Feet and Fashion – Walk a mile in MY shoes
As far back as I can remember my parents always talked about my feet. How flat and long they were. I believe at some point either my Ma or Dad said, and I quote, “…they’re like long boats.” This was usually accompanied by laughs from everyone in earshot. Now, I’m not a parent but I don’t think I would have said that to/about my kid when they were listening. Though they were just joking around and I picked up their sense of humor, that always stuck with me. I just want you parents out there to remember this story. Not a cool thing to do, just saying’. Point of the story, I’ve always had flat feet.
I’m from what I consider to be, perhaps, the second generation of people to want shoes based on what the shoes looked like. Back in the day Troop, L.A. Gear, Adidas and Nike were the desired shoes by the youngsters. Now I’m not saying that those shoes didn’t provide a great foundation and support, but they didn’t help either.
My first and only pair of Chuck Taylor’s (aka: bubble-gums) was when I was about 11. Those were the coolest to me, I loved them with all my heart. I wore them 2 times. When I was in high school tan work boots and Lugz were in style. I remember saving up to buy a pair of the tan work boots. When I finally got them, and wore them to school for a week, my feet were in such pain I never wore them again. I think I still have some of the effects of those shoes to this day!
Getting through high school into my early adult years I still wore what everyone else, myself included, thought was fashionable. Keeping my shoes in their boxes when not in use, making sure my white shoes were at their best and not scuffing any of them on anything. You would have thought I was preserving their trade-in value I kept them so nice!
What Had Happened Was…
As I got older, my feet did too. Who knew? I used to wonder if older people really wanted to wear ugly shoes just because they got older. You know how kids think sometimes. I used to think “Now I know when they were younger they didn’t dress like that. So, what happened, old age?” I can’t be the only one who thought that… Come on now!
In my mid 30’s I spent a lot of time on my feet with the various jobs I had. Just as much time as I did in my 20’s. Except with one difference. My feet were feeling much more tired than I felt myself. And by the time I got home at the end of my shift, they were on fire.
Some of the symptoms I had starting from age 32 onward:
- Extreme heel pain (Plantar fasciitis)
- Lower back pain
- Knee pain/instability
- Extreme whole foot pain
- Irritability from constant pain
Now I’m not ashamed to tell what my issues are if someone can feel some relief in hearing my story. I’ve grown to accept my feet in all their “glory.”
Two weeks after I turned 35 I started having pain in my left big toe. It felt as though I had sprained it playing Kickball or Soccer. I play neither. It got so annoying that I finally went to the doctor about it. After some X-rays, it was determined that I had arthritis (Hallux rigidus) in that toe.
Relief is Spelled A-H-H-H
The doctor said simply if I want my feet to stop hurting I had to change what type of shoes I wore. His suggestion at the time: “rocker” shoes, the type Joe Montana used to push for Sketchers. They were absolutely NOT in the styles I was used to. I felt as though my whole youth was gone. Dramatic, I know. But that’s how I felt.
When I got my first pair and finally got used to walking in them, everything changed. With the addition of an insole for my arches, I felt as though I was walking on clouds. I no longer have all that pain. The hammertoes, arthritis and flat feet will never leave. But with the rounded, not flat, shoes I now wear and insoles, I have my stability back. And I can walk for miles and feel just fine.
Peace and Light