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Finding comfy, classy shoes with fibromyalgia…or not!

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I’ll be upfront with you. I’m not 100% sure if it’s because of fibromyalgia or because I have ogre feet.

But finding pretty, comfortable shoes is a pain for me. A real, real pain. Literally.

Today I wore my shiny new shoes to work for my new job. New job=new shoes, right? Well not quite. I needed a pair of classy work flats since the great (late) British Summer arrived and I pulled out my beloved ballerina flats out of the closet to find a gaping hole at the side.

So I ventured to the shoe shop last week. When I tried on the shoes in store, I tried a half-size larger because I am problematic with shoes. It rarely matters what brand it is, there’s  always an issue, which ends up causing more pain for me, and considering that my feet tend to be my biggest problem area with fibromyalgia, I get very wary and feel I can never be too careful. But the half-size up – UK7 was too big, so that when I walked in them my feet came out. So I got my usual size of UK 6.5. There was still more than enough room that my feet threatened to slip out when I walked.

Perhaps I should have touched wood. When I tried the shoes on, I thought they felt like the most comfortable shoes I’d ever tried on! The insides felt satin-ish and soft and despite having a considerable heel, I felt far more comfortable than the other three times (I’ll explain later) in flat flats. I can’t wear thin heels but when my feet aren’t misbehaving I can wear chunky, block heels (once they’re properly padded shoes), and my theory is that these are more comfy because I also have plantar fasciitis. Flat shoes with no heel at all actually hurt the main muscle at the soles of m feet.

Fleeting hopes

Anywho… I felt so elegant strutting to my new shiny job in my perfect, shiny shoes, but something felt a little off. Last time I tried them on they weren’t that tight. And just to be safe I’d even sprayed them with this leather stretching spray I bought from the store. I ignored it during the day while loving every moment of my new shiny job.

Then I started feeling it, my toes started going numb-ish at the sides and by the end of the day I was struggling to step as the front of my feet felt….well, like I’d squeezed ogre feet into a dainty 3 year old’s shoes! I couldn’t get home fast enough (and sadly I had to stop off at the supermarket first!) ouuuch!

They didn’t even want to come off when I tried easing them off on the train for a little comfort.

I don’t even know how I managed to be surprised but I blame my forgetfulness on fibrofog. You’d think this was the first time this happened to me. But truth be told, after I buried my dearly departed ballerina shoes, I bought another pair from the same shoe store (because historically I got my most comfy pairs from them) but had to return them after day #2 ended with the back of my feet sore and burning. Despite the store advertising that they only accept returns if purchases are unworn, the store took them back as apparently they have an ‘uncomfortable shoe clause’ (which they don’t advertise for obvious reasons).

By this time summer was in full swing, and my feet were sweating so badly in my brogues I desperately needed the flats. (Plus I can’t rock brogues with skinny trousers).

Shoes # 2 arrived about two weeks later. I was excited. The store came recommended by friends (though they don’t specialise in shoes) but my usual store didn’t have anything reasonable that I liked at the time. I realised then that UK stores have somehow made their shoe sizes smaller, because my feet couldn’t even properly get into shoes#2. I sent them back.

More sweaty, slippin’ feet in my brogues. As a last resort I pulled out my old pair of open-toed sandals (which I could wear in my last job but not at my new shiny job).

Disappointment x100

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Shoe#3 did this to my feet!

Shoe#3 was bought in half-reluctance and half-hoping they wouldn’t let me down. To be safe I ordered a UK size 8 to cater for the narrow front. The shoes felt so comfy! Plus they looked so gorg! But by the second day they peeled the top layer of skin off the back of my feet. I returned them, to a very unkind store manager who asked to see my bruised feet as proof (uh huh).

Lastly… almost two months after my first purchase, I bought shoe #4! I returned to my ultimate shoe store, tried on five pairs of flat shoes, which I decided against for reasons ranging from they were too narrow, too flat, uncomfortable or unsuitable for my shape feet. I was only toying with the idea when I asked to try on these beauts. They felt so comfortable. I thought the extra room made them perfect. This way I could walk in style and comfort. But nope!

I’d forgotten for whatever reason (fibrofog of course!) that oftentimes in the summer my limbs swell. There’s no pattern to it, it’s just quite random. You couldn’t tell from looking at my feet but I knew it was the case because when I tried to pull one of my rings off my finger…well…let’s just say it won’t be coming off my finger in the summer.

I’m too exhausted at this point to return these shoes. I’m not thinking about it but I know soon I will have to return to the twilight zone again and go shoe shopping.

The quality of the flats just don’t seem to be as good as they used to be long ago, even from the reputable shoe store I am used to. And I can’t wear brogues with everything. Boots are perfect but can’t wear those in this heat (I’m already dripping on the train). Why should I have to wear shoes that are unattractive to me just because I have problem feet?

Please tell me all of these shoe-woes are because of fibromyalgia, and not because I have ogre feet?

What’s been your experience?

Gentle hugs 🙂

potofcallaloo

Alisha Nurse is a curry-loving writer & comms professional who holds a Master of Arts Degree in Journalism (International) from the University of Westminster, London.
Get in touch with any feedback or questions via the contact form in the ‘About’ section.

2 thoughts on “Finding comfy, classy shoes with fibromyalgia…or not!

  1. I have the worst foot problems too! Bunionettes, plantar fascitis, allodynia that occurs on my toes and top of feet, and of course, the big Fm. Before I was diagnosed with anything above, I had my feet x-rayed because I was sure every bone was broken inside. I have found two brands that I stick with as far as shoes go, and they make some cute shoes too, they are vionic and fitflop. Of course, they are expensive, but you can find them on discount online if you just search around. Vionic have great arch support, and fitflops aren’t quite as structured, but feel like you are walking on springy clouds (I think there might be springs inside?). I have been on the search for brands that are more affordable but haven’t found anything.

    1. Wow! sounds awful Nata! thanks so much for sharing! I’m going to check out those brands right now! Hush puppies can be a bit hit and miss but their shoes are naturally wider and ore realistic in shape for feet lol. All they need is a little extra padding but so far my new Hush Puppies are feeling alright. I’ll let you know if I find anything else 🙂 xxx

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