WIT :: cute and comfortable shoes – c’est possible?

original image from StyleSetGo.com

original image from StyleSetGo.com

So the other day, I came to a painful realization – the Forty-plus Decline has begun.

It started making its presence known early on, with a mild case of the White Hair sniffles. Then it got a little more severe with the Eyesight’s-gone-bad virus. And now, I think it’s morphed into a full-blown epidemic because I’ve got the OMG-I’m-the-Little-Mermaid-with-knives-stabbing-my-feet-when-I-walk sickness.

Wearing these heels are what did it. I thought for the longest time that my foot pain was due to the lack of carpet in our classrooms. And since our new principal swears the concrete floor will be replaced this summer, I thought I just had to hang on and wait it out. My stilettos’ appearances were few and far between this year because of this.

But that day! Man, I felt like my feet were on fire. And not in the good Katniss-from-Hunger-Games kinda way either. I was limping by first block, hobbling by second and by third block, I just gave up, yanked them off and slipped into my fuzzy, pink house slippers which I keep in my cupboard for just such emergencies.

I’ve talked about my pains before. So what made this incident the epiphany? I spent the entire day in the computer lab, is why. And the computer lab is carpeted. Which means it’s not the lack of padding that’s putting me in pain; it’s my traitorous body finally yelling “Uncle!” and demanding I treat them right.

But here’s the thing: can I still look stylish and cheeky if I wore sensible shoes? Actually, a better question: will I have the same variety options if I wore sensible shoes? Because I know I can totally rock Chucks and moto boots and flats – all with stylish and cheeky potential, fer shure! – but that limits me to specific styles, doesn’t it? Based on the 5 Fashion Personalities, will I still be able to do Alluring? Or Classic? Or, to some extent, variations of Feminine and Dramatic?

As we’ve discussed before, I am a fashion chameleon. I like mixing things up. I fear that with my imminent descent into sensible shoe hell, I will have to surrender choice and variety for comfort.

First-world problems. I get it. I know. But this is what I’m thinking at the mo’ and I felt in the sharing mood. But now, let’s make it less about me and more about you, my friends.

Feel free to chime in with your advice and opinions. Do you wear sensible shoes? Do you feel limited in scope because of them, or have you simply developed a fashion personality around them? Can sensible shoes be comfortable and cute? Do you have suggestions for where to get them? Am I just batpoop crazy and I need to chillax with this shoe thing?

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 as this discussion continues with more of my musings, 5 pictures and well-deserved shout-out to the lovely Kirsten @ Barking Dog Shoes.

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17 thoughts on “WIT :: cute and comfortable shoes – c’est possible?

  1. Wow. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I hadn’t realized how lucky I’ve been over the years. I’m still wearing my heels at work … concrete and all, but I have come to the conclusion that this is the christening gift I got from the Stiletto Fairy. Because I’d been denied height, willow thin grace, conventional beauty and a tiny nose, she bestowed upon me the ability to wear heels in relative comfort. That’s all I can figure.

    They’re not as comfy as house slippers, and comfort is relative. I often cruise through the evening without thinking of my feet at all until I realize I’m pulverized all over, not just my tootsies. And platforms are way easier to wear than very tall single-soled stilettos . The reintroduction of the mid-heel has been a boon … of course they’re easier to wear. Wedges, too. I don’t wear the six inch height because at 5′ 0″, they are just dumb looking on me proportionately. Seriously, I think it’s just the way my feet are built, and that I have a very low center of gravity.

    I swear to you though … if your toes get squished down into the toe, especially if your normally delicate tootsies sweat like little piggies in the summer, you should consider trying the cork liners I go on about all the time. I never go out in shoes without them, and they work in the most strappy, nekkid-ist sandals.

    A word of encouragement from someone a quarter century older than you. Yup, all the changes can feel grim, but you have decades of glamour yet to enjoy, and the first blush of youth is overrated. You’re evolving, not going down hill, damn it! Color your hair, smile back at your laugh lines, wear sunblock and retinol.

    And I just use a Q-tip to dip in a dab of my hair-color for carefully coating my brows. No problem, doesn’t drip. You don’t rub it into the skin, of course … just coat the brow. You will have fun scaring yourself with your reflection in the mirror just before you rinse it all out, and that’s always a plus.

    • At this point, I’ll try anything. Send me a link to those cork liners, please?

      And I know youth is overrated. I just have to work on my acceptance of a new paradigm, is all. That, and realizing I may have to surrender some of my carefully-curated clothes in deference to a changing body. :/

      • Cork liners … I’ve never seen them commercially and have looked high and low. Some high end shoe stores give them out, and that’s were I saw them first. I make my own. The thinnest craft cork sheets you can find (without sticky stuff on back), one of the commercial pads you put just in the toe box to use as a pattern, a pen, a pair of scissors …. trace around the pad with the pen and cut them out.
        I’ll bet your daughter would happily make them by the truckload for a quarter a sheet … more if she’s one of those kids with super-negotiating skills.
        They’re life savers, I tell ya!

        • Ha! My daughter would do it for free if I told her it was a craft project. 😀 Thanks for the tip! Now to find those craft cork sheets…

  2. Well, my Dear, I was only gone for a little over a week and it is taking the entire evening for me to catch up on all of your adventures. You are one busy girl. No wonder your feet hurt. I was a flight attendant. My feet are a mess! We were required to wear high heels for hours and hours at very high altitudes and we were required to smile, even if someone threw up on our shoes. I, too, am on the hunt for those elusive comfortable fashionable go with everything make your legs look stunning shoes. Hope we find them!

    • And how was the wedding? Did you dazzle them with your brilliance? When do we get to see pics? Am I nagging too much?! LOL!

      You know, considering all these amazing, creative women in search for cute comfy shoes, you’d think we all should just band together, start our own business and design them ourselves!

  3. I totally get it! (and I’ve got at least 15 years on you, young chick!) I have made it my mission to find alluring flat and low-heeled shoes. They may also be feminine and dramatic, I’m not sure. We’re not meant to wear high heels, any of us, we just suffer because they make our legs look long. Phooey on that : >

    • But…but…but…I actually find it more comfortable when I wear a little bit o’ heel than flats. Am I weird? Or have my feet just become brainwashed to heels?

  4. Oh, do I get where you’re coming from! I taught for over twenty years on concrete wearing the cutest shoes imaginable…not heels as a rule…I taught fourth graders who move really fast! About five years ago, I began to experience excruciating pain in my left foot and leg. Off to the doc I go…arthritis he says and prescribes a med which worked…killed the pain anyway! When said med got yanked off the market, I went to an ortho guy. He tells me I have fallen arches and writes out a prescription to take to the really spendy shoe store…read orthopedic shoes and such. The woman brought me running shoes! I asked her if I looked like I ran! I buy the shoes and wear them…students make fun of my footwear…agonizing pain as my foot is now being held where it’s supposed to be! Back I go to the doc…surgery it is! Eight incisions, various pins and screws and plates later, I have a bionic foot! But, boy howdy do I have a beautiful arch! What I don’t have are comfortable, supportive, cute shoes! I have been searching for years now. I did find a cute pair of t-straps made by Cobb Hill which is New Balance for dressing up! While I was still teaching, I kept 4-5 pairs of shoes under my desk and changed in and out of them throughout the day. Gone are my days with Old Navy flip flops and Chucks. I just can’t do it! Good luck on your search!

    Oh, and yes, you can dye your eyebrows, but I’m too chicken to try…you can end up with dyed skin!

    • Oh, no! Fallen arches? Can that happen?! And I love my Chucks too!

      Sigh.

      On one hand, I’m happy to know I’m not alone in this shoe dilemma. On the other hand, the more I investigate and gather data, the more discouraged I become. I thought all I had to worry about regarding getting older were wrinkles, grey hair and a declining metabolism. Never knew feet and eyebrows would be issues. >.<

  5. I’ll watch this post with interest. As you know, I am dipping my toes into the stylish shoe pool these days. I definitely have not found an all day heel, but that hasn’t really been my intention so far. I’ve mainly been looking for shoes that I can wear out, either to dinner, a show or for a shorter period of walking or standing. I do have one pair of the Payless Comforts, but to be honest, I haven’t worn them out of the house yet. That’s what happens when you buy a bunch of shoes at the same time.

    • I actually received my most recent Payless order in the mail after I wrote this 2-part series and I probably need to do a follow-up. Because, I tell ya, those Comfort Plus shoes from their store are uh-mazing! Are they the best quality? Probably not. But if you buy them in multiple colors and rotate their wear like I do, then quality can be overlooked for immediate comfort. The modest 3-inch heel (well, modest for me anyway) is the perfect walking about height, and the price? Fuggedaboutit! You MUST try yours and tell me what you think.

  6. Back when I was a kid, no part of a school had carpet! We were tough, I tell you, and the teachers were tougher. I never thought about how they had to stand on hard floors each day.

    I don’t wear heels much at all, never have really, except when I used to go out dancing. And I’m very skeptical of bloggers who show you two-inch wedges and say they’re really comfortable. I wish I could wear beautiful heels, but it’s not worth the discomfort. And there are alternatives – it looks like Kristin has a lot of them!

    Just wait till your eyebrows start going white, too. I used to pluck the white hairs, but there are too many now!

    • Were they hardwood floors or concrete? Because some geniuses at my school decided that concrete would be hip and cool and easier to clean when we were deciding on the new building and that’s what we got. I’ll take hard wood to concrete any day. Now I know why big box store cashiers stand on those mats.

      Two-inch wedges are actually comfortable; it’s the 6-inchers that are giving me issues now. ;p

      Eyebrows! Never thought of them! Can they be dyed too? They seem awfully close to eyes and I don’t want to risk blinding myself for beauty. Maybe I’ll just embrace the white and wear it gracefully. I know you do, m’dear! 🙂

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