There was an old woman who wanted some shoes…..
She had so many bunions, she didn’t know what to choose
She searched high and at Lowes
Online and in stores
But the ones that she found… scrunched all her toes!
My feet have always been difficult, and the older I get, the more difficult they get. I was blessed with thunder thighs, ample ankles, wide feet, and short stubby toes. In fact, on the back of one of my senior pictures, a friend wrote: “to the girl with the Fred Flintstone Feet. Good luck in the future.” She should have added: “Good luck in the future ever finding a pair of shoes that are not only comfortable but attractive.” There was a reason Fred Flintstone went barefoot.
In high school, I had to wear orthopedic nurse’s shoes with my marching band uniform. They must have weighed 20 pounds each. All the other girls wore their light-weight little Keds. I am not sure how I ever made it to the 50 yard line during the half time show. My shoes gave new meaning to “dragging your feet.”
Because my feet were wide, my choices were limited. (Remember, it was the 60’s and Twiggy was all the rage with her little bird feet and Tiny Tears toes. ) There was nothing fashionable for a sturdy girl like me. Unfortunately, we still were required to wear dresses or skirts to school. So hiding your shoes under an extra long pair of pants was not an option. Mini-skirts? Think about it. Thunder thighs, thick ankles, and Fred Flintstone Feet at the bottom of a mini-skirt. I shudder.
To make matters worse, I was short-waisted and short-legged. It seemed no matter what I wore, I ended up looking like… a box. A square box. A shoe box containing orthopedic shoes.
Summer time was a bit better. There were always flip-flops (or thongs as we called them; yes, please do not go there). There were also strappy buckle sandals that could be adjusted to fit less than perfect feet. But there was no Endless Summer and eventually the reality of school shoes stomped all over my shopping plans. It was difficult.
Wide shoes back then were more expensive, which made my mother unhappy. Wide shoes were unattractive, which made me unhappy. Wide shoes were only available in select shoe stores, which made my dad unhappy driving us all over “Kingdom Come” as he used to say.
And now, the affliction of my youth follows me into old age. On the positive side, there are definitely more styles and sizes available nowadays. During the Earth Shoe era, I was in heaven! Likewise with granny dresses and maxi skirts Today there are more colors and styles available for older, wider feet. And there are actual catalogs dedicated to foot pain, crooked toes, wide widths, arthritic toes, and diabetic socks.
On the negative side, I cannot wear heels of any kind , because the forward pressure on my poor toes makes walking unbearable. Flats with dresses make me look “frumpy”. My thunder thighs and thick ankles have expanded; that’s all I ‘m gonna say about that. The only good thing about this entire shoe issue is that now I shop for comfort and I can usually find it, and I am retired so wearing a dress only rears its ugly feet occasionally. I did keep a pair of pumps with one inch heels which I can wear if necessary. I just know to cancel any plans for the next day, because I will be home soaking my Flintoes.