Dear Feet;

On July 8, 2007 by Eden M. Kennedy

Sorry about yesterday. Those shoes were so comfortable when I was just standing around the apartment, but after walking six blocks I knew I’d made another terrible shoe-based vacation mistake*.

*The historic First Terrible Shoe-based Vacation Mistake happened on that trip to Paris — I didn’t include it in my post but somewhere there’s a picture of me walking down the Champs d’Elysees barefoot and carrying my red Kenneth Cole sandals by the evil fucking straps that had rubbed my ankles raw. Eventually I limped into, inexplicably, a French surf shop and bought a cheap pair of Roxy flip-flops that made me miserable in a new way, by rubbing the tender skin between my toes raw instead, and giving Jack license to mock me for the rest of my life.

“Are you sure you want to wear those shoes?” he said warily yesterday afternoon. I’d been tromping around in a perfectly useful though ancient pair of Barney’s Outlet black leather sandals all day, but evening was coming on and so I switched to my new orange patent leather low-heeled Steve Madden Lady Shoes. The first couple of blocks were okay, but it didn’t take much longer than that for me to realize that breaking in a new pair of shoes without wearing socks or carrying Band-Aids was a mistake. It’s the type of very predictable mistake along the lines of “God, why am I all bloated and in a bad mood? Jesus, this sucks.” And the next day you get your period and you’re not carrying any tampons with you and you go, “Oh, right.”

So there I was yesterday afternoon watching capoeira in Union Square and thinking: “Gee, my new shoes are giving me blisters after walking three blocks, hmm, what am I going to do? I’m certainly not going to tell Jack, that’s what.”

After shuffling through Whole Foods like a person afflicted with some sort of flesh-eating foot-based leprosy, at the check-out I finally admitted to Jack that some sort of basic first-aid might be appropriate. We got out onto the sidewalk and started walking the four blocks home. “I could go in there for Band-Aids,” I thought, limping past a Duane Reade. Jack pointed at a Foot Locker. “Just buy a pair of sneakers you can wear for the rest of the trip.”

I was in full-on martyr mode, though, and would have no truck with any solution that involved spending money. Finally, Jack employed the foolproof Champs d’Elysees Strategy and said, “Just take off your shoes and walk barefoot. Jackson, you scan the sidewalk for broken glass.”

We also added lit cigarettes, dog poo, and fresh wads of chewing gum to Jackson’s watch list. The sidewalk on Fourteenth Street was comfortably warm yesterday evening, and my feet surprisingly clean when we got home.



40 Responses to “Dear Feet;”

  • Haha, poor Jackson I too am the offspring of a mother who refuses to wear comfy footwear! We have yet to enjoy a vacation or momentus occassion where mom/grandma is “dying” because of her feet.

    Just one word for you: bjorn

  • Today is Sunday, and I am at work doing some powerpoint presentations, and to cheer myself up I am wearing my ‘writing well is the best revenge’ t shirt, and it is making me most cheery. Thanks!

  • Aw, poor Eden! The same thing happened to me when I was in Rome! Only when I finally admitted defeat(haha?) and took my shoes off to walk home, all the Romans that walked passed stopped to laugh and mock me. What a friendly people.

  • I just walked 14 blocks in a pair of pumas that ate a hole in my heel. Since when do pumas do that?!?

  • God, the times I’ve heard “Are you sure you want to wear those shoes?” come out of my husband’s mouth. And he’s almost always right. Bastard.

  • Look, New York is bad, but the WORST thing I ever saw? Okay, picture it, it’s Mardi Gras, 1999. My friend Alpa’s sassy party shoes are rubbing blisters, and before I can suggest the duck-into-Walgreens-and-grab-some-bandaids solution, she is BAREFOOT AND WALKING THROUGH THE FRENCH QUARTER. Have you been to Mardi Gras? Are you familiar with the term “Mardi Muck?”

    It was horrific. I was terrified she’d catch hepatitis. Or AIDS. Or the Plague. All were equally likely.

  • I am glad to see you included the whole family in the process.

    I had the same situation in Paris, myself. Although I was a teenager and a nice boy gave me a lift. Ahhh… to be young and barefoot again.

  • I have walked Fifth Avenue barefoot and spent a few sock-footed days in the office for the same reason. My feet empathize with yours, but mostly they wish they were back in New York too.

  • The french make the most superior band-aids in the world. How do I know this? Similar footwear disaster in the Marais.

    Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip. The Richard Serra retrospective at MOMA is pretty amazing (for all ages – the torqued ellipses are like funhouses) if no one suggested it yet.

  • Three products to consider: A pair of those Croc shoes everyone is wearing.. horrible looking but oh so comfy the day you buy them.. no breaking in needed. Or..Dankso’s. very very very comfy shoes, approved or something by dr’s of feet. They also make dankso’s that are not all cloggy looking.. but even so.. very swell shoes indeed. I have 4 pairs. Also.. Mirena (it’s an IUD) .. no period for five or even ten years.. if that’s not bliss.. I dunno what else to call it.. yes a OB Gyn has to install.. it but it was just like getting a pap.. after having kids.. those sort of exams are like.. no big deal anymore.. :) Good luck.. hope your feet heal up fast, and have a awesome time in NYC!! Heather :)

  • I don’t find Croc shoes comfortable. I think I am the only one in the universe who finds them uncomfy!

    I do suggest Naots though. I think thats how you spell them. They are totally comfortable!

  • Birkies : )

  • Crocs also double as birth control.

  • Crocs are very comfortable if you’re just standing around for days at a time but I wouldn’t want to walk in them. Hadn’t considered the birth control aspect, however, good point.

  • It never fails that whatever shoes I pick as being my most comfortable shoes end up hurting when I’m on vacation. Went to Australia in February and brought my favorite flip flops since they are big down there and I was going to spend a lot of time going to the beach while husband was at work (it was a business trip for him). Wouldn’t you know it, I found out that my fave flip flops hurt if you walk 3 blocks back and forth betwee a commuter train station and the beach every day? At one point I had to actually wear the shoes and socks I wore on the plane to get there because my feet hurt too much in anything else.

  • When I lived in New York I only wore comfortable shoes – sneakers, doc martins – however, many women in NYC wear sandals and heels every day! I worked with a woman who called one-inch heels flats!

    If I may give advice, wear comfy shoes.

  • Two trips to Paris and two foot incidents later, I have a permanent reminder in my bathroom at which I can smile wistfully as I remember those fabulous, foot-torturing vacations – a very sturdy plastic box of “Tricosteril” bandaids (the original bandaids are all gone, but the box is always refilled and never thrown away). Funny how those completely impractical shoes just scream, WEAR ME, YOU FOOL!

  • FINALLY!!! (smacks forehead; wishes a V8 was withing reach)

    THAT’S what kids are good for!!

  • New York streets are unforgiving! It doesn’t matter how far you have walked somewhere else, if they are not the world’s most comfortable shoes, you WILL have blisters!

    And by the way, you walked right past my grandmother’s apartment! Just be glad 14th Street was cleaned up! 5 or 10 years ago, you would NEVER have walked barefoot and lived to tell about it! lol

  • hahaha, oh how i’ve been there! after kid #2 i find it incrediby difficult to squeeze my feet into those painful, cute shoes i once loved so much. i’m still too vain look like a total mom, though (crocs?? wtf! NO WAY.). i do love my birkenstock madrids (…seriously, comfortable, cute, not really crunchy at all. and it feels like you’re barefoot! oh, and tsubo has very comfy, kinda stylin’ shoes, too. um, yeah, i like shoes. heh.

    have you heard about that band-aid roll-on lubricating stuff that’s supposed to protect against rubbing and blisters?

    wait, did you say you went barefoot in NYC?? EW. heh.

  • No crack vials? Shared needles? Rusty nails?

  • oooh, I have so been there. That spot exactly. The Whole Foods. With NY-bad feet. So I limped in and bought myself a pair of Earth Shoes. Whole Foods sells everything!

  • Ooh. I can’t imagine walking down 14th Street barefoot. You are one brave Fussy.

  • That shoe thing is a hard lesson to learn. I always buy new shoes for New York trips, and then realize that, hey! I should have remembered what happened last time I did this. Then I hobble around New York for the remainder of my trip. Hope your feet are feeling better today.

  • Oh dear god the blisters! Don’t they just know how to ruin a perfectly good day?

    Here’s a product endorsement that will keep you in the super cute shoes. Bodyglide. It’s what professional runners use to keep blisters at bay. The link will show you where you can buy it.

    The only way to describe it is as a miracle poured into deodorant tube. Also excellent for use on inner thighs that rub together while walking in skirts without stockings.

    Oh, and under no circumstance should that be confused with with Astroglide.

  • Um, I can’t live down my barefoot experience with my husband, who was not yet my husband when we left a friend’s wedding in which I was a bridesmaid, wearing dyed-to-match uglies that hurt my drunk feet as we bar-hopped after the reception. So I took them off: to hell with the sparkly pantyhose! Predictably, my future husband and I got in a fight, and at some point I spit at him. Yes, spit. This incident is invoked Pavlovian-like whenever I take off my shoes.

    So I wear Danskos.

  • Hee hee hee…

    BEEN THERE!!!!

  • Umm… Danskos don’t work for long walks, only for walking/standing type jobs where you are not walking from your hotel to the Louvre, or the British Museum. They make the balls of your feet very sad, even in thick padded socks.

    Now, those 85 pound Eccos I gave in and bought? Those are perfect. And in the end, cheaper than the Danskos.

  • This is why I try to spend as much time as possible barefoot – it’s always more comfortable than shoes. Well, unless you’re hiking through gravel.

  • I love being barefoot. Good solution. And how lucky are you to have Jack and Jackson watching out for you? Enjoy New York!

  • If you’re in Union Square, get to the DSW! Thousands of shoes, many of them supremely comfortable.

  • I second the astr… I mean bodyglide.

    I love capoeira! So fun to watch, and sort of vaguely yoga-ninja-esque.

  • I am glad I am not a slave to my shoes, heh. Call me lazy/unstylish or what have you. Comfort is where it is at.

  • Waaa! My old comment about how I can oddly wear heels and cruise around fine but Bjorns and I are not a match made in heaven (instant blisters), etc….was….defeated?

  • 1) Steve Madden shoes are evil.
    2) If you’re in NY how come we’re not hanging out?

  • It’s the Steve Madden shoes that are to blame. He hates women’s feet! My most painful pairs are all Steve Madden…yet I continue to buy them, demonstrating my own stupidity.

  • I wore my super hot hot hot 4″ superwoman pleather boots the other night for dinner with the girls– HE hates these boots and warned me that I would be wearing them a long time… The next day my calves and thighs were so fricking sore I could barely walk down the stairs–too much yoga? long bike ride? NOPE> the super hero boots. My high heel muscles haven’t been used in years, and did not like the revival. I think now I’ll just wear ‘em for washing the dishes, or making powerpoint presentations! Hah!

  • I wore my super hot hot hot 4″ superwoman pleather boots the other night for dinner with the girls– HE hates these boots and warned me that I would be wearing them a long time… The next day my calves and thighs were so fricking sore I could barely walk down the stairs–too much yoga? long bike ride? NOPE> the super hero boots. My high heel muscles haven’t been used in years, and did not like the revival. I think now I’ll just wear ‘em for washing the dishes, or making powerpoint presentations! Hah!

  • my god how many times have i done this!? the sad sad truth of the matter is that i now can only wear dansko clogs. only dansko clogs or i walk like an old lady in need of a hip replacement.

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