I love shoes. But not just any shoes. Comfortable and practical shoes. I have a long held philosophy about the importance of comfortable shoes and how they contribute to how you experience the world at large.
Uncomfortable shoes can severely limit your time in the world. Either by slowing down your pace, or cutting your exploration short. I become quite miffed by shoes that rub wrong, fit wrong, cause pain to my feet and ankles or don’t support my stride. I hate having a walk of exploring a city cut short because my feet are in pain. I hate having to take a break to let my feet rest. Or a hike ended too early because I can no longer comfortably traverse the terrain.
Take care of my feet, and I can go on and on exploring without thinking about my feet. I can soak in more of the world, and add to my collection of experiences. Rub my feet the wrong way, and I’m less able to enjoy what is around me.. and what’s the point in that for the sake of cute shoes?
I also don’t enjoy interrupting the experience of my walking companions by having to slow down or end early.
Versatility in my shoes is also important. My shoes should not only be comfortable, but also appropriate for a long hike, attending a business meeting, running errands and a nice dinner out. Having to go back home to change shoes for the occasion, to me, seems too demanding.
As a nomad with limited space, having the one shoe to rule them all is even more important. When I had less limited closet space, I could afford to have a variety of shoes more situationally geared and for matching different moods and outfits. And I could also audition multiple pairs at once, and see what I found myself pulling out of the closet on a daily basis. That’s not the case now. The limited shoes I carry with me must be even more versatile and perfect than ever before. I just don’t have the room to keep several contenders around.
Being in colder-than-Florida weather for an extended period of time has also changed my shoe needs. I typically lean towards open toe shoes, which I’ve found tend to create cold toes out here during the winter. So I’ve been on a quest for the perfect closed toe shoe, which has always been my arch-nemesis. It seems that shoes that fit my foot length don’t tend to leave enough toe room and be tight enough on my heal. It’s always been a challenge.
I had gotten spoiled by crocs these past couple of years. The first few styles I tried were awesome, and my shoe collection was made up almost entirely from crocs. They were good for a variety of weather conditions (except cold), and some were even getting quite stylish. I had become so confident in crocs, that I could order new styles online in my size and have them be perfect. But I’ve been greatly disappointed by my most recent crocs experiences, having ordered a couple of newer styles with hopes of one of them being my new winter shoe. I ordered a pair of their winter boots, which lacked the sole of the crocs I had come to adore – they went right back. I ordered a pair of their work shoes with leather uppers in a mary jane style. The first in my normal size – way too small. The larger style fit fine for a while, but walk any distance and they become too tight (and caused a painful heal blister that I’m still annoyed with). So they will likely not make the cut. And crocs’ winter mammoth shoes just doesn’t appeal to me for some reason, although I do consider getting a pair anyway if I can’t find another solution.
So, I’ve been on a shoe-hunt. My winter time these past couple of months has been less than ideal due to not having shoes that are just right, and I’ve just not had time to devote to shoe shopping beyond clicking online.
I picked up a new candidate yesterday that is holding great promise so far. We’ll see how they break in over the coming weeks.