Ask most men how many shoes their wife, girlfriend, or sister has and the
answer is: “too many.” I can’t speak for everyone with large shoe collections,
but I can tell you why I have too many shoes. They each hurt my feet in slightly
different ways – ways that are impossible to predict at the time of
Some of my shoes pinch my toes, others cause blisters under the straps, still
others cause blisters on the bottom of my feet or heels. Some of them are
comfortable for short distances but begin to hurt after 5 blocks. I’ve tried to
purchase shoes from the major “comfortable brands,” but without consistent
success in avoiding self-injury.
My husband has difficulty understanding my predicament, as his feet haven’t
seen a blister in over a decade. He occasionally points to his baby soft feet
as evidence of a defect in my own. I protest that women’s shoes are not
comfortable, and he counters with arguments about my not needing any more
A recent conversation went something like this:
Dr. Val: [Sitting down on my couch after a long day of
work.] Argh! I’m so disappointed… remember those shoes that looked so
promising when we bought them in the shoe store, honey?
Hubby: [Chewing a bite of sandwich and contemplating my
question.] Which pair might that be?
Dr. Val: You know the nice, wide, dress sandals with a low
heel? [I point to the shoes as I remove them from my bare feet.]
Hubby: The ones that cost a hundred and fifty dollars?!
Dr. Val: Yeah, those ones. Look at what they did to my feet!
[I point out two strips of raw skin on the top of my toes.]
Hubby: [Wincing] There’s something wrong with you.
Dr. Val: What do you mean? I try so hard to find comfortable
shoes and yet I’m always thwarted – no matter how soft they look in the store,
or how expensive they are, they always hurt in the end!
Hubby: Why don’t I hear other people complaining about their
shoes? Everyone seems to be fine with shoes except you.
Dr. Val: I bet other women have shoe problems too… The
only shoes that are comfortable are sneakers.
Hubby: Your sneakers are unattractive.
Dr. Val: I know! That’s why I keep buying more shoes, trying
to find ones that look good but are as comfortable as sneakers.
Hubby: Maybe you have a connective tissue disorder?
Dr. Val: [Eye roll]. I don’t have a connective tissue
disorder. I just need to find that perfect pair of shoes – ones that look good
with suits and shorts and I can walk for long distances in and don’t give me
Hubby: You don’t need any more shoes.
Am I crazy or do women’s shoes wreak havoc on our feet? Do any of you have
tips for finding that perfect pair of black dress shoes?