Dwarfism awareness #12) yes, I’m one day behind. I’ll catch up… I promise.
This is going to be about…shoes!
There are people out there for whole shoe shopping is a fun endeavor. For whom shoes are a fashion statement. Then, there are those for whom shoe shopping is a chore. For whom shoes are utilitarian; if they for, buy them. In an ideal world, I would be a bit of the former, but, alas, my feet make be the latter.
I have Flintstone feet. They are pretty much rectangular blocks. You think I jest? I do not. I measure somewhere around a size 13 children’s (32 European). That’s about the size of a 6-year-old’s feet. So far, not so bad. But add on to that the width of my feet, and you’ve got problems. Not only do I have really wide feet (EEEEEE), but they are really thick. This is trouble.
There are certain cuts (e.g., Mary Janes) that work really well, but how many pairs of Mary Janes can a woman have before she starts to FEEL 6-years-old. Or, they are sparkly, or patent leather, and have bows. It’s really, really tough to find a pair of shoes that fits and looks fairly adult.
Ok. Now, add my ankle arthritis to the picture. I need good support. Boots! Boots are easy, you say. No. IF they fit on my fat feet, then they probably don’t go over my non-6-yr-old, dwarf calves. Remember all of that extra tissue I have? Yep, it’s there, too.
My solution: custom orthopedic shoes. Unfortunately, these are super expensive. You have to get molds made and then have them custom cobbled. Not cheap. Good news: they last forever. I’ve had this pair for 7 years. I have to rest them even 6 months or so. They look like combat boots, which isn’t always what a girl wants. So, for summer (when boots are hot), or for dressy shoes, or just something different, I thank my lucky stars for Esmond’s in Richmond my hey specialize in “hard to fit feet” and carry a lovely array of European children’s shoes (tend to run wider). They have an excellent record of knowing what would work for me, and they’re willing to order shoes and take a chance.
I do want to say that it has gotten easier than it was when I was a kid. Most trips to the shoe store ended in tears. It didn’t help that I wore leg braces and needed orthopedic Mary Janes. They came in white, black, and navy blue. Hated them.
Once, in the 80s (not at band camp), I really, really, really, really, really wanted jelly shoes. My mom knew they wouldn’t fit, but I persuaded her that I wouldn’t complain even if they hurt. I got them. And they hurt like a mofo. Mom always knows.
Sounds silly, but it’s one more way I never fit in. As a kid, I really wanted cool shoes. I wouldn’t mind them now either.
Picture today: example of what my orthopedic Mary Janes looked like, and my custom boots.