Lately, I’ve found myself staring longingly at strangers’ feet. I don’t have a foot fetish, I swear. Instead, I’m filled with envy that these carefree individuals are just strolling around in flimsy, strappy sandals, heels that measure three inches and beyond or are simply embracing the backless freedom of a mule.
See, I used to be one of those people. In fact, I was the girl who traversed Brooklyn and New York City—subway steps and all—in heels. Every single day. The pitch of heeled shoes is comfortable for my feet and the extra height doesn’t hurt (I’m only five foot two, after all). That meant strappy Rag & Bone towering sandals in the summer, super-high Miu Miu boots in the fall, Chloé wedges to wear with dresses in the winter and a spring spent running around in loafers with a four-inch lift. However, a little voice was always whispering: “All this running around in unsupportive kicks and teetering sandals will catch up to you!”
Lo and behold, it did. And a lot earlier than I thought it would. I’m not even in my 30s, but I now wake up with foot pain nearly every day. I have a standing weekly appointment with my podiatrist. And, I’ve been banished from my daily heels habit. Sob!
The culprit is bunions, which, I often feel the need to admit, don’t outwardly look that bad. But the painful bump on the big toe joint of each foot has totally caused me to change my life. And, genetics aside, I really only have myself to blame. According to the Mayo Clinic, “[A bunion] forms when your big toe pushes against your next toe, forcing the joint of your big toe to get bigger and stick out...Wearing tight, narrow shoes might cause bunions or make them worse.” Ah, yes. Turns out there was a downside to my unsupportive shoe habit.