Ouch! These shoes hurt

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 13, 2010

When I bought a new pair of dress shoes recently, I thought I was doing everything right. I made the purchase in the afternoon with slightly swollen feet after a few hours of walking in a mall. I liked them. They were exactly what I needed—wide across the toes. When I tried them on, they felt wonderful. I felt no pain on my big toe with that “sticky-out-thing,” I call it, which I guess is a bunion. It’s pretty unusual for me to try on a pair of shoes that feel really comfortable. I left the store confident that I had found the right pair of shoes.

The following Sunday morning, I removed my pretty new shoes from the box and slipped them on. Oops. The one on the foot with the bunion felt tight and slightly uncomfortable across my toes. The other was a little slippery at the heel. I’ve read that some women are actually willing to suffer foot pain in the name of fashion. Not me. I just want a comfortable, nice-looking pair of “dress-up” shoes to wear to church or on some occasion when dress shoes are appropriate.

I wore them around the house for a few minutes and sort of calculated how many steps I’d take attending Sunday school and church that morning. I decided to chance it. Maybe they’d feel better as I got accustomed to them. As the hours ticked away that morning, it never happened. I hoped I concealed any expression on my face that indicated “My feet hurt!” The first thing I did when I got inside our front door was to shed those shoes.

Now they sit in a box on a closet shelf. I’m not giving up, though. I keep hoping for the best. I’ve decided I will wear them around the house now and then to see how that works. I do remember that in times past, it was pretty common for people to “break in” a new pair of shoes. Maybe that’s what I need to do with those new dress shoes. A year or so ago, I bought a pair of loafers with which I had a similar problem. I pushed them aside for weeks. Then one day I thought about them, slipped them on and they felt fine. Now I wear them often. It’s really not such a problem with sandals. I just search for some with straps that don’t cross the bunion.

Ever since that bunion began interfering with my foot comfort, I’ve wondered why shoe designers don’t take bunions into consideration. I read on a podiatrist’s Web site that 38 out of 1,000 females have a bunion; and that 55 out of 1,000 people who are 65 or older have a bunion.

Guess it just wouldn’t be classy or fashionable to advertise shoes with enough stretch for a bunion that cost an extra $5 or $10, right? As for me, I’d certainly be interested.