Things I Have Learned About Shoes


[This post has been in drafts all week while I have searched for my camera charger, because I thought it would not be complete without a visual aid of my actual feet in the actual shoes in question. But I am tired of looking for my camera charger, feel guilty about the low-content posts I've been putting up this week, and figure no one really wants to look at my hideous finger toes anyway. So spritz some water on the dried-up husk of your imagination and let the words form a picture in your mind's eye.]

First, I learned that bridal shoes aren’t all bad.

But then I learned that most bridal shops don’t carry shoes anymore. CURSE YOU, INTERNET!

So I returned to department stores. I tried on a bunch of peep-toe shoes that in my imagination would be more comfortable than anything strappy. But I learned the harsh lesson that these shoes make my stupidly long toes look like they are all fighting for their lives to squeeze through a tiny emergency exit. Finger toes don’t peep, they gawk.

But then I learned that salespeople in shoe departments are incredibly knowledgeable about feet and shoes. It’s a shame the Internet is destroying their job. I look at an ill-fitting shoe and I think, “Well that looks terrible,” but a salesperson looks at it and thinks, “That’s not meeting her arch.” One of these helpful salespeople in St. Louis told me I probably wasn’t going to like the looks of anything without a slingback. I’d been dismissing slingbacks out of hand (or foot, whatever) because of concerns about the back of my heel getting torn up. So he showed me how to identify a good adjustable sling back that won’t do that (basically, the less elastic involved, the better). Moral: go to an actual shoe store and talk to the salespeople. The next generation probably won’t have this luxury. Take advantage now so you can rub it in their face.

With slingbacks back in the game, I quickly learned that I most like the way my feet look in strappy shoes. When I found these bad boys, at DSW for a totally reasonable price, it was all over. If my feet get cut up, I’ll let them heal on the honeymoon, right?

No. Because the last thing I learned is that those foot petal things are pretty freaking amazing, and they will keep your skin from chafing on the straps of shoes. The miracles of modern shoe science, people!

Final lesson about shoes? Shoes-without-feet-in-them pictures are bullshit. Wait, I already knew that. But I have a new reason for thinking it: I’ve been occasionally wearing the shoes around the house, especially while playing Just Dance on the Wii, in an effort to break them in and be sure they aren’t going to cut my feet. And sure enough, they now have those little toe indentations and sweaty smudges the way that shoes that have been worn EVER tend to. Which must mean there are brides out there not breaking in their shoes for the sake of an “arty” photograph of their empty wedding shoes. What. The Hell. Ever.


  1. I almost bought those!! They are so so pretty in person. Excellent choice. At the last minute, some blue shoes won me over instead, but you’re smart for getting ones you’ll easily wear again.

  2. The foot petals are AMAZING (I used the full-shoe heel ones). Also, yes, wtf about the women who didn’t break in their shoes. Crazypants ladies. Even my foot petals couldn’t completely alleviate the breaking-in discomfort. Which, luckily for wedding day comfort, all happened well before the wedding.

    Lastly, I have a shoe picture, but only because photographers seem to insist on them. It’s a weirdly beautiful photo (amazing architectural wall and my shoes still looked nice) but still makes me giggle.

  3. Oh crap, I totally forgot about breaking in my shoes. I kept saying I would do it, but um, 9 days people, 9 days! Yeah so I forgot. I guess we know what I’ll be wearing around the apartment this weekend.

  4. How I wish I had known this before. Why didn’t you have the foresight to get married before me, Robin? Why? Foot Petals could have saved me, and may just yet.

    Also, I’d LIKE to have finger toes. This sounds much more appealing to me than having crazy triangle feet, where the top of your foot wedges out into this bulging misshapen mass that makes it impossible to wear sleek, cute shoes, which is just about EVERY SINGLE SHOE ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET. I also have bunions, so: yay! The end result is that I can only gaze at strappy heels from a minimum distance of 20 feet or else the bones in my feet start aching.

    Eh. Everybody’s foot issues always look better than your own, huh?

  5. “But I learned the harsh lesson that these shoes make my stupidly long toes look like they are all fighting for their lives to squeeze through a tiny emergency exit. ”

    YES, a thousand times! When I try to squeeze into peep-toe shoes it just looks plain wrong and I always wondered what my silly toes were up to, and now I know. It makes perfect sense.

  6. I gotta say, we didn’t plan to have the shoes-without-feet-in-them but my photographer took one and I love it! Every time I see it I bust up laughing because they are posed just so but still look like I flung them as I ran in terror from the wedding. So they may be a super cheasy shot…but from the view of weddings being nutz, I have oddly come to love them!

  7. I have to say, I was a little concerned about some of the shoe choices you posted previously. Some of them seemed a little bland. But these are LOVELY and super feminine without going overboard. Excellent choice. Brava!

    • Wow, that comment seemed rude just then, huh? What I meant was it seemed like you were sacrificing some style for function/comfort. I did not mean to imply that your taste in shoes is sub-par.


  8. Also Band Aid makes a friction block that is EXCELLENT for reducing chafing – just DO NOT put it on any part of your foot you rely on for gripping action (i.e. the bottom) as you will just proceed to try to slide out of your shoes toes first. Not fun.


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