When the shoe fits–and is comfortable as well!

The post was called quite simply, My Feet Hurt.  I wrote it a couple of years ago, but it’s no less true today than it was then.  Even more, I can amend that title after numerous discussions with my midlife friends to, Our Feet Hurt.

We discuss this as often and in the same way that we discuss wrinkles and plastic surgery. Never mind the nasolabial folds that are making of our faces a ventriloquist’s dummy, let’s talk about our bunions and our corns and our arches that have fallen. Some of us have gotten facelifts for the form

er and some of us have gotten bunionectomies for the latter.

Me, I’m just trying to fulfill the vow I made back in October when in a post entitled, When I’m An Old Woman, I wrote this:

“I shall accept the fact that my aging feet demand, should I want to walk on them at all, that I wear COMFORTABLE SHOES.  However, in the 21st century, one of the incredible advances society has made is the design of ergonomically correct shoes that do not resemble herring boxes without topses.  I will search until I find cute comfortable shoes at whatever price.”

I spent no little time this spring and summer searching for sandals that fit that bill. My requirements didn’t seem excessive, but I suppose, given the vagaries of my feet, that cute and comfortable is a relative thing.

Platforms scare me. Even the ones I wore back in the day (and, frankly, last year) seem precariously high to me. The same with high heels. I look at the 4, 5 and 6 inchers women are wearing and all I can think of is tipping over and going kerplunk (which happens to the best of them, but still). Plus, have you noticed the way women wearing those ultra-high heels walk funny? Like they’re bow-legged and pigeon-toed and are trying to maintain that stick in their lady parts?

On the other hand, shoes with ittybitty heels remind me of my years as a gawky teenager, always taller than the boys I liked, forced to shuffle ’round the dance floor in cut down heels while my friends were pirouetting in winklepicker stilettos. Teenaged shame is a powerful thing, and I seem even at this late date not to have outgrown it. Perhaps in my next decade….

If the cute shoes this year aren’t sky high, then they have no backs. I have a closetful of such shoes from years past, but year present I find they add a dimension of insecurity to my walking. I don’t want to have to worry about keeping my shoes on no matter where or what speed I go.

Therein lies the quandry I found myself in this summer. In the past, summer sandal shopping has been a joy. This year, not so much. Everywhere I looked the cute shoes I saw were either sky-high wedges or no-back-strap mules.

Then one Monday, after a particularly fruitless frustrating cute sandal shopping trip, the universe smiled on me and sent me an email from Colleen of FootSmart. For over twenty years, FootSmart has been the major direct retailer of comfort footwear and foot health products. Initially Colleen was promoting the comfort-no-matter-what position, but I argued for the cute-and-comfortable side. We went back and forth a bit on that topic and then I sent her the following email:

Hi Colleen–I spent Sunday trying to find a comfortable pair of sports sandals.  No luck.  Then it occurred to me to see what Footsmart had to offer, and I found these

No longer available on the FootSmart site

and these 

Cute, no? And without question–considering their provenance, Clarks and Drew–comfortable.  Not to mention, ergonomically correct.  And many other attributes that I read about in the Footsmart online catalogue.

The thing about getting shoes on-line is that it’s so incredibly easy.  No travel to the mall.  No slog through the parking lot.  No temptations from the Food Court. No annoying fellow shoppers.  You just sit in comfort in front of your computer (or your tablet or your smart phone) and browse to your heart’s content. Then when you see your heart’s desire, you just click your mouse a couple of times and voila! several days to a week later, your friendly postman brings you a present.  It’s like Christmas all the year!

Thanks go to Footsmart who sent me the two pair of shoes to try for purpose of this review. Obviously the opinions are as always uniquely mine.

  • DuchessOmnium

    Anyone else remember Earth Shoes in the 70s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_shoe)? I’ve always been a wuss about heels, though I admit I like the way my legs look when I wear them. These days I mostly slouch around in Ecco shoes, and sometimes I don’t look awful. I do better in the winter: Arche make stunningly expensive, elegant, French boots, perfectly comfortable (they use glove leather). About once every five years I buy them on sale in March to wear the following winters. Though I admit this year I have already bought Doc Marten ankle boots, full price. Flat as a pancake and purpley pink. How could a Duchess resist?

  • Pingback: What’s An Old Lady Shoe? | MidLife-Beauty

  • lisaweldon

    I found some Dr. Scholls to wear on my Paris walks. They are SOOOOOO comfortable! but pretty, nope.

  • Leslie

    Those ARE cute. I have flat feet and have never been able to tolerate heels. I also have big feet–size ten–and they were narrow as well, and almost impossible combination to fit! And now I deal with a swelling problem which further complicates my ability to find suitable footwear. So I feel your pain!

  • longhollow

    I discovered Chaco sandals a few years ago. They saved my feet!! But thanks for letting us know about these. I’ll check them out.

  • Deb

    Boy, can I identify with this! When I do find shoes that fit the bill I usually can’t afford them.
    However, thanks to a friend with similar issues – including the additional annoyance of a back problem – I discovered MBT. They were recommended by her podiatrist and he Dr. as well – and they have prevented her from having to have back surgery. I call that a true endorsement.
    I have two pair – a pair of black Maryjanes and a pair of really cute sandals. Got them at http://us.mbt.com/Default.aspx?lang=en-US
    They have practically saved my life. They are a little bit clunky and take some getting used to in regards to their “rolling” effect – but I feel like I am walking on clouds … I almost want to jump up and down and dance in them.
    Thanks for reposting this. I think there are a lot more of us out there than the manufacturers realize or more of them would jump on the bandwagon.

  • http://injaynesworld.blogspot.com/ Jayne

    Thanks for the link to Footsmart. I didn’t know about them and need some comfortable dress heels for a black cocktail dress.

  • SharonGreenthal

    I won’t buy shoes that are uncomfortable anymore. Cole Haan Air Nike heels are a gift to all women. I also bought some very cute Naturalizer high heel sandals this summer and wore them a lot. I prefer to be barefoot!

  • Rose

    I have the same probs with finding comfy shoes – my feet are awful (and now, a bit painful). Yes it has to be cute. Boots usually fit the bill. But the thing with ordering online shoes is, they’re all different when you try them on, and you can’t tell online whether they’ll pinch you in the back or look crap on YOUR feet or whatever. Which is why I still go to shoe stores, annoyingly for me.

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