Where I Went, What I Saw (Part II: The Shoes)

I’ve had some monstrous blisters before (photos available upon request, but I don’t want to subject you to them unwillingly). I’ve had sore feet. I choose comfort over fashion. Which is why I brought one pair of shoes (not five) on this trip: the trusty Dansko clogs that are moderately hideous (or at least orthotic-looking). They were actually torturous (see photo with torturous part circled in red).

Dansko Hell

I have a really high arch, and actually had to have these particular shoes stretched out before I could tolerate wearing them, but since then they’ve been great — good arch support, no weird rubbing. Or so I thought. About halfway through our day in Brooklyn and Manhattan, my right foot made me want to whimper every time I lifted my heel to take another step. So much for comfort. This persisted through Sunday (when I thought most stores would be closed for the holiday, which I think they actually weren’t). On Monday I was on a mission: I would buy new shoes first thing (that’s what I get for only bringing one pair).

I made it down to the Italian Market and halfway back through Fabric Row* before I found a pair I liked, but they were a good pair.

Earth Hell

I tried the left shoe on in the store (mistake #1 was only trying on one), paid, went outside, and put them both on. I walked a block, decided that they would be equally uncomfortable (I sensed some blister-inducing ankle-bone rubbing and a weird tendency to turn my feet inward). So I walked back to the store to return them.

Of course that didn’t work. The shoes were on sale, and the policy for sale shoes is that they’re unreturnable. Even if you bought them ten minutes ago. Even if they were really uncomfortable. Even (or perhaps especially) if you were from out of state. So I spent the day with one pair of uncomfortable shoes on my feet and one pair in a bag hanging from my arm. Although the second pair were very well-priced for what they were, I spent a little too much to rationalize buying a third pair. Eventually I decided that I would rather alternate forms of torture — when the pain on the top of my foot became unbearable, I would switch to the Earth shoes until the pain on my ankles was intolerable, and so on. Both pairs are fine for normal pedestrianism (this weekend was extreme), and I’ll be glad I have them in a few weeks after my feet forget the injuries…

*I walked through Fabric Row in hopes that it would have some interesting clothing, but it turned out to be just fabric. How appropriate.

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