I just came from Whole Foods where a group of 80-ish-year-old women were having lunch. They looked great for their age, and had they not been wearing clumpy, orthopedic shoes, I would have guessed them to be younger than their shoes made them appear. Lately it seems, I’ve been obsessed with shoes. A few weeks ago I wrote about the Ferragamo Shoe Museum in Florence, and this week my friend and I went to one of those no frills shoe stores.
You know the kind, those warehouse-looking stores that sell every shoe imaginable except for the ones in your size.
Rows of sample shoes were displayed on tables that ran the length of the store. The shoes in stock were stacked underneath on the floor and generally consisted of two, medium-sized 8s, one size 12 and five pairs of wide-sized 2s. I knew right away this wasn’t a store for my size 9.5, 6A heel.
Since this was a no-frills store, there were very few mirrors. A woman with big hair and shaved eyebrows—who probably ran an establishment called “Ruby’s Beer, Wine & Setups”—asked if I thought her shoes would “drive Wayne wild?” I ask you…
What can you say to a 60-year-old woman with hair the color of an overripe mango, wearing clear, acrylic, Cinderella want-a-be’s? Then there was the woman who’d found the perfect “breed-me, don’t feed-me” shoes which made her look like Janet Reno does the lobby of the MGM Grand.
If you’re like me, you may have hard-to-fit feet and/or most every shoe except orthopedic, old lady shoes makes walking painful. I know all the causes of foot pain like bunions, plantar fasciitis, Morton’s Neuroma, hammer toes and toenail fungus, and I have none of them, but my feet still hurt. If those conditions aren’t bad enough, did you know we lose the fat pads on the bottom of our feet as we age, and more women, than men, suffer from a painful foot osteoarthritis? Treatments can range from cortisone shots—you can’t have more than three in one year—to soaking your feet in ice water and custom orthotics. None are surefire fixes!
Along with thinning scalp hair that finds its way out the bottom of our chin, painful feet are another example of things our mothers never told us!
So what do we do? Seriously! I’ve tried everything! My last pair of custom orthotics—which don’t solve my problem—were hijacked by Lulu, my 11-month-old puppy. The missing bites probably won’t make a huge difference, but I’ve been waiting for them to “dry out” before I insert them into my shoes.
Some boots are comfortable, and there’s always sneakers, although I’m not a fan of Mary Jane’s, Birkenstocks or flip flops. Rats! Every now and then a girl just needs a great pair of high heels! I’m really depressed about my feet.