As a female, I know there’s probably some unwritten law in the blogosphere that at least one of my posts has to be about shoes. So, this is it! And, may not be your typical shoe buying experience.
A while back, I went shoe shopping. I had been donning the same kicks for at least 4 years. It wasn’t that they were exceptionally comfortable, and certainly not in their completely worn out condition. It was that I had grown accustomed to them. I dislike shoes. I’d much rather be running around barefoot. But, as I have aged, that has become less and less feasible. My little feet have lost their stubborn rejection of outside weather. There was a time when I could walk around barefoot in the cold with no notice paid to the temperature. That time has passed. My Wigwam, “40 below,” socks, once used only in the coldest weather, have become a regular sight in my everyday cool-weather wardrobe.
But, I hate shoes. They’re the most uncomfortable things you can put on your body – with the exception of most bras. So, once I grow accustomed to a pair they stick around until they’re full of holes and the sole is worn thin. When I finally decided it was time for a new pair, I hit the stores looking for a good pair of hiking boots. I went for hiking boots because I have found, in the past, that they better accommodate the wide spread of my feet. However, even with that in mind, I struggled to find a pair I could deal with comfortably.
A few weeks before I went shopping for new shoes, I had discovered that my feet almost fit in my 10 yr old son’s shoes. So, after unsuccessfully scouring several stores’ for a pair of women’s shoes, I decided it was time to hit the little boy’s department. What I found shocked me! Who knew little boy’s shoes were so perfect for a full grown woman’s foot? I put on a pair of Keen hiking boots designed to fit a little boy and haven’t taken them off since. They fit beautifully and have provided me painless comfort for months of traveling, hiking, biking, grocery shopping, etc. I use them as my everyday shoe.
When I shared, on facebook, my discovery of finding comfort in boys shoes, I also discovered that I wasn’t alone. Several other women chimed in with comments about their boys & mens shoe purchases for themselves, championing the keyword: comfort. I knew high heels were uncomfortable. You don’t have to wear them to see that. But, are all womens shoes less comfortable than the ones designed for boys and men? My answer is that every pair of womens shoes I’ve worn in my life, including the womens versions of Keens I tried on, were less comfortable than the one pair of boys shoes I have been wearing for the past several months.
I went back, today and found them marked down to almost half-price. So, like the stereotypical image of a female shoe shopper, I stocked up on them for the future. The only difference is…. I’m buying the same exact shoe… and it’s from the boys’ department.