New shoes

I was walking home from work, dealing with rain, a cold wind in my face, and the usual craziness of crossing intersections, and something felt wrong with my left foot. Not painful wrong, just off. Unfortunately, it was almost another mile before I could stop somewhere that had a place I could sit down sort of out of the elements but still have some light.

I took off the shoe (one of those boots that are sort of a hybrid between high top athletic shoes and full-fledged work boots) and checked my foot, the insole and so on. Nothing seemed obviously wrong, so I put the shoe back on, making extra effort to re-tie both shoes extra snug, and finished the walk home. Once there when I pulled off the shoes in better light, I cold see the spot on the outer left side where the upper was separated from the sole. “Guess I need a new pair of shoes,” I said. As I set the shoes aside, I found a hole on the other shoe’s upper, at a different location, but around on the side where it hadn’t been easy to see. “Okay, seriously overdue for new shoes.”

The next morning while I was getting ready for work, I grabbed my pair of low-top tennies, which I normally never wear to the office except sometimes on a casual day. As I was tying the shoe, I realised that the spot on the middle on one top that was a brighter white than the beige of the rest of the shoe was actually a hole letting my sock show through.

When I mentioned this to my husband, he mentioned that both his main work shoes and his backup pair were in a similar state. Which is why we wound up driving to a big sporting goods store Friday night before going out to dinner.

And now we both have new shoes. Which means we both have new-shoe soreness. I even got a blister, yesterday! Joy! At least until I break them in (or they break me in, depending on how you see that debate).

This is the first time in a while that I replaced both my main pair of work shoes and my “casual” shoes at the same time. When I replace only one pair, I can at least give my feet a break every couple of days by wearing an already broken-in pair. Maybe I shouldn’t have thrown the others away so soon, eh?

Except we know that when I don’t throw out old shoes right away, they never get thrown out. And soon a major chunk of the closet has been taken over by old shoes. That’s not good.

It is a bit disturbing how much we can ignore. Yes, the wearing out of shoes is a gradual process, so on one hand it shouldn’t surprise us that we don’t notice how decripit a shoe is getting until something big fails, but then I look around at other the pile of “books to read next” or “things to sort through” that have gotten larger than I realize and I wonder how could I not notice?

I think I need to block out a few weekends to do some de-junking before we turn into an episode of Hoarders…

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