Ok, so just because I’m a girl writing about shoes, doesn’t mean I am about to blabber on about high heels for the next 5-6 paragraphs. I hate high heels. They’re uncomfortable, when women walk in them they look like they are holding their farts in, and I’m 5’8”….I don’t need to be any taller than I already am.

So. Since I am a person with chronic pain, I have to invest in good shoes. I can’t be like every other girl in America right now wearing those goofy gladiator sandals  with the paper-thin soles that everyone’s running out to spend $45 on. They wonder why their feet hurt….

Anyway, I’ve tried a few different kinds of shoes, none of which are *officially* orthopedic shoes (because those are muthafuckin’ ugly) but they do have relatively good cushioning and support compared to the other slices of bread people are wearing on their feet these days.

A lot of people seem to go for running shoes when they are looking for cushioning. As a former runner I think this is a terrible idea. Running shoes are made for running. While they do have great arch support, they are designed to work with a running stride, not a walking gait. The forefoot incline always throws off my knees, and causes pain after too much walking. I opt for something with little to no forefoot incline.

I am a long-time lover of converse. I think they look snazzy-to-the-max with everything. But they are not very supportive for a lot of walking. I will give them credit for having a flexible sole, it feels more natural. Shoes that don’t bend in half even just part-of-the-way stress my feet out. But they are not my go-to shoes for those long wanders around the Wal-mart.

The first ortho-type-shoe I tried was a brand called Alegria. They claimed to be extremely comfortable, and help walking-related pain. They looked a bit ridiculous, like those goth platform shoes. But I was willing to put up with it if they solved my aching feet problem. They have an ever-so-slightly rounded bottom and a really thick shoe insert made up of cork and memory foam. Sounds comfy right? Not really…these shoes were pretty much platform shoes which posed a risk for turning my ankle. The insert wasn’t any squishy-er than any other shoe, so I don’t get why it had to be so tall. These shoes were just big and clunky overall and they looked ridiculous, and were not comfortable. I returned them.

In between trying new shoes, I remembered I had a pair of skate shoes in my attic that were hardly worn, partially because they were limited-edition designed by Mike Shinoda, and I planned on having them forever. They’re DC shoe co brand, and are puffy like most skate shoes were in 2003, and they have an air-cushioning chamber just like nike air. I gave these a try for a while. Cushioning, yes. But they’re awkward, and they rub against my ankle funny. Maybe I just never broke them in.

My next attempt at comfy shoes was just this week. I ordered some shoes from Dr. Marten’s sneaker line. One pair are high tops, and the other low tops. They claim to have *Air Wair bouncing soles* and they look badass, so I thought, why not give ‘em a go? The low tops were REALLY stiff out of the box, and I’m still working on breaking them in, so I can’t really say I know their full potential yet, but I DO know these fuckers will last FOREVER. They’re really high quality, and not even that expensive. I think I paid $65 each. The high tops are velvet rather than canvas, so they were not stiff at all, thus requiring no break-in time. They are definitely more supportive and cushioned than my converse. They do not have any arch support at all though, but seem like they have room for arch inserts if needed. And again, really high quality. I haven’t given them the Wal-mart test yet, but they seem promising. I’ll keep you posted. As far as style goes, they rock, so check them out.


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