November 16, 2011

Our Shoes are Killing Us... but they are so darn pretty!

I love shoes. I guess that's a bit of a no-brainer if you are a woman. I don't know what it is about being female that makes us (in general) love shoes but there you have it.  Perhaps I'm just socialized? Perhaps it was too much Sex and the City ( could never have enough Sand the C - I still watch my box sets like they are new).  I remember, in school, (grade 7) I was allowed to get my first pair of heels (albeit clog platforms that were just a few centimeters off the ground, but it's where I got my start).  By grade 9, I was walking in pumps.  Until just recently, I lived in heels and had a collection of them two closets big (alas, I don't have a walk-in like Carrie Bradshaw). I stand 5'9" without shoes, so when I slipped on a pair of stilettos, I towered over most men...and loved it - however, some men didn't (I remember one giving me hell for wearing these cute little wedgies on our first date...he was a small man - figuratively and literally). 

So I was in Vegas and was in awe of the platforms women were balancing on. Some ridiculous and others a work of art. While in a shoe store, I fell in love with these...they would look so amazing with a flowing skirt or wide pant...whatever. They are an ankle injury waiting to happen....but they're so pretty!

At any rate, last year, I found myself standing barefoot in front of a physiotherapist being told my metatarsal arches had fallen and if I choose to walk in heels any longer, it could get worse. Couple that with the biggest case of Morton's Neuroma (that's when a nerve is impinged between your 3rd and 4th toe...feels like your toes are getting cut off slowly when you work out...ya...nice.  A real motivator I tell ya).  (for more information on Morton's Nueroma)So, as you can imagine, the cognitive dissonance is killing me. I continue to purchase heels with the hopes I can wear them, but when I do, I'm limping within a few hours. Stupid, beautiful killer shoes.......frick.

These also caught my eye. At first I was aghast at the height, but then they grew on me. I found it hard to leave their side, so I took a picture to remember them by....stupid, beautiful shoes.
Without getting into the biomechanics of it, the high heeled shoe places a ton of stress on the forefoot and metatarsal joints...put bluntly...if you want to walk without pain or discomfort as an older adult, wearing heels may get in the way of that goal (I guess that's not too blunt..). Although they look amazing and make our legs look amazing, and make us feel amazing and sexy as we strut around in our beautiful shoes, in the end, they are the worst things for us. There's lies the dissonance.  Just like ice cream. It's soooooo good, yet so very evil at the same time.

Because I want to continue to workout without pain (or greater pain) and because I want to walk and not hobble in my old age, I'm making an effort to purchase - and wear - flats more.  I still buy the cute suede hiker boot with the heel (I have yet to wear them). Or the platformed, open toed, number that remains untouched. 

These may border on the ridiculous, but I'm still not sure. I love the chunky heel, but I'm pretty positive the pressure on the forefoot would be beyond pain after a while. You should have seen how some of these women were walking in them in the casinos....obviously wishing they had a pair of Nikes in their bag.

I have no words for the beauty and elegance of both the shoe and the bag. When our eyes met across the crowded shoe store, I immediately ran to them and sat with them until my man-friend could take no more of it. I will hold this picture close to my heart (that is, until the fashion trends change and I throw this pic out like yesterday's donuts).

My shoe dilemma reminds me of all the other things out there that are so great to do or eat, but leads to injury, sadness, or self-loathing later. From sitting on the couch 'cause your favorite show is on to eating a plate of nachos covered in fake cheese, beef, and olives......mmmmmmmmmmmm fake cheese. It all comes to bight us in the butt later on (if we don't practice moderation). The key is moderation. So I'm not throwing out or giving away my beautiful heels just yet. I will wear them moderately or to parties I know I will be sitting most of the time (I know...we do ridiculous things when we are in love).

I just see ruffled sleeves and tambourines when I look at these shoes. They were just so different, I had to take a pic. They are fabulous in their own way, but I could never pull them off in my small town (where wearing PJs to the movies is acceptable offense small town...I'm just sayin').

Who loves you, you cute little leopard covered platform?
So, in conclusion, I just want to reiterate that Real Life Health may also be about making sacrifices for our health (I guess if I have to). Although I'm in love with the shoes I have included in this post, I know I will never be able to wear them. So I continue my search for the "happy medium" and buy shoes I may never wear, but can look at admiringly.

That's all I I sit and type this wearing a "sensible" flat.


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