New Shoes

My Stupid Leg (trademark pending) has made shoe shopping a challenge, but I think I've mentioned this before. The left foot is an 8.5, D width, while the right is an 8.0, A/B width. Both feet have pinky hammertoes and plantar faciitis, while the left is plagued by various manifestations of RSD. The worst is my instep, from toe tips to just before the ankle, which feels like someone stuck my foot in an electrical socket.

Since this emerged in 2006, I've pretty much stuck to Crocs for my shoes, even with a district manager who would threaten to write me up for wearing them, despite 3 doctor's notes. In retrospect, I wish she had carried out the threats. It was bad enough she held me to a higher standard of clothing-my coworkers could wear nicer pullover shirts. Me, I had to wear perfectly pressed shirts, and if they had a smidge of a wrinkle, she was on my case. (It didn't help that her office was in my store.)

I bought one pair of very expensive shoes (Ariats), which in every other way are perfect-except for touching my instep. The last few times I've worn them, I've noticed a disturbing rash, and since many pairs of socks and hose are uncomfortble, I've stuck to my Crocs.

Still, I wanted cute shoes that were comfortable. A few months back, I happened on a blog Barking Dog Shoes, which is specifically written for those of us with problem feet. The emails would come and I'd see adorable shoes. Nothing quite addresses my issue, but there are many that come close, that I figured that sooner or later, I'd find something that hit 80% of my wants/needs and I'd give it a try.

Last week, she featured these:

Alegria Paloma "Coral Owls" and I fell in love. (Image from Footwear, Etc., but they appear to be sold out of them.)

Well, not with the color.

If those were blue or green, I would have bought them instantly. Instead, I scoped out several other sites, found some bargains in what appears to be my size, and I plopped down $60 on a pair of shoes. I was holding my breath that the strap would land high enough on my instep that it wouldn't stir up DEFCON pain impulses, as it appears to be about a half inch higher than other Mary Jane type straps. That strap means my right shoe won't go flying in front of me because it's much wider than needed on that foot.

Sure enough, they arrived Friday night and were promptly unboxed and placed upon my feet, as seen here:

They definitely hit the 80% benchmark I had in mind, though more road testing may bump that number up. I wore them Friday, out and about to dinner, a concert, and for after show drinks, then out today as I ran errands. Yes, they rub the instep in a way I can't ignore (unfortunately), but high enough on my foot that it doesn't make the alarm bells in my nerves go into overdrive. Maybe the sensory input will become familiar and eventually, I won't notice every movement of my foot. Gee, doesn't that sound weird? It's why I've lived in Crocs!

I think I have a winner, they're comfortable, cute, and go with a large portion of my wardrobe. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Oh, and those adorable owl shoes? I said to Ed that the reason I didn't get them was because I own two red tops. He doesn't get the matchy matchy thing and urged me to buy them if I really like them. I suspect that they will be worn with much of my black and gray wardrobe.

No, I won't turn into an Imelda Marcos clone, but to move from four pairs of shoes I can wear to five (and soon, to six), is worth talking about!


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