Saturday, April 13, 2013

If the Boot Fits....

Just once, I would like to have to make the tough choice between several pairs of shoes that I like, instead of having to buy the only pair that fits. Occasionally, I get to buy two pair, but it's usually the same shoe in two different colors. Having non-furry hobbit feet (a friend calls them Fred Flintstone feet) is no fun at all! They're wide and "tall" or "thick" (high arch, I think it's called?), and they're about an 8.5, one of the most common sizes, wide or otherwise, so even if wides do exist, they're usually sold out. So what did I suddenly need to do while hobbling around on crutches? Go shoe shopping! But not just for any shoes....

The doctor said I need sturdy high top shoes that cover the knobs of my ankle. I knew that wasn't going to be as simple as popping in to Rack Room Shoes (who carries virtually no wides), but I had no concept of how truly difficult such shoes would be to find. After visiting my favorite local shoe store that carries hard to find sizes (lots of wides, narrows, and larger women's sizes) and striking out, I headed to Lady Foot Locker. They (or at least the one near me) only carry medium width shoes. Next up was Sports Authority, who also does not carry wides. What is up with that, people?! Not all women have skinny feet!! Why didn't the doctor just say I needed a unicorn horn; that might have been easier to find. I don't mind being told I need to wear certain shoes, but they need to exist!!

DH and Luke looked around Sports Authority while I got on the phone. I called two Dick's Sporting Goods, three different New Balance Stores, a couple of regular Foot Lockers, and the premiere running store in Atlanta. They all carry wides, but NO ONE had wide high top shoes for women (not even hiking boots; boots yes, wide women's boots, no), and no one carried mens sizes small enough for me to wear those (I would need a 6.5 or a 7 in mens, and most stores don't go smaller than size 8). I called REI to see if they carried wide women's hiking boots, and they said yes, "we have a few styles."

Apparently, "a few" means two (they had other hiking shoes in wides, but those didn't qualify as high top), and I could only get my foot into one of them. Naturally, it was the uglier of the two pair. Behold:

Vasque Wasatch GTX, image from Zappos

Now try and tell me those are not the ugliest things you have ever seen. I would have picked almost any other pair on the wall over those, but nooooo, those had to be the only ones that fit (of the two that even came in wides; the other 15 or so pair were medium only). They're heavy and awkward and hideous, and I hate them, but I didn't really have any other choice, so we bought them. They're going to look *great* with my work pants, don't you think? ::sigh:: I will say one thing for them, my ankle isn't going anywhere! In fact, I almost felt good enough in them to try walking without the crutches at the store. Almost.

There was actually a man there also trying on high boots, and he had also had an orthopedic boot sitting next to him! He broke his ankle in 3 places about 8 weeks ago, though he's been off his crutches and walking in his ortho boot for a couple of weeks now. His doctor told him the same thing, to buy high stiff boots. At least the men's selection was over twice what the women had, and they had about 6 styles that came in wide (which he also needed).
Currently feeling: not as happy as that guy, but following doctor's orders

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