November 17, 2018

Women's Shoes Are Painful by Design

“It’s not that I think wearing Toms with socks to work is a good look, per se.

I admire your d’Orsay oxfords and fun mules. But unfortunately, when it comes to shoes, my only criteria is, “Will these cause my feet to dribble blood all over my open-plan office?”

I am simply not meant to wear professional office flats. I can’t wear Payless flats, but I also can’t wear the premium, handcrafted-in-Italy, join-the-waitlist flats. I don’t even attempt heels. No matter what brand they are, what width or size, any shoes that you can’t play basketball in will, inevitably, rub Medieval-looking holes into my foot skin.

Every month, I succumb to an Instagram advertisement or a Strategist post purporting to have found the holy grail of women’s footwear: comfortable and work-appropriate. Reluctantly, my shoe-price ceiling has risen with the number of subcutaneous infections brewing on my heels. I buy them with a renewed sense of hope every time. Every time, I eagerly unwrap the shoes, slide them on in my carpeted apartment, and note how comfortable they feel—you get what you pay for, I think, smugly.”

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