S is for shoes. Ahhh. Every woman's nemesis. Why are we so obsessed with shoes? I could go on a complete rhetoric of my own history with shoes, but I would probably be preaching to the choir. (See chapter 7 of my book, I Have MS. What's Your Super Power?) My affection for footwear has not lessened since diagnosis, but it has taken a turn. Where I once filled my closet with ridiculous trends and fashions, I now only have shoes of comfort and close fitting support. No more flip flops, high heels, or heavy boots. My foot drop and balance issues dictate shoe choice.
It is really weird. What adequately works one day may be a totally different story the next. With my foot drop, my foot wear needs to be a firm fit. There can be no additional flopping around or extra length in the toe. Lace ups work best, but are not always sensible, especially on those days when my fingers decide to go on sabbatical. On those days I find myself tying and retying laces to find the appropriate tension.
But I wear these.
Thinking back, I have no idea how my former self tottered around on those ridiculous high heels, platforms, and Candies. I could even "trot" a bit in them. Now, even the slightest amount of lift in a shoe sends me spiraling out of control.
I also have a problem with slip-ons. When I was much younger I always wanted an official pair of polished penny loafers, complete with that shiny coin tucked in that little slot at the top of the foot. (I know...the inner Prep comes out.) The height was never the problem. I just couldn't keep them on my feet. The heel slide was intolerable no matter how many brands I tried. I used to blame my narrow heel, but I know now that it was more likely the way on which I did/did not lift my foot. (Ironic that it was always my right foot then and still is now.)
Although I do not shop much any more, my initial research on footwear brought to me Beorn as a reliable brand that woks well for me. Not always as pricey as some of the other shoes on the market, Beorn can often be found at J.C.Penney's at a reduced price. But, you do not have to go brand name. When you find a pair of shoes that work for you, the brand is not important.
I have also discovered that being able to slip off my shoes, especially when the temperature is warm, is important. Of course, this puts a screw in my lace-up plans, so I go for a Velcro walking sandal. With spring officially opening today, I am excited to get mine out of the closet because I will literally live in these. Socks or no socks, this is my pick. Where once I dreamed of being a pearl wearing preppy, I am now a true blue Bohemian flower child. If I could afford Birkenstock's I would own the entire collection. Thank goodness there are a lot of knock-offs on the market that serve just as well.
Teva also makes a nice Velcro sandal and they are especially affordable if you can wear a child's size. Seriously, that is a great ways to shop for shoes if it works for you. I have a small foot, so I wen y son was much younger (with smaller feet), I always took advantage of two-for-one sales at the local children's shoe store.
Boots are an extremely comfortable idea when weather appropriate. I can even tolerate a little bit of an incline with boots, but not much more than a moderate block rise and a square, wedge, or block sole. Once again, J.C. Penney is the place to find reasonably priced boots. Especially this time of year. Winter footwear will certainly be on sale with this being the first of spring.
At one time I had a serious shoe problem; a major fetish issue. In my early years of teaching, I would often forego food to purchase shoes (with matching handbags), many of which I only wore a few times. Now my rich tastes are rarely evident. And since my son currently wears a men's size 12, I cannot ride on his trips to the shoe store. I might make a ride to our favorite children's store soon just to see if there is anything I can afford to replace the last pair I purchased with him. (Needless to say, that last purchase is getting really thread/leather bare....They are at least six years old and worn hard.)
What are your issues with shoes and foot care? Although this may sound a ridiculous concern to most people, I know that you know what I'm talking about.
Happy Vernal Equinox!