There are two parts to my hatred of shoe shopping.
The first is my wonky feet. They’re short and wide, like the rest of me. Shoes tend to be either short or wide — especially women’s shoes, as women are supposed to have dainty little feet.
If I choose shoes to fit the width of my feet, the shoes will slip and move as I walk, leaving me with blisters. As a bonus irritation, my feet will look humongous, and I can do without feeling like a clown.
If I choose shoes to fit the length of my feet, things get even worse. It’s fine for the first hour of walking. Or thirty minutes. Or at least the first fifteen. Then the soles of my feet start hurting. Hurting badly, as if there’s a fire under my feet. Then they start cramping. Then I have to sit down with my shoes off for a couple of hours, which makes this whole walking thing somewhat problematic.
The second part is the selection available to me. The stereotype of the shoe-loving women exists for a reason, and as such there is a silly number of styles to choose from. All I want in a shoe is that it’s comfortable, fits, suited for its season, and discreet. No bold fashion statements for me, please.
If you’ve ever walked through the women’s section in a shoe shop, I’m sure you can see the problem.
Living in Norway only makes it worse. The difference between the seasons is so severe different shoes are required for summer and winter, with most people needing a third pair to wear in between. This means the selection in any given shop is on a near constant rotation. Add that Norway has a small population, a tiny market, and you have high sellers only breezing through shops in three months.
What are the high sellers in women’s shoes? Bold fashion statements for dainty feet.
But winter is coming and my previous pair of winter shoes is at the point of literally dissolving.
I’m getting better at spotting good candidates, and I found myself a new pair after only half a dozen tries. They’re two sizes larger than what I should wear (but only slightly too long), and they cost more than I feel a pair of shoes is worth (but cheap compared to most of the other shoes on the shelf), and the laces started fraying within a week.
As an experiment to make these shoes more wonky feet-friendly, I’m replacing the laces with Hickies. In blue, because “discreet” does not equal “boring.” Even with Hickies I have to skip the top and bottom pair of eyelets. Ah well, that leaves me with six spares to hickie up my spinning shoes with.
Now I’ll just cross my fingers for a winter of comfy feet.