That’s not quite the truth. I enjoy having my feet protected and covered in the outdoors. Even indoors, when appropriate. But my feet, for whatever reason, just don’t have the standard shape. I mean, they look like feet and all, but when I put them into shoes my toes typically get painfully smushed. I don’t like the way that feels, and so I try to find and purchase shoes that have a wider toe box, and I purchase shoes a half size too large, and sometimes I try on men’s shoes and sometimes I even buy men’s shoes.

Sometimes, I wonder if other people have the same problem that I do and they just don’t care. Like, my irritable bowel syndrome could be a result of nerves getting oversensitized, so maybe, in addition to sensitive bowels, I have sensitive toes. Especially the pinky toe on the right. That’s always my first clue that the shoes just won’t do. That toe is a loud complainer.

The left foot is a bit narrower than the right. I’ve learned not to try a shoe on with my left foot first, because that way lies disappointment once I put the right shoe on and find that what I had hoped was a good fit was, in fact, the usual shite. It cuts down on time, too, since I often only need to put the right shoe on for about 5 seconds before I know.

For a long time, I would convince myself that a shoe fit, even when it didn’t. Even when my feet were in pain just from trying them on, let alone wearing them for hours at a time. I just wanted, so much, to have normal feet that fit normal shoes normally. But I’ve learned not to do that. The pain isn’t worth it. And there’s no reason not to say no to a shoe when it hurts. Even if the salesperson is very kind and has run out of shoes to show me.

About a year and a half ago, I got a pair of shoes from Costco. It felt like a minor miracle that these random Costco shoes just happened to fit me right. They started to wear out last December, but I didn’t replace them until last week. I can tell they’re wearing out when my feet start to pound at night. That’s the sign that it’s time to start searching. But my search went on way longer than I thought it would. Costco didn’t have any shoes that fit me; I tried a pair ordered from Amazon and if I didn’t want to wear socks and the insides were a little less scratchy without them, I might have kept them. But they were too tight with socks and too pokey without them.

Finally, my husband and I ventured well out of our shopping comfort zone (bounded in the west at REI). We headed over to Sierra Trading Post for only the second time since we’d been together.

It was the right call. I needed some decent looking, comfortable shoes that I could wear to work regularly. I found several possibilities after cruising the 8 and 8.5 sections. One of them worked. Now I just need to replace my workout shoes, because they were pretty much worn out when the others were and I still haven’t replaced them. I’ve got a pair on order, but I don’t know if they’re going to work. . .

I hate shoes.

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