Why Are Comfortable Shoes So Hard to Find?
Let’s get one thing out of the way right from the start: I hate wearing shoes. I am not even a big fan of socks or slippers. I prefer bare feet at all times. So perhaps I’m not alone in my frustration over not being able to find a comfortable pair of shoes.
Why is it so hard to find a pair of shoes I can wear for a few hours without feeling like my feet are under siege? It’s one of those mysteries of the universe I may never understand. One thing I do know is that a comfortable pair of shoes is truly valuable. If I find a pair, you can bet I take good care of them. I keep them clean. I avoid scuffs. I make sure not to drag my heels when I walk. I wear my GC Tech waterproof overshoes when the weather is bad.
Feet Need Space
I did some checking around to learn what the experts had to say about footwear. I discovered some interesting things along the way. First of all, my feet need space to freely move around inside my shoes. That explains why I have always found hockey skates uncomfortable. When I was a kid, I was taught to lace them up as tightly as I could. Apparently, that’s not the way to go.
Likewise, my feet are going to be uncomfortable if my shoes are too tight. Say goodbye to any shoes that don’t give my toes enough to move. Apparently, wide-toe boxes are the most comfortable.
It seems like the need for space should be a no-brainer, but I’m a slow learner. I remember the shoes I bought with my wedding suit way back when. They were narrow along the sides and pointed at the toes. Looking back, it was a miracle I stayed on my feet that entire day.
Feet Need Cushioning
Another no-brainer that seems to have escaped my attention is the fact that feet need cushioning. The truth is that walking is tough on the feet. If you are the type of person who spends all day walking on hard surfaces, like concrete, your feet have it even worse.
Concrete doesn’t absorb the impact that well. So every time your foot lands on a piece of concrete, most of the energy travels back up into your foot. That can make for some sore tootsies at the end of a long day. Shoe cushioning is supposed to help.
If I’m being honest, I prefer sneakers over dress shoes. One reason is the cushioning. Compared to my sneakers, there isn’t much in the bottom of my dress shoes. Plus, my sneakers allow my feet to breathe. Apparently, that’s important too.
Feet Need Support
Another thing I learned is that shoes should be supportive. But what does that mean? When I was a kid, my grandparents used to talk about arch support. In fact, they both wore inserts for that reason. But there is another kind of support that’s equally important. It is support around the ankles and hands.
Despite what I previously thought, it appears as though I need shoes with a sturdy heel that prevents slippage. Without that sturdy heel, I run the risk of developing blisters on the backs of my feet. Who knew? Likewise, a lack of support around the ankles can lead to rubbing and chafing.
It is hard for me to find comfortable shoes. Perhaps it’s just because I don’t know what to look for. But at least I do not have that problem with my waterproof overshoes. They are just fine, thank you.