Women’s shoes are the most irritating things in the world. For something that is essential, why are they so difficult to buy?
First there’s the question of fit. Have you ever seen women’s feet? They come in a million shapes – narrow at the toes and wide at the heels, narrow at the heels and wide at the toes, and narrow at the – in other words, women’s feet are outrageously various. Some of us have a really long second toe – the one beside the big one. As if this toe is trying to show off because it can’t be the “Big” toe, so it has to prove something by being the “long” toe. Unlike the poor 4th toe that has no distinction whatsoever. It’s neither the big toe, the long toe, the middle toe, nor the little toe. There is no nickname for this toe. For this reason, it is obstinate. During a pedicure, the cuticle clings to the nail of the fourth toe like super glue to your finger. It’s a spiteful toe that will often develop a corn, stone bruise, callous, bunion, inflammation, or some other misery to attract your attention. On my foot, this toe leans to the side, making it harder to paint.
But this doesn’t have a lot to do with shoes per se, so I will leave it and get back on topic. Which is, let me go back to the top and read…shoes.
I have a duck foot, so buying shoes is torture. No regular department store shoe is going to fit my foot. The shoe can be perfect in every way, but my toes will be scrunched up in the toe box like those dehydrated sponges you give to kids in the shape of crabs or sea horses. Once they hit the water, they get 10 times their size. My toes get in most shoes and shrink down, lapping over top of each other and screaming obscenities at me. Sometimes I have to wear earplugs.
I’ve gone to wide shoe stores but they have been designed for very old crippled women with odd bones and warts covering their feet. Just try to find something fashionable in there. If you do happen to spot a pair you like, they cost a fortune, as if to say, “With such a fat foot to cover, we’re charging you extra, baby.”
What women end up having to do is buy the least uncomfortable pair of shoes we can find, then go home and try to walk around on them just enough to see if the pain in our feet keeps throbbing or subsides to a dull ache that is bearable. But we can’t wear them too much or they’ll look “worn,” in which case we won’t be able to take them back. I’ve had sales clerks bring out magnifying glasses to see if there is any minute speck of gravel on the sole indicating I’ve worn it – gasp – outside. “It’s okay to walk around with them in the house, but don’t you dare go outside,” the sales clerk always snipes.
I used to wear 3” heels and stand up a good part of the day. That’s before I had children and my feet grew two sizes – from B to D. I refuse to wear old women’s shoes, even though no store carries my size anymore, and shoe stretchers break under the pressure of trying to make a regular store shoe suitable for my foot.
But enough complaining about the fit, let me launch into the style. What lunatic decided that those ugly, clunky shoes from the roaring twenties should be the new fashion rage? Good grief they’re ugly. They were ugly back then, but you only saw them on very thin women in movies. These are definitely not attractive styles on the average American woman today.
Plus there are Ugs, aptly named because you look at them and say, “Ug! Those are ugly!” And little flat shoes that are darling but either fall off your heel or reveal too much toe cleavage. And the big giant heels they have now – 6 inches and rising. They offset the height with 3 inches of sole on the front, so women wearing them look like the bride of Frankenstein.
I wish everyone could wear house slippers around all day like me. With my matching robe, I think I make quite the fashion statement.