‘Excuse me, do you have these in a size 6?’
‘Oh.. well, ok then, I’ll try the 5 if that’s all you have. I’ve a few pairs of shoes from this brand and a 5 was grand before.’
So starts My Summer Sandal Saga. I wanted needed a new pair of sandals a few months ago. I’m a bit of a hoarder in terms of clothes and shoes, once I find something I like I’ll wear it forever or until it literally falls apart. I have a certain style, a certain look and I really don’t find much in your average high street that I like, so I grab it with both hands when I do and then hang onto it! Having finally admitting defeat with a pair of fab wedge sandals with a row of black flowers as the single strap, I condemned them to the wardrobe in the sky and needed new ‘everyday’ sandals. You know, ones that would do for work and that I’d still get away with going out if the rest of me was a bit more dressed up.
By chance I happened upon a pair of such sandals in black patent with swishy crossover straps and they were even on sale at half price at a measly €35! What’s not to like about this? But they were the last pair left and they were officially a size smaller than what I normally take. Without so much as a second thought, I said to the sales assistant ‘I’ll take them!’ and next thing, me and my new purchase toddled off. Delighted with myself I was! So much so, I put them on and headed out again to meet friends 5 minutes after I got home. Now, these sandals don’t have much of a heel, maybe an inch and a half, practically flat for someone like me who loves how big, big heels for the way they make me feel like a giant – I have 5inch Kurt Geigers that bring a tear to the eye. So they wouldn’t hurt, even though they’re brand new, right?
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. After a few hours, I could definitely say that my toes were sore. All sharp pain and a feeling of blood supply being cut off wasn’t a good thing. It got worse when my heels started to hurt. My heels? Normally it’s only with really high heeled shoes that you get pain there. And that’s even after the front part of your foot feels like it’s on fire. I had a definite pinchy feeling in both feet, on the last and second last toes. I saw the next day that blisters had formed – at some point during the night the pain stopped – that’ll be the alcohol – but I still remembered the relief at taking the sandals off. So what, they were new sandals, they had to be broken in and obviously I wasn’t wearing socks so it was bare flesh against the sandal straps.
I still wore them the next day though, sure they had to be broken in. I got quite a few compliments on the sandals, they became very popular! And I spent another day & night with them being just that bit ‘pinchy’. It was well into sandal weather and nothing was deterring me from wearing them again and again. A pattern emerged. I’d wear the sandals, they’d still hurt, I’d still get compliments on them. A month later I really was wondering why they still hurt my mainly second last toe on each foot. Ok, so they were officially a size too small but they were bound to stretch a bit with wear, surely? The first time I got caught in rain wearing them I ended up with blackened tootsies, which may not have happened if my feet hadn’t been wedged right up against the offending material for hours. A few more weeks later and I had to concede that maybe they had stretched a bit but not quite enough for my feet. I didn’t stop wearing them though.
I still haven’t stopped wearing these sandals! It’s right at the end of ‘Sandal Weather’ for 2009 but I’m still hanging onto these babies. Although, I’m beginning to think that perhaps it wasn’t the best idea in the world for me to wear these day in day out all Summer – types she as she loosens the strap on the left foot and sighs with relief. But the things is, I wasn’t prepared to give in and simply not wear them. Yes, I could’ve spent a lot of time pain free, yadda yadda…
What with a recent survey telling us that women will wear cripplingly painful shoes that are the wrong size, just to look good, this is hardly stop-the-press stellar type information that will change the world! Everything I’ve said.. I saw you nodding your head in agreement, well, it’s true! And I know you know what I mean! What’s a little pain between friends… and great shoes!