Yesterday me and my boys (M, aged 30; A aged 1) went shoe shopping. My naive expectation was that this would be a nice family time. I don't know how I managed to forget that I hate shoe shopping at the best of times, let alone with arthritis flare in both feet and ankles. But my beloved 'Ugly Sandals' had just snapped, and as we're off on holiday on Saturday (woohoo!) I was in desperate need of some comfy summer shoes.
I have always disliked buying footwear, mostly because I have ridiculously wide feet. This means that I can't get anything remotely graceful on my big paddles. Those pointy-pixie affairs are out of the question. But you would think getting some nice comfy slip-ons would be easy enough?
Hm, not that simple. My ankles currently feel like there is a piece of glass wedged in the soft bit of each one, and I'm pretty sure each toe joint is lined with sandpaper. Needless to say, walking hurts, so I need hardcore, supportive, wide, strappy numbers to keep my feet supported without squishing them too much.
After countless shops brimming with fluorescent jellies and ethical espadrilles, and trying to convince myself that Birkenstocks would be great ("But they're sooo comfy if I stand still!") I ended up settling for Ugly Merrells, round 2 - in striking fuschia as they were the only ones in my size. Shudder. M helpfully declared, "They're not that bad - they look just like your old ones." To add insult to fashion-injury, they were £60 IN THE SALE! But, at least I can walk in them, and that outweighs the fact that I wouldn't wish them on my grandmother. So husband, screaming toddler and I left victorious and went for a celebratory pizza.
|My beautiful new sandals...|
Here are some lessons I am taking from yesterday's excursion:
- Avoid 'cool' shoe shops (pumping music, retro lighting, overpriced flip-flops), they contain nothing practical or affordable and you'll leave feeling a decade older than you entered. Head straight for Jones the Bootmaker, every time. Make sure you have remortgaged your house first.
- Traipsing round shoe shops with excruciating feet is horrible, but at least your feet are at their worst, so you can do a 'bad-day' test on them.
- Be grateful that comfy shoes are available. Some people in the world just don't have the option.
- No one really cares what your shoes look like, and they're probably not as ugly as you think they are. In fact, my fuschia friends have already had some compliments!