I have become a maximizer concerning shoes. I’ve spent hours seeking just the right thing – but to no avail. The challenge is, my feet require specific elements: a rigid sole, support around the instep, and style. My feet aren’t happy unless they look good.
Comfort shoes are great, but even with recent additions to the marketplace the choices remain limited. I’ve spent too many hours studying sites, frustrated over a detail that is missing, styles not available in my size, or a color combination that is all wrong.
I’ve often thought, Why can’t I simply design my own shoe? But I never did the requisite research until today. It turns out, I can design my own shoe online, have someone make it, and ship it to me.
I decided to try Shoes of Prey, a 4-year-old Australian company. The weather is beginning to turn chilly, and I need some oxfords to wear with my dress trousers. I designed a menswear-inspired shoe with a platform, and in colors which complement my wardrobe. Here’s the design:
I read about Shoes of Prey, and my concerns about online ordering were allayed by their liberal returns policy. I expect the shoes to arrive in about a month, and if they meet my specifications the dalliance may blossom into a relationship.
But, it usually is.
I finally booked an appointment with a podiatrist, and went to my consultation on Friday. After an x-ray to eliminate a stress fracture as a potential cause of my toe pain, he did a physical exam and told me he’s 90% certain I have a neuroma. He also mentioned I have an unusually flexible foot, which – combined with overly flexible shoes – may be a contributing factor to the formation of the thing.
There’s a lot of conflicting information available about the cause and appropriate shoe for neuromas. Some state that a soft and flexible sole are appropriate, while others indicate that a rigid sole provides needed support. My doctor is of the latter camp, and since he has a lot more experience than me where the foot is concerned I intend to follow his suggestions. If these don’t bring symptom relief, I’ll simply try a different approach. The worst case is surgery, and I will try all other remedies before considering it as an option. Though this nerve was described to me as essentially vestigial, going under the knife is not an appealing option.
I have a thing about having my feet touched. It bothers me to an irrational excess, so I was feeling quite pleased with myself for having sucked it up and let the (highly trained) professional handle my peds. My reward: at our next appointment I get to bring my shoes in, try them on and discuss them. I was pretty excited about this. I wanted to run home to get my shoes and come back right away.
Some sad news about this neuroma is that the adorable Sperry’s I wore to the appointment were deemed unsuitable for this condition, as they are far too soft and flexible. I suppose these, too will get listed on eBay.
Some good news is that I have a license to shoe shop. Having sold a bunch of my uncomfortable shoes on eBay, I have a bit of play money and am eager to hit DSW. I love flatforms, so perhaps I’ll have some luck and find a cute pair. After some light web searches I found some interesting styles – the first perhaps suitable for a weekend rather than the office.
My shoe exercise led me into purge mode. Over the past week I’ve cleaned, photographed and listed 13 pair on eBay – each with a starting and buy-it-now price. I sold one pair already through buy-it-now! The remaining shoes are still active.
I hadn’t used eBay since 2009, so it was fun for me to get back into the swing of it. I listed all of the shoes with a 7-day duration, and automatic relist if no bids. I have 2 pair with active bids, and the rest (for now) no bids. If after 2 cycles the shoes don’t sell, I’ll take them to a consignment store, and the rejects will be donated to Goodwill.
Any proceeds from sales will be used toward replacements of certain categories that I’ll expand on separately. I’m most decidedly in a place where I am ready to say goodbye to the old things and welcome something new.