If you are a guy, you’re probably going to want to stop reading now. Or, better yet, forward this post to the women in your life.
This post is about shoes. It’s not really related to RVing except that the lifestyle lends itself to sandals and I seem to have spoiled my feet for anything that isn’t comfortable and/or orthopedic.
My feet aren’t small and dainty. They are size 10 and wide. Big feet run in my family. My mom and my sister both have size 11 feet. To complicate things, my sister and I have also inherited my grandmother’s bunions. Did you just cringe? Sorry. You, too, might wonder if bunions are horrible onion-like growths on your foot. Why else would they be called bunions, right?
Bunions Rhyme With Onions… And That’s All They Have In Common
I can assure you that bunions have nothing to do with onions. A bunion is a swollen bump that many of us have on the joint of our big toe. Your big toe starts to look like it got crammed into pointy-toe, high-heeled shoes for too long. And because the big toe is turned in a bit, the joint starts to protrude, creating a “bunion” or a bump, making it even more challenging to find comfortable shoes. As time goes on, some big toes take on a more severe angle, which makes the joint become even more distended, requiring surgery. Sorry if I introduced gross onion imagery into your head that won’t go away. Think about something great, like puppies. Or, watch this video about guys trying on high heels for the first time.
Horrible & Fabulous Shoes
When I was in my twenties, I ignored my screaming feet and wore ridiculously high-heeled shoes on a regular basis. They looked good, and that was all that was important. And then came my thirties and my ruined feet. Every time I put my foot in a shoe that had more than a three-inch heel, my big toe popped out-of-place. I got rid of all the ridiculous, fabulous shoes.
Comfort Is King
My forties brought bunions and a desire to be comfortable. I wear sandals a lot. When I get up in the morning, I put on my sandals and wear them all day. My feet are so happy. But I can’t wear sandals to work. It’s against dress code. Plus, I would just look weird in my dress, hose, and sandals. So I still need to buy heels. And I refuse to wear orthopedic-looking shoes while I’m in my forties, even though I suspect these objections are hollow and that I’ll be wearing only “sensible” shoes in my fifties.
Pointy-Toed Shoes Of Death
Forget about anything with a pointy toe. In addition to making my feet feel like they are on fire, my foot won’t comfortably fit on a step. Think about it. I’m already a size 10. If I add a point to the shoe, it extends the front of my foot at least 1-2 inches. My whole foot won’t fit on a step, which makes going up and down steps rather awkward. Have you ever seen a grown woman walking down a stairway sideways? Or worse, pigeon-toeing her feet to waddle down the steps, coming dangerously close to rolling head over huge, pointy-toed feet down the stairs? That’s not going to work.
Praying Mantis With Platforms
You can also remove platforms with high heels from the list of possible shoes. My friends say, “Oh, but you don’t even know you are wearing heels.” Yeah, right. I put them on, and for some reason, I can’t straighten my legs. I end up walking like a Praying Mantis, all gangly with bent elbows and knees, trying to balance while stomping around. That’s not going to work, either.
Finding comfortable heels is an oxymoron. If the shoe fits the widest part of my foot, my feet often flip out of the back of the shoe. So I look for a shoe that fits everywhere else OK, but feels a bit tight across the widest part of my shoe. I then take it home and use a stretcher to make it wider, not knowing if will actually become more comfortable or not.
I have found that “Mudd” brand shoes work well for me because they have a lower heel and the rounded toe creates more room for my wide foot, while having a retro feel. When shopping, I look for this brand or something similar.
Which brings me to the shoes I am wearing today and the inspiration for this article. I have been on a mission to replace my black work heels and I finally found something that I thought would work. After purchasing my new shoes, I put them on the stretcher. I know, I think it sounds medieval, too. As I was getting ready today, I slipped my feet into my newly stretched shoes and jumped in my car to come to work.
When I sat down at my desk, I looked down at my shoes, paused, and burst out laughing. Were my shoes on backwards? I seriously couldn’t tell. The rounded toe thing (and maybe the stretching) created the illusion that the shoes are curving outward. Take a look.
Also, they might look slightly orthopedic (a.k.a “sensible”). Dang. I hate shoe shopping.