Thursday, 9 July 2015

Happiness is a new pair of shoes

Shoes make women happy. This is the universal truth that magazines, memes and mugs-with-cute-sayings would have us believe. Today it happens to be true for me as I've come home from town with new shoes. No, I'm not talking about some sparkly, strappy, barely there sandals with killer heels or a pair of £500 Louboutins with their seductive red soles. I'm far too tight/sensible (pick one!) to spend hundreds on shoes and I cannot walk in heels. At all.

The shoes that have made me happy today are a pair of flip flops. They aren't sexy and they don't even have sequins on. But they are bloody comfortable! Yes, I've reached that age I'm afraid. Shoes need to be comfortable. I'm talking about my lovely new navy flip flops from Clarks; I'm hoping they will see me through a day at Legoland tomorrow and a good amount of general summer wear thereafter.

The reason my new flip flops make me happy is two-fold. Firstly there's simply the comfort factor. Who doesn't love a pair of shoes that are super comfy? (Of course tomorrow is the real test of comfort when I've actually worn them for a whole day!). Secondly, though, is the fact that they represent caring for myself. I almost always buy very cheap shoes. Partly because a bargain's always nice but mainly because I'm vegetarian and decided 15 years ago I wasn't going to wear leather any more. The cheaper shops tend to have a wider range of footwear in synthetic materials so I always head to those places. Today I decided the £7 New Look ballet flats I bought two years ago just weren't cutting the mustard any more. Cheap? Yes. Pretty? Absolutely. Comfortable and supportive? Not so much. It never helps that I have to make do with whole size shoes for my half-size feet (generally sizing up and sticking an insole in). I also have both knee and back problems; these aren't caused by cheap shoes but I'm betting the poor fit and thin soles don't help one bit. Today I was ready for something better. 

I always assumed the shoes in Clarks would all be leather so I never go in there other than when I'm buying shoes for my son; properly-fitted shoes for his growing feet absolutely trumps ethical dilemmas over leather for me. But what about properly fitted, comfy shoes for me? Don't I deserve that too? Doesn't my son deserve a mum whose feet and back aren't too achy to run around with him? So off to Clarks I went. Sadly nothing in their fab sale was quite what I was after but on the normal shelves I spotted these!


They tick pretty much every single box. I was after flip flops, preferably navy blue. Check! I was after a good quality, comfy sole that wasn't totally flat. Check! And, whilst I decided that leather was a small(ish) price to pay for comfy feet and potential relief of back pain, these are actually not leather! Check. The only box they technically didn't tick was that they aren't available in a half size. However, this is fairly normal for flip flops and they are a generous fit so going down to a size 6 was absolutely fine. They even have a Velcro bit on the side to make the width slightly adjustable - perfect for my wide feet.

So...I love my new shoes. £30 seemed a lot for flip flops but it's not a lot really for comfort is it? And I've decided that, from now on, comfort will be the key factor in choosing my shoes. This may mean leather ones next time. But I think I'm ok with that and I'm definitely ok with spending a bit more money to be comfortable.

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