortable. I have no idea how people wear them all the time nowadays, but I digress.
This was my idea.
When I was a kid and we moved from an apartment to a house, I sometimes went barefoot. Never off of our little yard, mind you, but even then, it was fraught with danger; (I stopped on more than one bee in the clover.)
In school I generally wore sneakers or loafers.
As a teen I had nice cut-away flats, as special as I could find them. I had not realized that I had out-grown one really special pair that I had not worn for a while. I pulled them out to go walking around Washington, DC to see the museums with a young man when I was just shy of 17.
I was in agony for hours.
When I got home and peeled the shoes of, my feet swelled and my big toenails turned black. I swore that I would never, ever, under any circumstances wear uncomfortable shoes again.
Over the years I search high and low for nice-looking, comfortable, affordable shoes.
As you can imagine, I had shopped a lot. (I have no business being away from malls!)
My family situation changed so much that I didn’t get to all the fancy dances, so high heels did not become part of my life. In fact, when I was in my 20s, I found a wonderful pair of wide-strappy Italian leather, with 2-inch heels. I showed them to my mother who said, “Why such high heels?” (Mind you, this was a woman who wore 3-inch heels to do housework and bought my sister 4-5 inch heels for all of her dances.)
I LOVED those shoes. I could run in them, (really). I kept them for many years until finally, the leather gave out.
Those were the only real heels I owned. I had some dressy shoes with a bit of a heel, but all of those are gone. My feet, knees and back make even a short, chunky heel treacherous.
My feet used to get hot, and so I wore strappy sandally things all the time, including black ones in the Winter, when it was dry. A wealthy, older woman friend tried to ‘groom’ me when I was younger to not wear them; she was of Old Money and thought they were gauche, but I declined her advice. I wore them until I became diabetic some years ago and decided that I needed to be careful with my feet, especially when out in the world.
More than likely, I now opt for the nicest flats and loafers that I can find. It isn’t easy, especially since moving here, where there is limited shopping. I found that Cobbies fit the bill for most of my needs and I could get them at Kmart. Well, you know what happened there. ThomMcAn was always a go-to store when I lived in Virginia, and Kmart carried those, too. I loaded up on some shoes before they closed, but others need replacing. The Earth Shoe ‘Mary Janes’ that I bought here are wearing out, but they are comfortable. Walmart had a nice ballerina shoe that was very comfortable to me but they cheapened them down some years ago. The last of the ones that I stocked up on are wearing out,(they never were made to last.)
I did not think that I could bear to be a little old lady in sneakers, but when my pair of Dr.Scholl’s mesh Mary Janes started looking less than great, I got hysterical. They stopped making them. They were breathable and washable; I wore them all Spring, Summer and Fall when it was dry.
Last year I found a sale on Sketchers. I had looked at them before, but 1) they were pricey, 2) they never had my size when there was a sale and 3) they were gaudy.
(The only thing worse than being a little old white-haired grandma in sneakers to me was being one with shoes that look like a second grader without taste would want to wear.)
Yet, like so many other things that I cannot bring myself to do or wear, it does not bother me to see others enjoying life in sneakers, even purple and shiny pink ones.
I almost never wear boots. I have never worn ‘fashion’ boots. They are not for me.
If it makes someone comfortable and happy to wear pink and purple-flecked sneakers, or knee boots, I am all for it. I just don’t feel comfortable and confident in them. Confidence, (or lack thereof), shows, as does comfort, and I will not be uncomfortable. Life is too hard as it is without looking for more pain.
Oh, I do actually have sneakers. I wore them when I could walk on park pathways while grandkids had soccer practice, etc. I can’t do that now. One pair is by my treadmill. I have worn them, but they have to be reasonably conservative-looking and…well, except for when I may not get out of the car and to Walmart, I don’t go out and about in them.
Besides, I tend to trip on the shoelaces.
However, the two that I found left in my size were a gray, denim-look semi-sneaker and a brown/beige walking shoe, and my feet are in Heaven.
I put them away for the Winter, because even though they are also washable (!!!), I can wear them without socks and feel cooler in the Summer,and I don’t know if I will find anything like them again.
It’s time to pull them out.
Otherwise, you will almost always find me at home in Isotoner ballet slippers.
I love those things!
I’m glad you found something to wear! It’s always a bonus when they’re on sale. I like my Isontoner slippers on my laminate floors.
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I bought a number of pairs the last time they went on sale. They make life good!
I’ve never tried on isotoner ballet slippers, but I’d assume they have zero arch support… and zero heel cushioning.
Love this quote:
“…shoes that look like a second grader without taste would want to wear.”
I’ve told my wife that when she reaches the point that she wears gold or silver “Alladin” shoes — like her grandmother used to wear — that I’ll know she’s officially reached “old age.”
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The slippers are very soft and pliable.I have a high arch but they have been life savers…I’d pay good money to see you in a pair,Jeff!
Denise is so pretty that no one will notice her ‘Alladin shoes’!
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I thought it was funny that you trip on the shoelaces because I have a pair that I trip on. I got them to wear when we were walking the dogs, but I have to tie them just right or I will be tripping over them. Such an aggravation! I’m glad you’ve found some styles that suit you. Sometimes it’s hard to do that.
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It’s all shoelaces! I used to be graceful! I wish that I had the time and opportunity to do real shopping.