Do These Shoes Make My Feet Look Big?

Last year, Domer’s roommate was a shoe-a-holic.

A male shoe-a-holic.

This guy must have had several dozen pairs of shoes, from casual to fashionable. Some he kept around simply because he didn’t mind if they got muddy; others had the kind of sole that made Band practice (and that special hike-step) a breeze; still more were for show, to prove he was a “hip” kind of fella.

And that’s just fine. To each, his own.

Up to now Domer hasn’t been what you’d call a “shoe kind of guy.”

Oh, he wears them (just not around the house), and he’s fussy about the brand name (NO New Balance, thank you very much!). But his needs are pretty basic — “every day” shoes, shoes for tennis, sandals, and dress shoes — nothing close to what his shoe-a-holic roommate needed.

When he was little, Domer liked character shoes — featuring Pokemon, or whatever was popular at late summer when we’d buy shoes for the coming school year.

As he got into middle and high school, he bought what his friends were buying — usually Nikes in traditional colors of royal blue, black, silver, and white. That didn’t change much when he went off to college, although the brand-of-choice became Asics.

Then I was able to pick out and buy his shoes when he needed them. I knew his taste (and my price range!), so we were good to go.

No more.

During Spring Semester, he texted me that his Asics were showing signs of wear and tear. ‘I need some shoes,’ he told me.

So I went shopping. Took photo after photo on my camera phone and sent them to him.

Nothing clicked.

‘Maybe you’d better let me pick them out,’ he suggested.

‘Just tell me what you want, and I’ll get it,’ I offered.

No dice.

So the other evening we went shopping, and these were what he had to have:

Adidas Climacool Seduction in “Electricity”

At least you can see him coming, right?!

The fashionable heel, 2010

I got my new issue of Lucky magazine recently and combed it cover to cover in hopes of finding that fashion designers had finally come to their senses and were showing classic, comfortable shoes again.

Sigh, it wasn’t to be.

Check these accidents-waiting-to-happen:

Spiky high heels

Yikes!

My niece is twenty-something and swears by this kind of high heel. It makes her look taller, she says.

I refuse to argue, but if I wanted to look that tall, I’d carry around a ladder with me!

Besides, after having crammed her feet into such high fashion shoes for the past several years, she’s now complaining about foot pain, bunions, and all the other ailments that go with mindless beauty.

Oh, sure, I used to wear high heels, too — back when I was young and mindless.

I had a pair of at-least-three-inch-pumps in every possible color — navy, black, maroon, beige, you-name-it. They were comfortable, they made me look taller and feel more confident, they immediately proclaimed me “off limits” to too-short men, and they were necessary so I didn’t have to re-hem my slacks.

But don’t expect me to wear those things now!

I picked up a pair yesterday at a department store, casually wondering how women get their feet inside, and had not one but two other women volunteer they’d never again wear such spike heels!

“I’d break my neck,” one said.

“My back already hurts,” added another.

The fashionistas are trying to convince us to shed our summertime flip-flops and sneakers, replacing them with more fall-like colors and styles. I understand that. It’s been a tough economy for everybody, and shoe manufacturers aren’t exempt.

But seeing these styles, I can’t help but fall to my knees and thank God I work for myself and don’t have to wear shoes at all if I don’t want to!

Beating the Black Friday crowds

Show of hands now — how many braved the shoppers (and here, the frigid cold!) to hunt Black Friday bargains during the wee hours of the morning?

Because I stayed up late with My Favorite Domer watching Texas beat A&M on TV last night, I opted to sleep in a bit. Still, once I was up and had a decent breakfast, I hurried to the stores to see what I could find. I didn’t spend much, but I got a great deal on some fuzzy boots I’d been eyeing — best of all, they’re almost as comfy as my moccasins!

I couldn’t help recalling this time several years back, when MFD and I arose in the still-dark, dressed, and drove a half-hour away to a store we don’t have here because their flyer advertised HUGE SALES!

The main thing we were shopping for then was a DVD player, the portable kind, and he had to have one.

When we arrived, the parking lot was nearly full, and easily more than a hundred shoppers (bundled in coats and hats) were lined up in the parking lot, well away from the main doors.

No way were we going to do that!

We started sauntering toward the building — not an easy feat, since those other shoppers kept hollering bad things at us. Ignoring them, we continued and approached the doors, just as the employees were opening.

Of course, we scooted in practically first (those people were really mad by this time!). But hey, nobody said they had to line up in the brr-cold like idiots; there was no cordoning off tape, no signs, no tickets to take, and no security guards.

MFD was quite a bit shorter then, so he led the way, slipping in and out of the aisles like a real pro. The others, of course, had stopped to pick up shopping carts, slowing their progress way down. Inside of fifteen minutes, we’d picked up everything on our list and proceeded to check out.

What a rush! He still talks about it — me, I’m just glad we didn’t get shot. I’d almost rather pay a bit more and shop at my leisure, instead of tangling with uber-intent people over “stuff” neither of us truly needs!

Shoes

It all started with a simple question: “Do you need anything?”

My Favorite Domer said he needs a pair of shoes. Have you ever tried to buy shoes for a teenager who’s not with you to try them on — or help pick them out? Trust me, you don’t want to!

MFD said he wants tennis shoes. Not the “fashionable” kind with lightweight mesh covering the foot; not the kind with gaudy colors — just “basic” sneakers. The kind that hold up in the cold and wet weather that predominates northern Indiana at this time of year.

I’ll probably end up visiting every shoe store within an hour’s radius, looking for the “perfect pair” of shoes. We moms don’t mind, though, do we?

You know, it’s hard enough finding shoes for myself. For some odd reason, women’s shoes just plain aren’t comfortable. Now, I’m not talking about slippers or sneakers here; I’m referring to dress shoes.

Which idiot designed those pointy-toed stilettoes with 5-inch heels? I ask you, does that kind of shoe look like any woman’s foot you’ve ever seen? And who can walk in those things? If you have to sway when you’re standing to keep your balance and wobble like a drunk when you’re walking, well that’s not my idea of dignity and class!

And how about those flat-soled, sueded, furry boots the kids have all grabbed up this season and last? Sure, they’re cute, but I wonder how practical they are in typical boot-weather of rain and snow? Of course, if you’re living in the Deep South, no problem — wear ’em and be cute!

But even flip-flops aren’t comfortable, not for me anyway. I never could stand having that rubbery thing between my big toe and second toe. It does nothing but chafe and rub blisters; shoot, even the flapping sound those things make when you walk gets annoying after a while!

I used to wear dress shoes — every day — and loved them. I had a closet full of at least 3-inch heels — in all the practical colors — and I never had achy feet when I slipped them off at day’s end. I wore cowboy boots, too — again, with heels and pointed toes; no problems. So when did all this change?

I refuse to blame it on age. There are countless women my age (and older!) who wear these uncomfortable shoes daily and seem to have no issues with them. And really, would the designers, manufacturers, and sellers keep churning out these things if there was no market for them? I don’t think so.

If truth be told, I suspect my changing opinion occurred when I started working for myself. At last, I could wear what I wanted to, when I wanted to! If I wanted to go barefoot, who would know? What freedom!

So most days now, you’ll find me in the most comfortable shoes available — my own feet, some next-to-nothing chocolate-brown moccasins I got at Land’s End, or my sneakers. Only if I have a client meeting outside my office or a funeral to attend will I succomb to the agony of wearing dressy shoes.

After all, if your feet hurt, how can you expect to do your best work??