25 Sep 2010, Comments (9)

Buyer’s Neurosis

Author: Helen

I bought a new pair of shoes yesterday. Conventional wisdom has it that all women love buying shoes and indulge in this activity whenever possible. I disagree. I fecking hate buying shoes.

My problem isn’t with style decisions, but size. Well, style, too, but more of that later. The minute I’m in the car with the shoe box on the front seat I start to bubble over with stress. A year or so ago I bought a good pair of walking boots which turned out to be an unacceptable fraction too large (they moved at the back of the ankle with every step) and I’d been around the park a couple of times with the dogs before I overcame my denial, so I felt it was unfair to give them back to the shop. It took me an eternity to find a second hand buyer for a pair of boots.

My latest pair is a pair of low-cut walking shoes for everyday dog walking and such. I need something with good foot support and tread – Dunlop volleys don’t cut it with my crap knees and feet. Now I’m sitting here wiggling my toes and getting up to circumnavigate the house another time and being Neurotic. Are they too big??? Are they too big??????OMG? Of course they look enormous, but I have to accept that I have enormous feet. There is just an infinitesimal amount of movement. But it is first thing in the morning.

I still can’t bring myself to cut the label off. The dogs are hanging about looking at me expectantly. “You’ve got your shoes on!” “Yes, but I’m not going out in the park yet.” “…”

I’m fairly certain they are The Ones. Yes, I should have decided this in the shop, but that is not the way my mind works. On the drive home from the Shopping Mall from Hell and overnight my fearful Wrong Size fantasies burgeon until I’m convinced they are flapping boats in which my feet roil about from one side to the other, while people point and say “Look, it’s Krusty the Clown!” Then I put them back on, and nope, they seem to touch my feet at all points except the bit at the end where I can wiggle my toes, the old test learned in childhood.

And the next size down really was very snug.

These are from a bushwalking shop, again. My first call was to the sport shoe shop which rhymes with Toot Blocker, because they’re supposed to be good at fitting your feet, but Aaaaaaargh! My eyes! I am not going to put these shiny, white-silver-metallic-fluoro monstrosities anywhere near my feet. Sorry. Can’t you make some in, say, plain red or grey or black (not those orthopaedic-looking black ones) for the rest of us? As you can tell, I’m not a sporty person, so I don’t go into these places. I was surprised to see that the price of my bushwalking boots was not as ridiculous as I’d thought; people appear to regularly drop similar amounts on these metallic horrors.

Good grief, you’ll say, how do you ever buy shoes for work? Well, my three pairs of work shoes: Low heels (black), purchased 2003; Mary Janes (black), purchased 2005; Boots (black), purchased 2007. That should tell you something. Good thing I work in IT.

I’m pretty sure I’m not going to have to go back to the shop today.

Shoe. Yes, very beige.

Behold my tremendous feets. Yes, very beige.



…Yeah, Went back. Came back with the same shoes. Not too big. Of course, they’re too beige, but since today’s design philosophy is to make all sporty shoes look as horrible as possible, I give up on that one.

Comments (9) »

  • JahTeh says:

    I am a sucker for the 50% off and invariably would buy the wrong size. I have learnt that Homey’s will stretch a lot over time so I make sure that there is a velcro strap attached over the instep part.

  • Deborah says:

    You could fix the beige with some flourescent laces.

  • Helen says:

    Jahteh, is that the “they shrink but they’ll stretch again” thing similar to what you get at a jeans shop? The terror resides in the fact that it’s a new thing, therefore there’s more to lose if you buy a dud. And Deborah, I’m way ahead of you! Planning to look for red laces in my next trip into town (Give the shopping mall from Hell a rest, I think.)

  • Cristy says:

    It’s comforting to read that someone hates shoe shopping as much as me. I really loathe it.

    The experience is not aided by the fact that very few Aus shops stock shoes in my size (5) and so I am regularly faced with no options anyway…

    I once bought hiking boots that were too small for one of my feet (size 4). It took several weeks of painful denial for me to ad
    it it before having to buy another pair in the next size up to take hiking in te Everest region (I wore one of each size)… It was an expensive lesson.

  • Ann O'Dyne says:

    First I have to disagree with your ‘Twaddle, misc.’ label. FEET are very important.
    Second: think socks – try 2 pairs?
    Most people have one foor larger than the other. Put 2 socks on the smaller foot.

    They do look Very Orthopedic.
    I long to see a cartoon of a foot coming out of a stylish shoe, say a Louboutin, or Jimmy Choo, and the foot is the SAME shape as the shoe – (visualise long-and-pointy) FREAK!

  • Kath Lockett says:

    I hate shoe shopping too and my feet are what my father – in his inimitable way of trying to cheer me up – said, will always ensure that I have good balance.

    Walking shoes – along with Toot Blocker’s running shoes – seem determined to make us feel more than slightly foolish. I’ve lost count of the times that some 20 year old physio student and ultra-marathoner has brought out some clown-coloured runners and I’ve said, ‘They are butt ugly mate – I’m no athlete like you but I’m not blind either.”

    Your dogs won’t care what colour they are.

  • Bernice says:

    Having once wandered, hungover and with head cold, into a shoe shop on Parramatta Road – one of those shops that spring up in semi-deserted shopping precints – emerging some moments later with pink sandlery things that were fashionable sometime between August 1976 and Oct 1976 in Oqtosh, Uzbekistan – be grateful for the bushwalking shops. They allow us to shop with some modicum of our dignity intact.

  • Helen says:

    Somehow I don’t think pink sandlery things are You, Bernice.

    Having just been over to Kath’s blog, I now know what these shoes remind me of: Porridge. They’re porridge colour.

    Nothing wrong with that, really.

  • Shula says:

    I’m a 42 with trashed feet.

    I feel your pain.

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