Over the summer I bought a pair of plain nude ballet pumps from Primarni for £4. Neutral and just a little bit sweet, they seemed like the perfect solution to my footwear issues (I had winter boots, converse, and heels, but no in between, smart/casual shoes for work or my ‘I want to look pretty but don’t want to wear heels’ kind of moods). I wore them for about 4 weeks straight before they started to fall apart (to be expected, I suppose, given where I bought them), and, more importantly, my feet were absolutely wrecked. I had basically been walking around with nothing to protect or support my feet except the flimsiest of thin soles, after all. My flip flops were thicker and more supportive, for goodness’ sake. The subsequent limping and general dread of having to walk anywhere at all made me think I should really take more care of my feet. It’s the kind of thing that mothers and grannies and people who shop at Per Una always say and I never really used to pay much attention to, but it’s true: our feet are important, we’re going to need them for a long time. Be nice to them.
I’m not saying I’m going to abandon pretty ballet pumps and lovely heels, though. Oh no, I want to have it all. I am going to invest in some insoles to put in my flimsier shoes and support my arches a little better (Dr Scholls do some good ones). No one ever has to know. And there’s nothing wrong with wearing heels as long as I check that a) they actually fit properly and b) I can walk in them (and I mean in the shop when I try them on, as opposed to saying ‘I’ll practise at home.’). There is a spectrum of heel pain, and I plan to keep to the lower end. And bringing flats to change into once it all gets a bit much is a good idea, too. Thus far in my life I’ve been the equivalent of a binge drinker when it comes to heels; I never wear them, and then suddenly I wear them all night until my feet are covered in blisters and I have to spend the next morning trying to give myself a foot massage and involuntarily kicking myself because of the pain.
You know, I’ve avoided Clarks since my school shoe days when they measured your foot with the little box and tape measure, but somehow when I wasn’t looking they had a makeover and actually have some pretty good shoes. I bought some sensible but attractive black loafers for work and looking smart, and I have my eye on some gorgeous tan leather riding boot style knee high boots. Although part of me wonders if it’s a slippery slope from here to ‘mum boots’, and from there to Per Una. Ho hum.