Many things don’t bother me. I don’t drink, smoke, steal other women’s boyfriends and I have never skipped anyone in line. What? I hate that!
But have mercy, do I have the Jones for a nice pair of kicks! It’s like subconsciously I know when Macy’s will have a sale – even before the sale papers go out. I enter the mall, walk passed every store, go straight to my destination and head for the shoe rack. I ain’t completely crazy, however; I do go the clearance rack. It seems that recently a lot of department stores have a permanent clearance rack standing at all times. But where’s the fun in that? It takes the thrill out of the hunt. The Oh! out of the surprise.
How many shoes do I have, you ask? I am the proud owner of 101 pairs of shoes. I just bought my latest pair a couple of weeks ago. Alright, alright…I am trying to cut back. I’m doing much better, really I am. I can go into a store now, buy my non-shoe item and leave without buying a shoe at all. That doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about it. Once an addict…
Anyway, I decided to look into the attraction of the mystique of this thing called shoes, particularly high heeled shoes, if you will. Turns out, originally, women weren’t the only ones in love with a good high heel. British and French men (especially royalty or the rich) just thought they were to die for as well. Some men wore up to six inch heels! This is the reason why they walked with canes or had servants to assist them.
But as time went on, high heels were mainly made for women. Especially as the hemline rose, it was necessary to wear more attractive footwear. Consequently, we’ve seen so many styles come and go. There’s the everlasting pumps which originated from Britain. Then there’s the slingback, wedge-heel, and even the stiletto. Of the latter, I was shocked to know that they were created in 1955, by an Italian designer no less. I don’t have a favorite, but from time to time I do think about what I must be doing to my poor feet. You know, buying that shoe that’s a tinch too small just because they didn’t have my exact size, but was ever so cute, and at 75 percent off too! Sigh.
Now for the professional stance. The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) says that shoes that are higher than two inches are unsafe and unsound for the foot. But since it would be impossible for science to come between a woman and her Manolos, it was suggested if high heels are worn to not wear them for long periods of time or to bring a comfortable pair to change into. For anyone doing a lot of walking, the recommendation “is a walking shoe with laces (not a slip-on), a polymerized composition sole, and a relatively wider heel with a rigid and padded heel counter, no more than three-quarters of an inch in height.” In plainspeak: a sneaker.
Listed below are the APMA’s suggestions for purchasing the best-fitting shoes:
•Have your feet measured while you’re standing.
•Always try on both shoes and walk around the store.
•Always buy for the larger foot; feet are seldom precisely the same size.
•Don’t buy shoes that need a “break-in” period; shoes should be comfortable immediately.
•Don’t rely on the size of your last pair of shoes. Your feet do get larger, and lasts (shoemakers’ sizing molds) also vary.
•Shop for shoes later in the day; feet tend to swell during the day, and it’s best to be fitted while they are in that state.
•Be sure that shoes fit well—front, back, and sides—to distribute weight. It sounds elementary, but be sure the widest part of your foot corresponds to the widest part of the shoe.
•Select a shoe with a leather upper, stiff heel counter, appropriate cushioning, and flexibility at the ball of the foot.
•Buy shoes that don’t pinch your toes, either at the tips, or across the toe box.
•Try on shoes while you’re wearing the same type of socks or stockings you expect to wear with the shoes.
•If you wear prescription orthotics—biomechanical inserts prescribed by a podiatric physician—you should take them along to shoe fittings.
Okay, now we know. As for me, yes, I am an addict. So what do I plan to do with this information? What else? Give it direct application in its entirety at the next big sale at Macy’s!