Towards my middle 40s, my foundation became shaky as tendinitis settled in for the long run in both feet. A few years later, metatarsals gave up the ghost, twice. That was such a delight. You should try driving with a walking cast on your gas foot. Meanwhile, the podiatrists wanted to fix the obvious problem, that being bigger bunion. They could also deal with the plantar fascia, but they didn't have much to say when questioned about the 33% satisfaction rate after the surgeries. That coupled with the six to nine month recovery period PER FOOT! left me choosing to grunt and be grumpy.
Well, there were the prescription shoe inserts at $500 each, neither covered by insurance in any manner. That didn't help with the grumpiness. And no, there are no drugs that help. There is not that much NSAID in the world. What I do is focus on accommodation: What can I do and not do that makes locomotion better.
This leaves me intensely aware of shoes. Some suggest I have a foot fetish, and I suppose in a manner of thinking, I do, but the only source of pleasure in this fetish is avoidance of pain. I usually know within seconds whether or not a pair of shoes will be acceptable.
One accommodation is that I swap shoes frequently. This not only allows yesterday's shoes to dry while I'm sweating up today's shoes, but the change permits old frayed nerves to cool while new happy nerves are abused.
Here's what's in the closet now. Well, they are more beside the bed than in the closet. Having them out facilitates changing, and it's not like anyone actually uses that side of the bed.
The cowboy boots
I loved these shoes. They're easily 20 years old, if not more, and have seen a half-dozen bottoms. I've worn these boots on Tienanmen Square as well as on the campuses of all but two of the universities in the North Carolina system. They've been around. They've also been as far as they're ever going to go unless a miracle happens. I've not worn them in two years or more, and the last time I put them on, they were off in a matter of seconds. I suspect my days of high heels are about over. That's sad because you know how insecure I am about my lack of stature.
Yes, that's the name. FitFlops. They're from somewhere in the UK and ordered through Zappos. The idea is that the sole wiggles slightly when walking and that's supposed to promote some therapeutic effect. I have no evidence of that. All I know is that I can go farther in these shoes than in any other pair I have. However, there are limits. I worked three days in Orlando last February, and these were the only work shoes to took. After the third day, I was in agony. Still, these are my preferred shoes, especially when flying. They work well going through airport security because they slid on.
The work Crocs
Yes, these are Crocs, and no, I wouldn't buy them again. They're marginal for me. I only wear them a couple of times a week, mainly because they can be hot and they're no where near as comfortable as you'd expect from Crocs. Some of the reviews were from wait staff in restaurants, and they indicated superb comfort. I suppose this means I should avoid working as a waiter in a restaurant.
The Vibram Five Fingers
I avoided the Five Fingers for a year or more because I was suspicious of all the hype. Marketing has done very little positive for the retail world as far as I'm concerned. However, #1 Son bought a pair, and they changed the way he engages USAF PT to the point that his physician wrote a letter to the USAF to get #1 approved to wear Five Fingers in PT. With that in mind, I bought my own pair. It has taken three weeks to be able to wear them more than a couple of hours a day, but the therapeutic effects is kicking in. I suspect this shoe is going to be a winner.
The Coleman boots
I bough these boots in the spring of last year after a series of events left me hobbling and relatively grumpy. I might have worn them six times since. Mostly, I haven't been anywhere that would favor boots, even for as much as I generally prefer boots to all other forms of foot wear, and they just don't work all that well in our summer heat. Bear in mind that the temperature on the street is substantially above the temperature at your head. To this end, they sit in the closet.
I wear these in spells, and often those spells include socks, which makes so many complain. Note: Honey Badger don't care. At this point, I find them relatively heavy, and they don't much work with the mechanics of my steps anymore. What's interesting here is that, back in the early 70s, I started wearing Jesus shoes on the farm during the summer. Yes, the folks back home called them Jesus shoes. I took quite the ribbing from wearing them, but they were better than going barefoot when working in the tobacco barns where I'd be standing on up-turned 2x4s most of the day. They were also far cooler than the brogans everyone else wore.
The worn out Crocs. I love these shoes, which are all worn out from extreme use, and more are coming as soon as I can catch a sale somewhere, and that somewhere will be Zappos because I'm extremely unlikely to step out into the world and shop for shoes. The question might arise as to the color I should get. For as much as I'd like something louder and brighter, I'm oh so certain it'll be another black pair.
And that's it. There ain't no more.