I am writing to apologise for my conduct over the last few years, having realised how inappropriate it was, and having realised how much I was asking from you whilst giving so little in return. I want to apologise for all those years of ballet pumps and vintage slip-ons, of Topshop and River Island sneakers with no padding and no structure and no support, for those boots I bought last winter and which have probably clocked up a wearing time of about six months actually on my feet despite the fact that they gave me corns and blisters and I never did ‘wear them in’ as I hoped I would and then claimed I had. For all the times I ‘forgot’ to wear my insoles or pack more wearable options and for the number of pairs of shoes I have bought from places which probably have no business selling shoes to anyone, let alone freaks like me.
I appreciate now that you are my feet, and you will continue to be my feet for the rest of my life, and that I want the majority of that life to be spent capable of using my feet to get about. I’m sorry, little toes, for constantly ignoring you until you were nothing more than a giant red corn with what may once have been a toenail. I’m sorry for overlooking the giant callouses on the tips of each toe and on the balls of my feet, and for refusing to admit how much pain they put me in.
I should probably also apologise to all my friends for constantly bitching about my footwear, about how difficult I find shoe-shopping and how painful all my shoes end up being; to my parents for not heeding the advice they drilled into me since I was small about how I should always wear and own sensible shoes. I hope I never have cause to give any of you pain ever again,
Yes, folks. Yesterday I went into a Proper Shoe Shop, got firstly misdirected to the kids’ shoe section (I think the manager didn’t really take in me as a person so much as the fact that I was with my mother), and then finally had my feet properly measured and looked at. And then I tried on all kinds of different styles and makes of shoe until we found a pair that are primarily very comfortable and which also look actually really nice. On a spectrum from ‘I-straighten-my-hair-and-wear-everything-Grazia-tells-me-to-wear’ to ‘festival-going-hippy-with-dodgy-taste-in-purple-headgear’ they do fall definitely right of centre, but they are also not dull old Ecco lace-ups like I was half-expecting. They’ll work well with the kinds of clothes I wear and what’s more I walk differently in them. Far more elegantly. If you look, carefully, at pedestrians on a busy street, look at the women especially, think about it, and it soon becomes obvious that a lot of them are either in pain or desperately trying to stop their shoes from falling off their feet, and those of us in that group walk weirdly. Far more attractive are those who walk properly. I practically glide. Well, as near as I’ll ever get to gliding. I’ll never be the most elegant of people.
Anyway. New shoes. I cannot put into words the love I feel for these shoes. And in the winter I shall buy a pair of sensible boots from the same wondrous shoe emporium.
And yes, photos to follow. If I can work out what’s gone wrong with my camera this time. Or if I can be bothered to upload photos from my iPhone to my computer, or whatever. Promise. Perhaps.