Monday, April 25, 2011

Oh, For A Comfy Dress Shoe!

by Kate Collins

I have a mystery writers’ conference coming up soon, and my biggest concern in packing for it is what shoes to take. Silly, isn't that? But I need travel shoes that come off easily at the airport, and casual but nice shoes to go with the outfits for daytime, and a pair of dress shoes for the awards banquet.

And there’s the rub. Literally. Ouch!

It seems that every pair of dress shoes I own are made to be worn for a minimum of an hour, sitting down, not walking the hallways of a hotel, or standing for long periods of time. They hurt, but I wear them anyway, and then I end up with blisters. The question is, why don't I get rid of them?

I have two pairs of black pumps that I haven’t worn in years because they are both half a size too small. I own a pair of white and tan heels that are chic and stylish, but are too high and kill my toes. I have a pair of silver dress heels with a back strap that won't stay on. All three pairs sit in my closet mocking me.

My stepdaughter compares an ill-fitting shoe to a bad relationship with a cute guy. It’s not going to work out, no matter how much you squeeze.

I finally ordered a pair of dance shoes, the kind the women wear on Dancing With The Stars. If they can cavort in them, surely I can walk around for one evening They are strappy and black, with a 2 ½ inch heel, and padded insoles. I'm really crossing my fingers, hoping they work, otherwise, those of you going to Malice Domestic will be able to spot me immediately. I’ll be the one limping bravely down the hallway with a wad of bandages in my fist.

Do you hang on to shoes way too long? Is there a pair in your closet right now that you know you need to donate, but can’t? The sofa is open. Let’s do shoe therapy together.


kissablysweet1 said...

Unfortunately there were until recently when I finally had to face the facts. I just can't wear them any longer. It's misery to do so. I did purchase a plain pair of pumps that some make think granny-ish but they are comfortable and no blisters.
Good luck with the dance shoes!!

Tonya Kappes said...

I do have a shoe cemetary. BUT sometimes a couple pair will show a sign of my cork shoes from the eighties are sooooo back in!! Yippee!

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Laura K. Curtis said...

I can't wear those heels I see everyone else wearing all day. Not only do I find them uncomfortable, but my ankles just wouldn't hold up!

I have a couple of pairs of dress shoes with higher (2.5") heels that are clunky and funky, but mostly I stick with Mary Janes. They look nice, and I have a pair made by Clarks with a 2" or so heel that does very well for going from afternoon to evening. And they're Clarks, so they're comfy. (Though even with those, I put insoles in.)

Barbara said...

I wore spike heels, in pain, for many, many years. Then I got to be middle-aged and decided this was ridiculous. If I didn't start wearing comfortable lower heeled shoes, I was going to kill myself falling down the stairs or something. I've worn flats or at most a 2" heel ever since. If someone doesn't think they're pretty, so be it!

Debra said...

No more heels! Well just baby ones. I order shoes over the internet in different sizes and return the ones that don't fit. (They come with free shipping labels)
Are you sure you are buying the right size?

Sheila Connolly said...

In digging through my closet I realized I have a pair of nice leather heels that I bought for a wedding before my daughter was born. She's 26 now. The shoes are in great shape because I never wear them, duh.

I'm annoyed that pantyhose are now considered not cool. I can't wear any shoes without something like socks or footies or whatever you call them because I get blisters in about fifteen minutes, no matter how well broken in the shoes are.

Bet you an enterprising foot massage person could make a mint at a conference!

CindyD said...

I have a pair of Easy Spirits that rub my heels every time I wear them, which I do because they're the only black dressy shoes I have.
For the banquet, can you put your heels in a bag and wear comfortable shoes to walk to the banquet and change when you get there??

Kate Collins said...

Sheila, what a brilliant idea! Can we authors hire one and split the cost? ;-) I'm with you on the panty hose issue. I have to have something between skin and shoe to keep the leather from rubbing.
Laura, my sandals are Clarks and I love them. I'll have to check out their dressy shoes.
My friend Barb always says she can spot a middle aged woman by her shoes -- they're always comfortable.

Mo said...

About 15 years ago I had to give up on heels and had to purge my closet of many old friends. Eliminating the bunion pain took priority over style. Luckily ballet flats have become more popular and with some serching I was able to find some very pretty, wide, flat and very comfy shoes. I miss my heels but not the pain.

Susie said...

Kate, I have finally learned that vanity is not as important as comfortable shoes. My motto for the past few years has been "Good shoes, good underwear". The rest you can buy at Goodwill. If the feet aren't happy, Mama's not happy!
Good Luck!

Rochelle Staab said...

Kate - if I can get away with packing less than FIVE pairs of shoes for a weekend conference, I think I deserve a medal. My closet is stacked with shoes I rarely wear. Two years ago I pulled out a pair of red suede pumps I bought 30 years ago, they fit, they were comfortable, I wear them a lot (with outfits that take red suede shoes.) Why is it so hard to wear heels now? And how the heck did I walk around all day in 3 inch heels when I had an office job?

I have at least three pairs in the closet that should go. Somehow, tossing them feels like I would be tossing away my youth....

I'm with Sheila - foot massages at the hotel!
Now if I could only find a cocktail dress I could wear with my UGGs.

Kate Collins said...

Mo, I had bunion surgery a year ago and I'm sooo glad I did. I can wear my shoes again -- well, the ones that fit.
Susie, what a great motto. Love it! I have to remember that.
Rochelle, maybe you hit the nail on the head. Throwing away old shoes is like throwing away a part of the past. Silly, though, isn't it, to think our pasts are tied in with shoes?

ev said...

I am a shoe ho. Hubby calls me Imelda with good reason. Last count was a lot. And I gave about 30 pair to goodwill last year. I need to do it again.

The crappy part is I currently have a heel injury and after dealing with it for over a year I am finally seeing the ortho this week.

On the other hand, I discovered that, of all shoemakers, Crocs makes a fantastic heel in their YOU line- about 2.5 inches and very padded. I can wear them. The flats are great too. I know have an entire wardrobe of Crocs to fit all occasions.

(When a package shows up here and I don't show hubby whats in it, his usual comment is "must be shoes"!)

Aurian said...

I try walking in new shoes for a little time a day, and if there is no improvement, they are history. I only wear high heels to a sit-down event, not if I have to walk or stand for over 5 minutes.

Lynda said...

When I worked, I used to wear heels all the time and didn't think about it. Now, when I have to put on a pair, all I can think of is how much my feet are going to hurt by the end of the evening. I do still have quite a few heels, but like others have mentioned, I can't wear most of them without hose, so I guess I just won't be stylish. I think with age comes a certain amount of wisdom, and part of that is getting the attitude that comfort is more important than looks.