I could write about a million other, more intellectual, things, but we need to have a conversation about shoes. And we should just hashtag this #firstworldproblems right now, because in the grand scheme of things, on the heels of two major hurricanes and ongoing problems in the world, I realize this is petty.
For those of you who don’t know, I was run over by a car almost two years ago, which broke 5 bones in my foot in a way that was particularly bad. They were displaced, meaning they shifted when they broke, so realigning them required plates and screws and pins. It was a lisfranc injury, which is bad. A year ago, I had surgery again to have those plates and screws and stuff removed. I spent a year in physical therapy. I can walk normally, which is a big deal, but my foot still hurts when I walk. It’s not as flexible as it once was. And well, shoes don’t fit quite the way they used to.
I’ll spare you the details, but basically, I was restricted to flats in the beginning and I needed a half-size larger to accommodate my foot, post-surgery. I was gradually able to wear some low heels and have a couple of pair that are working for me. The flats, though, have either worn out, or are flat-out too big now. I find myself having clothes that I can wear that I have no shoes that match.
Easy problem to solve one might think, but not so much. I’m limited in the kind of shoes I can wear. Heels over about 1.5 inches are out. Some flats are out if they have zero support or a narrow toe bed. Not so bad, you’re thinking. Plenty of options. Not so much. I’ve been to many a shoe store over the last couple of weeks, looking for one or two pairs of shoes that I can make my go-to pairs. I’m not trying to be Imelda Marcos here. I just want some professional, reliable, comfortable shoes that will go with a wide range of things I have in my closet. I did find a great pair of higher-heeled black shoes. They’re slightly nicer than a low-heel pair I have, and they’re comfortable.
As I’ve tried to find another pair in other colors, blue or brown or taupe, I’ve struck out. I’ve found some possibilities, but they’re available in . . . only black. Flat, comfortable shoes tend to be a) ugly; and b) available in black and, if you’re lucky, blue. Very few low-heeled shoes exist in the world. Most are 2 inches or higher, which would not just hurt, but potentially damage my foot.
I’ve pored through online stores, too. Same thing. I’ll find something that looks cute and the heel will be too high or they’ll only have it in black. Also common to find that it’s available in black and some random color like purple or floral pink or something. It’s weird.
So, I’m frustrated. There’s a paradox of choice in so many things, for sure. But I’m finding shoes particularly paradoxical. It looks like there are tons of options, but that’s only if you want one color or only high heels. I’m going to give it one more try this weekend. The hardest thing is that sometimes I find myself wandering through a shoe store and feeling a pang of sadness/anger mixed together at my fate, that I can’t just buy any old shoe anymore. And yeah, that kind of sucks.