Shoe Blues

Walking with Cake: Black boat shoes

(Grasshoppers’ slip-ons are so comfy.)

I have really big feet.  It’s no secret and I’m not embarrassed about this fact.  I’ve never given it that much thought, besides when other people mention it, but lately, I’ve had a hard time finding comfortable shoes.  I’ve always worn a size ten, and I’m used to shoes being too tight and rubbing blisters until I break them in.  I thought this was normal, but in the last several months, I’ve ordered two different pairs of shoes, both the same size, and I was surprised to find that they didn’t fit at all.  I couldn’t even get them on comfortably.

My feet definitely changed after having two children, but I’ve always been able to wear fashionable shoes pretty easily.  Sure, I sometimes get sized out of certain styles, but in general, a size ten has always worked.  Last week, I found myself really frustrated after another bad shoe experience, so I decided to check out a local shoe store known for comfort.  I pre-shopped online and found a brand that looked like my style, and when I arrived at the store, I headed straight for that display.  But the sales associate measured my feet and then flatly refused to let me try on the shoes I had come to buy.  She said they would kill my feet, and she steered me far away from them and found a pair she thought might work much better.

Walking with Cake: Metallic flats

(Metallic flats by Gabor.)

Along with my size tens, my feet are widest near the toes, so ballet flats (my favorite style) often squeeze and constrict my feet, which, over time, will only make them wider.  I’m certain I’ve accidentally widened my feet these last few years by wearing poorly fitting shoes, and after trying on the proper style for feet like mine, I realize that I’ve probably never worn shoes that actually fit.  It’s a little like finding the perfect size bra after wearing the wrong kind for years and years.  You feel better, walk taller, and even look thinner.

Properly fitting shoes are incredibly important, and when your feet hurt, it’s hard to concentrate on the things you are doing, like walking, or exercising, or playing with your children.  I realized I’ve probably spent years with unnecessary foot pain, because I thought truly comfortable shoes for larger feet didn’t actually exist.

Walking with Cake: Black flats by Gabor

(Black nubuck flats by Gabor.)

But that all changed last week.  I came home with three incredibly comfortable pairs of shoes that will see me through the spring and summer, and for a while to come, I hope.  They aren’t necessarily styles that I would seek out on my own, but they are classic and simple, and chic, I think.  I’ve already gotten compliments on them, which makes me feel a little better, and my feet are so incredibly grateful.

And, as luck would have it, the brand of shoe I originally wanted makes a great pair of sandals that will support my feet, so I have my eye on those for this summer.

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