Worn out of wearing in: The shoe-blues

Girls, you know the feeling.

You see them in the shop, shiny, perfect, and inviting. The palette of your dreams, the ideal height, the exact curvature you’re after.

 So you hand over your money, the thrill and anticipation making the exchange of cash that bit easier. You get home, match them to that dress that needed something to jazz it up. Presto, you’re good to go.

Then you take a step, maybe a few. Perhaps you even walk for five minutes. And then…ouch.

It’s the curse of new shoes.

Because too massively blaspheme Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a fashion-conscious woman in possession of a new pair of pumps must be in want of a plaster. Discussions with friends reveal that no new sandals leave a foot unblistered, while the first outing in a just-bought pair of heels is always liable to leave feet angry and red.

A lovely pair of white heels, comfortable as anything in store, purchased to match a new summer skirt, left me hobbling in central London last week. Sure, the shoes were on sale (from New Look), but it still had me raging. Especially because this always happens, and I never learn.

And it’s not that the shoes don’t fit. Obviously, sometimes they don’t; we’ve all been guilty of the denial of “I can squeeze into the pair a half-size too small”. But even when they seem glove-perfect in the shop, the moment you leave agony invariably ensues. Because shoes need wearing in. Wearing in? 

As a concept, this leaves something to be desired.

We don’t buy a dress with the intention of parading around in it a few times to make it fall that bit better, nor do we pick up a book and carry it in our bag to soften it up for when we feel like a good read. When was the last time you left a new lipstick to acclimatise to your ownership?

But shoes, like good wine, seemingly have to mature.

Which is all well and good for alcohol (never really goes out of style, any pain caused won’t be remembered the next day) but works less effectively given the speed of the fashion rollercoaster.

So here’s a plea to the shoe designers of the world. How about a pair that fit when you put them on, not three weeks later?

Given that your gifts to humanity have so far included gladiator sandals, Buffalo trainers and ugg boots, it’s the least you can do.


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