Let me start by saying, I am not one of those shoe girls. I don't have hundreds of pairs of shoes; in fact, I'm the opposite. I have about 3 pairs in solid rotation, then I have specialty shoes. My shoe needs have greatly changed since my knee surgery, so I figured it warranted a new post.
Say hello to my massive arch, the bane of my existence. In my family, we've got: super arch, completely flat feet and/or wide feet. I'm lucky enough to have the first and the last. It's always made shoe shopping fun for me. About ten years ago, I had the silly idea that running would be the best method for me to get into shape. I am not a runner, and my super arch revolted. Within two weeks, I ended up with stress fractures on both shins and went to see a foot specialist. The doctor recommended custom foot orthotics. So I went to a store, dropped about $500 bucks on two pairs and figured, all my foot issues are gone! If I went running, sure, these helped prevent shin splints, but it constantly felt like my body was fighting them. Hip, knee and ankle pain resulted from my body trying to adjust to a new gait. What happened two years ago completely broke me from wearing these ever again.
I'd never played sports with these orthotics in, mainly because they wouldn't fit into my softball cleats. When I played THE pick up game of basketball, I put them in, and pop goes my ACL. Was this THE only factor that lead to my injury? No. Was it enough for me to reconsider the need for custom orthotics? Absolutely.
I went from Danskos and Ariats, both lovely, well made brands of shoes, to mainly Converse. My knee gets cranky if I wear anything with a heel, even a chunky one. My body is fighting against it, so I've moved on to shoes that are as flat, with as little sole as possible. When I work out, I'm either barefoot or in socks. My muscles know what to do on their own to prevent me from getting hurt. Now try finding a shoe that is dressy enough for a wedding, where I'm on my feet a good 10 hours, that is wide enough for my fat feet and flat enough to allow my body to work its magic.
Bam! Pr!vo by Clarks. I saw them and fell in love. Awesomely cushioned footbed, super thin sole, actual leather and wide width! Huzzah!
And just because it's almost hiking season, I picked up a pair of Merrell's Barefoot sneakers. They're supposed to be similar to those crazy toe shoes, but without the individual sleeves for toes. I'll save you my rant on toe separation anxiety.
I haven't decided if I'm going to try them out at the gym or not yet. I tend to do just fine without, although they might come in handy on tire flipping days...
Oh, and what did I mean by something for everyone?
Addy was able to enjoy the boxes once I removed the shoes!