It's hard to tell how abnormal my feet and legs are just by looking at them. I know, because I have a hard time convincing people how much trouble they're causing.
With half-healed blisters, discoloured toe nails from the pressure of too flat shoe-fronts and an infection in one of the blisters, you'll not see a photo of my nude feet! However, I will show you lots of photos from my latest visit to the shoe shop.
This picture shows the main issues:
The circles are the spots that I've considered having cut off. It would make life so much easier! It's not just about getting fashionable footwear. It's about safety and comfort as well.
The shoe in the photo is a size 6, which is the actual size of my foot, lengthwise. But to have shoes at all, I always wear a size 7 or 8. In some of my footwear I have 2 inches of empty space in front of my toes. It's like wearing clown's shoes, and I often trip over my toes.
After having measured my foot across, I have come to the conclusion that I need a size EEEE, super extra wide, according to the measuring forms. I have tried a few of those too, only to discover, that they're too wide at the base, but too flat in the front. For some reason the industry has decided that if your foot is wide, it's also flat like the feet of Donald Duck!
So, my foot is really not that wide, only very "full", like my toes, since my nails are getting seriously squashed even though I keep them a short as possible!
This shows a typical shoe shopping session for me:
As usual I'm trying a lot of shoes - and in Denmark they're generally black!
All these shoes are hurting my foot, by being too narrow or flat. The brands are among others Arc, Gabor, Vagabond and Ecco.
Finally I found two pairs of shoes that fit me, or at least will fit me once I've added little suede cushions inside. They're by German brand Rieker:
The only problem is, that these are not the types of shoes that I need! One is a sandal, the other one is in suede. With the nasty spring weather we're experiencing this year, I need water proof shoes. Colour hasn't even been considered yet!
Add an extra curvy calf to these issues and see if you can find me a pair of boots!
It's not a joke when I say that it has taken me a decade to find the boots I wore this winter.
Unfortunately they're fur-lined and so too hot for 10 degrees celcius/50 degrees Fahrenheit. But very comfortable to walk in. However, they're still so tight fitting that I can only work my foot into them wearing the thinnest tights or nothing at all (on my feet!!!). They go half way up my calf, and so end at the widest point :-(
So, I have a lot of shoes from Irregular Choice, 10 out of 16 pairs. Some of their styles have more room for the toes than other brands. In a size 8 with additional padding I can usually find something fun and stylish.
- The silver boots are way too large, so I can't walk in them - only stand or sit
- The ballet flats never give me blisters
- The sandals don't give me blisters either
- Nor do the blue suede heels, the pink suede heels or the red tweed wedges
- I also have green wellies and old black Ecco sneaker style shoes, now only fit for gardening :-(
Living in a wet climate demands water proof footwear. Living in a colder climate also demands warmer footwear - not a lot of sandals. In knee high snow warm boots are a must!
Such a thing as a sneaker or a trekking boot is completely out of the question. A couple of years ago my daughter was going on a hike with her scout's group, with parents and all. I tried every major shoe shop and outdoor shop in Copenhagen as well as in Berlin where we went on holiday just prior to the hike. After having tried hundreds of shoes I even contacted headquarters per e-mail, asking if they had other models than those in the shops.
The answer was the same as always: We dont' carry "that size" or "that shape"
I know they probably wouldn't sell many pieces, so I can't blame them. It's just depressing always being called "that shape" or "that size", in shops and by producers. And even more depressing that I can't go with my family on hikes or longer walks, because I can't find footwear.
More than 10 years ago I looked at bespoke footwear. I can actually get some "okay" shoes and boots, for 10000 to 20000 Danish Kroner (1000 to 2000 UK Pounds/ 1500 to 3000 US Dollars). Sadly they don't do waterproof boots or shoes, and only velcro closing. So, no Pyrenees, Himalayas or Kilimanjaro :-(
Besides, the orthopaedic shoe makers cater for people with ill or seriously deformed feet (these customers apparently being older), and mine are neither, they're not even particularly fuzzy. They're just "a little abnormal", and I'm reluctant to pay so much money for shoes that I really wouldn't give a second thought if I had normal feet. I may have to change my attitude here - later!
For now I've given up. There's not a thing that I haven't tried. With other body issues limiting my clothing choices, it easily becomes a depressing job to get dressed. How do I comfort myself?
Well, from above the knees, what did I wear for my shoe shop visit?
I wore my navy dress, my teal rings and my favourite necklace by Monies. And coloured tights of course :-)
A close up of the necklace and my hair which is alright here!:
The day after I went to Hillerød, a town up North, where my daughter applied for a job. Since she's only 15 and it's the first time, she wanted me to go with her. Although I stayed in the background I managed to stand out anyway!
It wasn't warm but windy, with clouds and a few seconds of sunshine every now and then. With patience I managed to get a photo of myself, in sunshine :-D
Here I'm wearing a dress by H&M, bought in a moment of weakness, together with beautifully matching tights, my pink trench and the lovely horn bead necklace bought on holiday in Mallorca years ago. Who cares if I get another blister on my foot, when I get to wear so much colour?
As regular readers will know, I'm a jewellery addict. My favourite "pusher" being the Danish brand Monies, who happened to have a major sale last week...
I was first in line, an hour early - and so went in ahead of everyone :-)
I bet I got the best offer in the shop!!!!
Here's what I tried on:
Sorry that I forgot to smile, but I had to concentrate hard to get a useful selfie. I've listed the necklaces in the order I tried them, starting from the top left to right...
So funny how I ended up buying the two first I tried on :-)
At the next sale I'm going to ask permission to take photos because the customers are very picturesque! There are so many extremely stylish and elegant women in there! Many in their 50 and above - and then quite a few gorgeous young models! I couldn't take my eyes off of any of them. I just had to sit down for a whole hour, just admiring all these fantastic women!
The next day I was meeting my BFF for lunch in Torvehallerne (again) - introducing treasure number one :-D
A weighty double strand of beautiful, smooth Rose Quartz - original price: 13.000,- Danish Kroner (1300 UK Pounds or 2000 US Dollars)....
Now down to: 1000,00 Danish Kroner (100 UKP/ 154 USD)!!!!!! I dare say that was the catch of the day, including all other items sold that day!
The rest of the outfit with includes my old Dash dress:
See the colour on my face? All the gardening has given me a tan, so my foundation is too light, and my hairdresser doesn't need to give the roots a touch up :-)
My BFF is always extremely well dressed, Friday no exception...
Aren't those sandals just to die for?
For lunch we had a mix of seafood salads:
It was fantastic! What looks like beer next to the plate is a lime and mint fizzy drink, very nice too.
Some of us, I, needed a cup of coffee and a small cake for dessert...
It may not look like much, but the taste was amazing! A strong, creamy lemon pudding on the crunchy and light sponge base with the small name plate in dark chocolate. Perfection!
The very next day I had to fight hard to keep my level of glamour up as we went to a photo meet up, on a small, secluded island - in a tent!
The tent is one of those professional mountain climber accomodations that can only be entered or left crawling :-( To make things worse, leaving the tent would be by backing. Otherwise one's hands would get wet due to the rain.
At my age and size, in my camping gear, this was in no way dignifying!
I didn't spend much time in the tent. With lots of rain and strong wind I had no choice but wellies for footwear, and skiing underwear under my glamorous maxi dress, and a long cardigan on top, now ready for the mandatory rain coat as outer layer.
These are men's wellies, and they're too narrow for my calves, so they don't come all the way up which is slightly annoying when walking. And there's a 2 inch empty space in the front. I walk carefully in these.
As we had a short moment of dry weather we managed another photo, including our car:
This lovely WV carries all our camping gear and enough photo gear to equip a small studio!
The island was beautiful, and during another dry spell I managed to get a couple of shots:
The typical Danish beach has lots of stones, with smaller sandy parts, and lots of grasses and smaller plants near the water. In the water we have plenty of seaweed, some of which is edible. I'm going to see if I can find an expert to learn more about this. I love seaweed, and it's such a waist not to eat it when it's there - healthy, tasty and free!
Enough of the dreadful weather - introducing treasure number two:
A mix of Bone, Mother of Pearl, Rose Quartz and a huge Fresh Water Pearl. Original price 4000,00 Danish Kroner ( 400,00 UKP/ just under 600 USD), now down to: 800,00 (80,00 UKP/ 120 USD)!!!
Here's how I styled my new necklace:
The jacket is years old, by H&M, as is the beige dress, only never worn and bought last summer. With the newly acquired tan, the necklace really stands out. What you don't get from the photos, is the lovely noise it makes when I move.
This is how I comfort myself when I look at my too small shoe collection, predicting where my next blister pops up or how cold my feet will get during the day.
I might just add, that the sale prices of these necklaces are way lower than any thrift shop or second hand prices. It almost felt like stealing!
Hope summer is somewhere and someone is wearing her sandals...
Lots of warm hugs!