For the longest time, I could not enjoy shoe shopping. For a good person of my teenage years, my feet were about size 5 or 5.5, which put them in that awkward place between kids’ shoes and adults’ shoes, but I often could not fit into either.
I might be one of the few adults in this world who is happy her feet got bigger. They’re still small. If I measure them on one of those foot measuring things, their length is a bare 4.5. But as you get older and gravity starts widening your feet, you can’t measure by length anymore. Instead, you’ve got to find a shoe that just fits your entire foot. And for me, that seems to be 6.5 right now. I’m not sure I’ll still be happier about my feet growing sideways when I reach a size 7 and start walking out of shoes because the lengthis an issue at that point.
Here’s the main issue with my feet, though: I’ve got a ridiculously high instep and a ridiculously high arch. It’s the reason I can’t run, at least without buying specialized shoes, which are wicked expensive. It’s also the reason I have really bad luck with flats and heels (the high arch means that I walk straight out of them) and any shoe with non-adjustable straps or short straps (basically 75% of sandals).
Over time, I have learned all the limitations that my feet have and so I know better how to shop for shoes, if the occasion comes around that I must. I’m not a power shopper or a compulsive shopper. I have a few pairs of shoes for each season, and I tend to wear them out pretty well. I killed a pair of cream wedge sandals and my favorite badass, studded black leather clogs recently, so the time had come to finding a few more pairs of shoes for the extended Texas spring and summer season. (I’ll save the clog shopping for fall.)
The key to shoe shopping is going where there are lots and lots of shoes, so DSW, a shoe warehouse, is usually my first stop, just in case I can get everything I need there. I was looking for two pairs of sandals, preferably with heels, and a pair of casual walking flats. The mother and I told the father to go to Office Depot. Honestly, shoe shopping is hard enough without making him go through it, too. That would just be unkind.
And so the mother and I began our trek from one end of the store to the other. I am a lot better about trying things on than I used to. I’m willing to try is the important thing, because I can feel like Cinderella when the shoe finally fits and it’s a decent price.
One of the gems I found was a pair of red patent leather wedges. If there is one thing I have always wanted, it’s a pair of red patent leather pumps. But since I can’t wear pumps (no strap), I’ve always had to walk on by the lovely Steve Maddens and Jessica Simpsons (say what you want about JSimp, she has gorgeous shoes). But these wedges are awesome. They are definitely not walking shoes, because they dig against the heel a bit, but they are sitting work shoes or standing shoes. I can’t go to the mall in them, but I can go to a restaurant.
I found a pair of Jessica Simpsons that I could actually wear, which was exciting: black patent leather with python print accents. I’m a totally sucker for faux snakeskin anything. My first purse was gray python print, and I had these faux snakeskin boots for a while, when I could still wear boots. But the shoes were a little out of my price point, so I told myself I’d come back if I didn’t find anything better.
Turns out I found a really wild pair of python print wedges in the clearance section. They are out of this world! The mother thought they were too much. However, I have this issue where the clothes that I wear are pretty conservative (by the design of my body rather than choice), so I make up for it with edgier accessories. I think they’re bloody awesome. You be the judge.
I also found a pair of casual walking flats in the clearance section as well, for when I’m going to the mall or just want to slip into something comfortable. As I said earlier, I can’t wear any of the really nice flats, but I do like the cream with pink trim here. It’s versatile and practical. I almost bought a maroon pair with bright orange trim, which was awesome, but they didn’t breathe well at all.
In addition to the shoes that I bought, the mother and I had fun trying on different pairs of shoes we knew I would never buy. Like the totally me purple patent leather with green and orange accents on the wedge. (I actually would have bought them, but they were kind of slippery and dug into my feet, so they were just incredibly cute, not a contender.) The mother also had me try on a pair of insane high heels channeling the 70s with teal suede on the body and yellow suede on the heel. I’m talking a heel that was as high as my foot is long. They were incredibly cute, but I kept almost pitching forward. 🙂
This shoe shopping trip was not quite at the same miraculous level as the last one – during which we walked in and I bought two pairs of sandals from the front display and we were out in fifteen minutes, an Amanda record – but I think the hour shopping time was not too bad at all, even though I was exhausted by the end of it. I’m not a shopper – it wears me out. However, I don’t shop often, and this should take care of me until the fall.