My shoe battles

I hate shoes. I want to like them, I really do. I can appreciate a gorgeous shoe like anyone else. Except to me it’s more like artwork, to be admired from afar and perhaps lusted after, but knowing all the while that it’s completely out of my reach.

You see I have lumpy, awkward feet. They are wide at the front and skinny at the heel. My toes could affectionately be called french-fry toes, cause, you know, they are long and scraggly. Except for my pinkie-toe – it’s the serious runt of the litter. All in all, it makes for a mess of awkward shapes that do not correspond to the shape of shoes available for purchase at all. Attempting to usually leads to pain.

I’m nothing if not practical, and to be honest, even if my feet weren’t totally wonky, I probably still wouldn’t wear pretty shoes on a regular basis. I have places to go, at a brisk pace! Teetering on high heels is just seriously going to slow me down.  And really, what is the point of being in discomfort on a daily basis? To look good? Pssht! That’s just not a compromise I’ve ever been willing to make, though I do admire the hell out of women who do as I breeze past them on the sidewalk.

But at parties where I don’t need to travel anywhere briskly, except maybe the bar, I would love to wear something like this.

At the store I might pick this up, run my hand along it, and pretend for a brief, glorious moment that I am one of those people who could actually wear this out in the world. Without grimacing. I’m also hoping to throw off the sales-people who by this point have probably seen my hideous man-loafers and are trying to decide if they should be nice to me in case it’s a Pretty-Woman type of situation, or if I’m just a lost cause.

Under desperate circumstances, like when I needed shoes for my wedding, I actually try to force my feet into some of these gorgeous, delicate shoes. It never ends well.* I always hope and pray that the salesperson will just leave the shoes with me and walk away, so I don’t have to defile them right in front of him/her. If they stay, I try to slip the shoe on under the cover of nearby objects all stealthy-like, which probably just makes them wonder why the girl with the weird feet puts her shoes on crouched under a bench.

For the most part I’ve come to be at peace with my hideously practical shoe collection by avoiding all full-length mirrors and pretending that anything below my ankles isn’t actually visible. But in August, I am a bridesmaid at a dear friend’s wedding and feel responsible for dressing my feet in something decent, since photographs prove that my shoes actually are visible to the outside world.

My dress hasn’t arrived yet, but this is what it looks like on a stick figure – to get a better idea, just picture it on someone with a bone-structure that would actually be able to stand-up under the earth’s gravity. It’s really quite cute! And it has pockets! There are endless cute blog-worthy photo-ops possible.

The bride is pretty easy-going on what we pick, but that’s only because she thinks about shoes the way most normal people do; just pick a cute heel and be done with it. Sigh… I wish it were that simple for me.

So in preparation, I have been looking at shoes for months now. I keep eyeing the styles in the stores, trying to pinpoint one that might work to accommodate my feet while not being totally offensive to her wedding aesthetic. If I’m a little optimistic and bring a lot of bandages, one of these might work:


What do you think? Wedding acceptable?

*Needless to say my wedding shoes did not get photographed.


Posted on April 13, 2011, in Life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I wear a lot of Sofft shoes, especially for work where I’ll be in them for a long time, and generally find them to be pretty cushy. That said, they tend to run a tad narrow for me in the average/medium width. But they’re definitely worth trying on. Very nice quality and pretty, too.

    Of the three shoes, I would go with the middle one as being the best bet for comfort and still pretty.

    • I went straight to the Sofft shoes because I own one pair and they are by far the most comfortable pair of relatively tall heels I’ve worn. I just have a hard time finding their stuff in stores…

  2. Dude, I hear you. I have the issue of wide/ugly feet with crooked toes, plus the added bonus of bunions. Were I to actually try to cram my feet in normal/pretty/narrow/high shoes, I’d just whimper and fall over. Oh, and accelerate the rate at which my toes get pushed to the side.

    SO! I am in your boat. And I like your shoe options there at the bottom! I think the first ones are my favs but I’ve been wanting to get nude ones like the bottom pair for a while. Nice job!

    • Yeah that’s the problem when you start out with screwy feet – they only tend to get more screwy with time as you shove them into shoes they were never meant to be in. I’ll probably just end up walking around in slippers…

  3. AVOID THE ANKLE STRAP! They suck after 5 minutes.

    I also hate shoes. I love the way they look but cute ones make me SO miserable that I swear up and down I’m just going to wear flats for the rest of my life and be comfortable and happy. 3 days after I swear that I inevitably see a cute pair of heels and THEN swear that I’m going to just suck it up and learn to live in heels – everyone else can do it after all. My life is a constant back and forth between these two dedications. It’s pathetic.

    • How DO those other people do it?? I’ve gotten myself worked up enough to buy some ill-advised shoes thinking ‘if they can then so can I’ – and obviously now they just sit in my closet.

      • I go through the same process!! Every time I decide to go for it with a pair of high heels, I’m thinking to myself “well if they can do it I can do it.” but then it’s so so awful. I don’t understand how people wear them all the time.

        I love the top 2 the best also, and agree with Sarah above that probably the middle pair has the best cuteness-comfort ratio. I might peek around at some shoes online and pass along some links if I see any good ones!

  4. ok I did some perusing on, not sure if any of these will be helpful but! here you go.

    (there should be a gold shoe option at each link) (only appears to come in B width but looks comfy..!) (how wide do you need? these only come in E)

    also I forgot to tell you how I laughed out loud at the sales ladies “trying to decide if they should be nice to me in case it’s a Pretty-Woman type of situation…” baahahahah!

    • oooh I really like the second one, and I like that there are numerous widths available! Such a rarity. I actually ended up buying my wedding shoes down in the states because of better selection and might have to do the same now.


  5. Oh, chica. I hear you. I have one pair of heels I can wear and walk in comfortably, and they’re about to die. Which kills me.

    All other shoes hurt me, I can’t stand in, and other flats bite into my ankle at the wrong point!

    I *want* to like shoes too, but then I weigh the discomfort factor and the price point and just put them back and go home feeling like a horrible Girl.

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