Shoes. Sheesh.

I normally try to write blog posts that touch on my insights, things I’ve learned, or questions I have about life — not just my life, but life in general. Occasionally, I even mention issues that irk me, but never, as far as I can remember have I talked about something so shallow as shoes.

I do blog about what is on my mind, though, no matter the depth of the topic, and today shoes are on my mind.

I have three pairs of shoes I’ve been wearing — one pair is completely worn out, one hurts the tops of my feet, and one hurts my heels. I still wear them because, well, shoes. Mostly, though, I wear them because I can almost never find shoes to fit. But now that it’s cooler, I need shoes I can wear for walking more than a mile or two, so off I went to hunt the wild shoe.

One store I planned to go to has disappeared, perhaps a victim of the trend toward internet shopping, though how anyone can buy shoes online, I don’t know. There doesn’t seem to be any consistency to size, as this little fable will show.

I was left with two stores: a national shoe store chain and a sporting goods store. At the national chain, I found one pair that seemed comfortable, but I couldn’t figure out where my toe was since the top of the toe seemed to be reinforced. I asked the salesclerk if she could tell where my toe ended. She felt the toe and said there was plenty of room. Yay!

Still, since I was in shoe shopping mode, I stopped by the sporting goods store. The first thing I saw was a pair of hiking shoes on sale for less than half price. They seemed a bit big, but thick hiking socks should make them fit. (Not that I’ve been doing any hiking, but ridiculously, I still think about doing an epic hike.)

Figuring I was on a roll, I tried on various other shoes and ended up buying a couple of pairs that fit as well as any shoe in a store ever fits.

The next day, I decided to try on the first pair of shoes I bought, and after walking around the house for a few minutes, I realized the left shoe was so short, it was cramping my toe. So I packed those shoes back in their box, and tried on another pair. Or tried to. I couldn’t even fit my foot into the shoe. And the third pair was huge.

As if that wasn’t weird enough, each pair of shoes was a different size. (For comparison, my foot measures 7 1/2.) The size 8 shoe was excessively wide. The size 8 1/2 was too short. The size 9 shoe was remarkably small.

Sounds like a fairy tale, doesn’t it? The grim sort. Or maybe a fable, but if it is a fable, I have no idea what the moral could be. I’ve gleaned no insights. Learned nothing.

I returned all the shoes except the hiking shoes, which puts me back at the beginning, with only shoes that hurt or are worn out. So . . . more shopping. Someday.

Shoes. Sheesh.

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

10 Responses to “Shoes. Sheesh.”

  1. Coco Ihle Says:

    I feel for you, Pat. I see you’ve discovered that size doesn’t mean much at all in this case. Different manufacturers have their own idea what size is, so trying on is the only solution. I have had the same problem you’ve experienced, but found SAS shoes came up with a shoe that I wear just about every day. They are a company, I guess, like Happy Feet or some of those companies that have “healthy” shoes. Anyway, good luck with your quest!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Every time I find a shoe that fits, I try to get another pair, and usually, it’s not manufactured any more, or they changed it, or something. One of the problem with shoes is they put in so many different insoles, sometimes in the same shoe, that there’s no room for a foot. I’ll have to check out SAS.

  2. LordBeariOfBow Says:

    I know the feeling, I have feet somewhat smaller than your 7½, and for bloke that’s a disaster, I can go to a children’s shoe shop and get fitted, but children’s shoes, on an 83 year old?
    Some months ago, I took my wife to get some new runners/joggers, and surprise, surprise , the shop actually had one pair that suited, and fitted, me perfectly.Not only that they gave me a BIG discount; I suppose they were patting their backs congratulating themselves for being able to sell them.
    Indeed, I was so happy, and comfortable, that I too did a shoe post; however my post was one of joy 😀

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Wow! Congratulations! Shoes that fit are truly something to celebrate. And um . . . correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t you the bloke who claimed to be nondescript? Such mall feet sure add to the descriptness!)

  3. Constance Says:

    Isn’t this ridiculous what you have to go through just to buy a pair of shoes. They have changed the sizing over the years. Shoes come from other countries sized differently than the U.S. too! I don’t know how you can buy shoes over the internet. I tried twice and had to send them back. Done with that. Hope you have better luck next time out shopping.

  4. mickeyhoffman Says:

    When I find one that fits I buy several pairs because I know that they will vanish in a year, either completely or to be changed in some way to sell “new” models. One reason I don’t go “out” where I have to “dress up” is that I don’t own any shoes for that. Zero. And it’s not worth it to me to spend days looking and spend money for going to places I hardly ever go.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I don’t have any shoes for going out, either, except maybe an old pair of black flats that are packed away. I mostly have walking, hiking, and dance shoes, and not many of those. 

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