The older I get – and the older my body parts get (in this case, my feet) – the more I gravitate toward shoes manufactured in Italy.
No wonder the country is shaped like a boot.
There’s something about shoes made in Italy. It’s uncanny, really – as soon as I slip them on it’s a perfect fit… as soon as I take that first step…(then the second and a third) there’s no pain. And then, I look down and like – no love – what I see: style and comfort, a truly rare combination. Made In Italy.
I’m lucky enough not to have too many foot problems – yet – oftentimes related to old feet, like bunions/hammertoes/callouses/corns/bone spurs. Shall I go on? And yet. My feet are not perfect.
I will confess to a neuroma – an inflamed nerve that sends me into fits of wincing pain and feels like I’m walking on rocks, if I happen to be wearing the “wrong” type of shoe. I’m all to blame; it’s from wearing the wrong shoes for too many years: too narrow, too high, too tight…all in the name of looking good.
And then there’s the realistic question: I’m 5’9. Do I REALLY need heels so high? (Don’t answer that.)
I’m hardly asking for pity here… enough about me. But one thing I want you to know is this: I wore high heels once, and I want to wear them again, dammit. I’m not ready to trade in that privilege. What I am willing to trade in, though, is the pain that comes along with wearing said heels. Is that asking for too much?
That’s why I found camaraderie and hilarity in reading Joyce Wadler’s recent article in the New York Times, “The $1,000 Shoes.”
Desperately in need of comfortable shoes after coming to her senses when a pair of Naturalizer pumps (you know those; the ones that are supposed to be “built for comfort and style”) failed her feet, she had no other choice but to make a big investment in a pair of kinder, gentler shoes.
How many times have you felt so desperate and disheartened when something that’s supposed to be sensible and comfortable is anything but?
That’s when Joyce took action: she went to a shop to have shoes made just for her. Custom shoes. Crazy expensive shoes – to the tune of almost $1,000.
In her head, she heard an outraged reader insult her decision, and to make it worse, she had to listen to her father screaming from his grave.
Here’s the article if you want to read it. She tells it better than I ever could.
The question used to be, “At What Price Beauty?” (Actually, that is the title of a silent film from the 1920s, featuring Myrna Loy. I wonder if she was wearing sexy high heels in it.)
But in this case, it’s better to ask, “At What Price Comfort?”
What are comfortable feet worth to you?