Shoe Talk

Last night I walked in my first 5K.  I was excited to get going…so much so that I never gave a second thought to the shoes I was wearing.  I am a basic/plain kind of girl (except my excellent, beautiful, hot pink and purple hair, of course).  I am not really a “shoe girl” – never have been.  When I was in high school I owned one pair of boots.  One.  They cost over $100 and I had to buy them with my own money, so I was not into “splurging” to have all kinds of shoes.  I loved my boots, and I wore them every single day – to any function – no matter the occassion.  I could always be found in my black leather platform chunky boots (think “KISS army” kind of boots…or so my ex- says – LOL).

As I grew into adulthood, my style really never changed.  I look pretty dang similar (aside from this extra weight, of course) to the girl who sat in the middle/side of the classroom trying to drown out Ms. DeBra’s monotone take on American history.  I had tattoos then, I had colorful hair then, and I had my boots.  Honestly, I would still be rocking those boots if the zipper had not given out on them (they are actually still sitting in my basement because I cannot bear to part with them…weird, I know).

Anyway, back in 2009 I went through a “I-am-going-to-be-skinny-in-a-few-months” phase and I went shoe crazy (apparently) for the first time in my life.  The funny thing?  I bought an “abundance” of shoes I have never even dreamed of wearing…heels.  Chunky, platform, “hooker heels” (as Shonnie would say).  Aesthetically speaking, I love all the shoes I bought…and I bought them all on clearance (yeah, baby!).  I spent less than $150 on five pairs of heels and two pair of “sneakers.”  Not bad.

A line up of tallest to shortest heels.

You’ll probably start to notice a trend here…

The rest of the line up...

Black and white are (apparently) quite appealing to me…

Black polka dotted hooker them!

I have “unique” taste, I know…

I *love* the piano keys along these heels...really!

Could these be any more adorable (channeling some old school Chandler Bing)?!

I'm pretty sure I actually gasped when I saw these...the checker board pattern, the zipper framing...

The problem?  I have never worn any of them…and I may never wear them.  In 2009 I lost about 30 pounds (all of which were back with me in the beginning of this year) and had dreams of reaching a size 13/14 within a few months (maybe six?).  That, of course, was an absurd and ridiculous ideal…and totally unobtainable.  I gained every bit of that 30 pounds back (and probably a few more) within six months after hitting a plateau and becoming frustrated.  These shoes have sat in my closet ever since.

The reality is at 300+ pounds these shoes were impossible to wear…impossible.  My feet barely fit into a few of them (bulging at the straps and toe portions of the shoes.  I would sit on my couch and angrily curse the adorable, trendy shoes that just would not feel comfortable – no matter what I tried.  Even now, after losing 53+ pounds, I cannot wear them.  My feet no longer bulge at the straps, but this bum ankle (and the constant requirement of a brace, which is the wanna-be-skin-tone-color of a manequin) prevents me from taking a single step in any of these cutie shoes.  Sigh.

So, what brings about the shoe talk?  Last night’s 5K walk, of course.  As I am rocking my only pair of “gym” shoes walking briskly with my pal, I start to notice a certain “burning” on the bottom of my left foot.  A blister?  Could not be.  Another 1/2 mile passes and the burning gets stronger.  Pretty sure that is a blister after all.  I ask my girlfriend if her feet feel like they are developing blisters, and she replies (of course) that her feet are just fine.  She looks at my shoes and says, “Maybe you should have worn different shoes, though.”  I look at the other people around us and realize I am the *only* person walking in shoes that are not designed for such a purpose.  My “gym” shoes were purchased at Wal-Mart for probably $15 about a year ago.  While they do not look as rugged as the shoes at the top of this post, they are probably just as ineffective at comfort when walking over 3 miles.

When I got home and peeled off my shoes and socks, I was shocked to find a blister easily the size of two quarters next to each other on the ball of my left foot.  Another blister (about the size of a dime) was in the same place on my right foot…only this one was bright red.  It took me a second to realize the blister was bright red (and not white/clear) because it was/is filled with blood.  Crazy.

Needless to say…I need new shoes.  I am going to have to dump my old, cheaper Wal-Mart shoes and spring for real, comfortable walking/jogging shoes.  The problem is I have *never* even looked at real walking/jogging shoes, much less bought any, so I have no idea what I am really looking for.  I need some advice or direction here.

What kind of shoes do you wear?  What kind of shoes do you recommend?  Also…what in the world can I do about these blisters on my poor feet?  They are killing me, and I am not sure how to effectively treat them so they can heal/go away quickly.


2 responses to “Shoe Talk

  1. Be careful to take care of the blisters – sorry I can’t give you the best advice on how to do so – because you want them to heal quickly. So sorry you got them! Sounds like a project for google.

    Even though it may seem expensive, go to a store that specializes in running shoes. If at all possible, pick a small, independent running store rather than Foot Locker or a big-box all sports store. I just got new shoes, and they have made an incredible difference. The store manager looked at how I ran and walked, talked to me about the activities I do, and brought out shoes that were designed for those activities & my foot structure.

    He also laced them differently based upon how they were fitting my feet. They were designed to be laced and pulled different ways depending upon the need for a looser heel, or higher arch, or whatever foot quirk. Definitely not something bargain shoes have.

    He never asked if I wanted Nikes or Asics or any particular brand – he assumed, and he was right, that I wanted shoes that would fit and support me. I’m not actually sure what kind I did get!

    They also came with a 30-day guarantee, and I had to take one pair back, after I’d worn them to the gym – it was no problem. I think most real running stores have that same guarantee.

    Don’t worry about price. This is a critical tool in your health & life. Good luck!

    • I am certainly willing to spend the money to ensure I *never* end up with blisters again! 😉 I cannot recall the last time I had a blister on my foot…much less both of them at the same time. I just hope a specialty shoe store has something that fits my feet. Apparently, I have extremely wide feet (which I found out when I was trying to buy a pair of Dansko’s a couple years ago. My feet were too wide for *any* of those shoes…BOO! 😦

      Also – I have custom orthodics from my podiatrist, so I guess I should look for a shoe that will allow me to keep using those. They have helped my plantar faciitis tremendously (which – knock on wood – doesn’t even bother me anymore).

      Thanks for the tips, Andie!

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