What do you do when the shoe doesn't fit?
I’ll make no apologies for mixing metaphors and similes in this piece as I’m not an English teacher and those of you are can cringe away.
Like many of you men and women I like shoes, boots, trainers, sandals, flip flops, well shoes in general, and probably according to my beleaguered other half too many, although for my liking not enough. I have my well-worn favourites that I just can’t bear to throw away, my work shoes, my only for very special occasions, my summer ones, the winter ones, the work out ones, the list is endless, but whenever I go out I’m always on the lookout for that new pair, just calling to me in the window.
But recently I had a sort out, about a year ago I was wearing a pair of shoes that were great, they were well worn comfortable, didn’t pinch, were easy to put on every day, people were used to seeing me in them, knew what to expect when I wore them, however the heels were worn down, they were starting to look a bit tattered and I just didn’t feel that they got me the respect I wanted any more, I felt that I needed to get a new pair, that would be listened too. That would raise me up a bit, the old ones were a bit flat now, a bit jaded, I needed a lift, a new slightly firmer pair, that would hold my feet a bit harder, that would support my back a bit better, that would get me noticed a bit more.
So I went shopping. I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for. I searched the internet. I looked at different styles of shoes, boots, lots of heel heights, flats, high heels, until I found a lovely pair of mid heels. Just the ones, I thought. I read all the reader reviews, they were great. On the whole very complimentary, there was the odd issue with long term result, you can’t please everyone but generally this looked like this was the pair for me. So I went to the shop, checked out the shoes, tried them on for size, walked around in them, spoke to the fitters who said that they looked like they were a great fit. I might experience some tightness here and there but that was to be expected with a new pair of shoes. Especially when you are letting go of a pair of shoes you have worn for a long time. But I left with an expensive, shiny new pair of mid heel shoes.
The time came to wear the shoes, and for the first few weeks they seemed to fit really well, I was happy with my purchase, they were different and they certainly felt different, especially the height but I was getting used to them.
But then things changed, they started to pinch and be squeezed from the sides; the toes seemed to be always being stepped on from above. I was getting blisters from constant rubbing from the back. I hoped that this was just a minor blip as I was wearing the shoes all the time and wasn’t giving my feet a rest by wearing other styles. I sought help from the fitters at the shop but they were busy and as I had worn them weren’t really interested in listening to my issues about fit. I tried looking on the internet for remedies to make them fit, stretching them by stuffing them with wet paper and putting them in the freezer! Reading books about how to improve the fit, attending workshops about improving the fit, but still my shoes don’t seem to fit as well as I know they can.
I changed my shoes tried on different ones to see if that made a difference but no matter what shoes I have worn lately, even some old faithful’s, none of them seem to fit as well as they want them to. I know sometimes it takes time to get used to new shoes, the style, the height, the cut, design is different and that makes for new feelings, muscles get challenged and ache for the old.
But now I look into my wardrobe every morning, and I look at my amazing shoes and wonder which shoes to wear and no matter what I put on, my shoes don’t seem to fit very well. I come home every day and I can’t wait to take off my beautiful shoes because my feet hurt. I worry about choosing the shoes for the next day, in case I pick the wrong pair again.
So has the time come for me to go shopping again for a new pair of shoes? Can I do it again? Can my family go through the endless hours of trawling through the shops and the trying on or can I? If so, what do I look for this time? What if I choose the wrong shoes again? Did I make a bad choice last time? Or do I try to make them fit? Keep squeezing my feet into them like the ugly sisters in Cinderella. Convinced if I can just keep going for another couple of months, wearing them day in day out, then they will be alright and they will feel ok again.
Too many choices to make, if only I didn’t like shoes so much!
This post was written by a dear friend of mine who has had a tough time trying to be the excellent teacher they are. The lack of a name will indicate some of the situation they find themselves in.