Natural Healing, Personal

Function over form and why I tossed my work shoes

Zsuzsa N.K./

We all have them; shoes for work, shoes for play, shoes for those occasions when you need to look at least a foot taller.

Last week, I tossed my work shoes. All of them. And you should too.

Face it, no one actually likes wearing those impossibly high heels, pointed flats or stiff loafers. It’s awful really, considering we spend 40 hours a week at least wearing them. Shouldn’t we be wearing footwear we love and that loves us back? I thought so too.

I have chronic back pain I’ve been working on for a number of years, so when my feet were no longer getting that loving feeling from my shoes, I knew it was time to breakup. My toes had the shape of squished Vienna sausages, my big and little toes bearing blisters where the sides of the shoe has rubbed them the wrong way. After a long day in my flats, I developed a painful cut on my ankle. I had also noticed pain growing in my big toes, where the nails were plotting to become ingrown.

Goodbye! That was enough reason for me and I tossed a few perfectly good pairs.

Except they weren’t perfectly good. They were awful.

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Through no fault of my own (well, maybe some) I’m facing back pain. I don’t need another source of discomfort. I’ve seen people go through painful ingrown nail removals, bear the pain of flat feet and live with bunions. Is it worth it to kill our feel, which have to carry us through life, never getting to clock out but for a few hours while we sleep? No. My feet deserved better and so do yours.

As we age, we become more conscious of our mortality, how we are influenced or receive consequences for our actions. No longer can I stay up until 3 a.m. and show up to work at 9 a.m; I’ll be dead tired. So too, if I keep abusing my feet in unnecessary and uncomfortable, though chic shoes, it won’t be long before that too bites me in the bottom. Sometimes the damage is irreversible, at least, without surgery.

So what’s left in my closet? One pair of modest heels for the occasional wedding or funeral. The rest are sneakFrs, Tom’s and flat-heeled boots.

If my boss asks why I’m wearing my yoga mat lined sneakers? Well, I work better when I’m comfortable, don’t you?

What do you think – is it better to look good or to feel good?

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