SQ Thoughts on Picking Shoes

There's so much to think about when picking shoes! Let's walk through the process together | suzyquilts.com #shoes #funny

Ok, SQ readers. It’s happening again. I’m re-opening my diary and letting you take a peek. If you missed my confession about Baking Shows and need to take a minute to empathize with my obsession, go ahead. I’ll wait. But when you come back, get ready to dive with me real deep… into my shoe closet. 

Dear Diary,

Remember when we did free-association writing therapy about my difficulty picking out a toothpaste… and then also my difficulty picking out quilt batting? Well, the panic is back. But this time, the stakes feel even higher. Because Diary, sometimes I feel enormous pressure when picking out a pair of shoes.

I once had an English teacher who told me that you should always wear shoes you could run for your life in. Let’s unpack this for a minute.

  1. My high school English teacher was giving me shoe advice.
  2. I still REMEMBER this shoe advice.
  3. I clearly don’t remember anything else she said because I started the first sentence on this topic with a preposition. (At least I think I did. I don’t even really know. Case in point.)
  4. Was my high school English teacher running for her life a lot? I feel like I need to call her up and check in…
  5. WAIT, WHAT? I can’t run for my life in, like, any of my shoes. Not even my running shoes. How fast, exactly, do you have to run to run for your life? And is it ok that I have a stroller with me?

So now I’m thinking that maybe I should throw that advice out the window. But it’s not the only high-pressure, impossible advice I’ve gotten about shoe choice.

People have told me so many high-stakes shoe facts I have a separate diary for them (don’t worry, Diary, you’re still my main squeeze.)

Evidently, flip-flops mean impending foot-death (yep, I own those), high heels will deform your feet (mmhmm, got those, too), ballet flats will hurt your knees and give you impossible-to-spell-or-pronounce ailments like plantar fasciitis (but they’re so cute!), wedges put pressure on the metatarsal bone, which is a bone I didn’t even know I had, and anything with a pointy toe will ruin my toenails and give you hammertoes and maybe even cause anxiety because that’s definitely what I’m feeling right now!

Can we just pause a minute and have something good to say about shoes? Where is all this negativity coming from? Why does everything that’s pretty or fancy have to be so terrible? If these are all the things I should never put on my feet, then what is actually good for them?

Welp, Diary, I had to ask Google, because you took too long to respond. And I’m afraid there’s more bad news. Because in order to avoid certain shoe-guilt, it looks like I have to undergo an 8-step evaluation process, checking the space between my toe and end of shoe and arch support and sturdy soles and probably the shoe’s emotional wellbeing and education level.

And I just have a hunch that if I find a pair of shoes that are physically and mentally and emotionally equipped to support my feet in every sense possible, they’re probably not going to be cute.

And here’s the thing. I get this feeling, like all the time, that everyone is very VERY aware of the shoes I’m wearing. Someone told me this is called the “spotlight effect,” and that I’m actually wrong and people don’t care. But it really seems like Desi, and my neighbor, and the person I walked past in the grocery store today were absolutely spending all of their mental power evaluating and criticizing my shoe choice, which is probably why one of them is currently gassy and upset (I’ll let you guess which one.)

So what, Diary, am I to do? Is there a perfect shoe out there that doesn’t fuse my toes together or give me early onset arthritis? I’m going to have to do some more sole searching to find out (do you see what I did there, Diary? I wish you would laugh at my jokes more often.)

In the meantime, I’m just going to go barefoot. If The Contessa does it, then so can I and she’s an amazing baker, and that’s the real goal here, right? (I know her name isn’t Contessa, but that’s what I call her, and I’m going through a crisis right now, Diary, so lay off.)

Awww, I can’t stay mad at you, Diary. You’re forgiven.

(Even though I’m pretty sure you’re always judging my shoes, too.)

XOXO, Suzy

There's so much to think about when picking what shoes to wear! Let's walk through the process together and have a laugh along the way. suzyquilts.com #sparklyshoes #rainbow

Pictured above is the Perennial quilt which will be available as a PDF download on October 17, 2019.


24 thoughts on “SQ Thoughts on Picking Shoes

  1. Xanthe says:

    I don’t know how I’ve survived this long… thongs (Aussie for flip flops – not the OTHER thing 😂) have been a staple – I live on the Gold Coast for goodness sake! But it’s probably why I have ankle problems or so my podiatrist tells me (but what would he know 🙄). Anyway, according to your English teacher I’m still going to die in my Birkenstock’s. Ain’t nobody can run in those things!

    Jokes aside, two Aussie brands are making waves in comfort and style – Bared Footwear and Frankie4. But be prepared to handover your firstborn for them. Sorry Desi, it’s a matter of life and death 🤣

  2. graylagran says:

    I have all hardwoods. In house I wear flip flops in the summer and slippers in the winter. I can’t go without either. My feet can’t tolerate hard flat surfaces without “something”

    Daily, anything that feels good enough is fashionable to pass …

  3. Dawn Voegeli says:

    No judging here. I buy for comfort but there are cute comfortable shoes out there. Not high heels of course! I’m so anxiously awaiting the perennial pattern. EEk! Any possibility of a preview of the needed yardage? Dying to accumulate the fabric!!!!

  4. peacemeal says:

    Squishy, bouncy, brighter than bright – that’s how we roll here. But that’s now, before I wore only the highest, wildest, and I have horror stories to tell about surgeries to correct said fashion mistakes. They now line my window because they deserve I do want them to know they are still loved.

  5. Linda says:

    Hello Suzy! I’ve been reading your blog for a few months and I wanted to say how much I appreciate your helpful information and your humor. I find you hilarious! Also, can’t help finding your son adooooorable… He has such a wonderful smile and just plain looks HAPPY. You gotta be doing something right! (I know, he’s not always so radiant, but if he CAN be this happy, all is good.) I’ll be reading your posts for a long time to come… Thanks again!

  6. Jules says:

    Where oh where did you get those shoes!! Need!!! I have a pair of pink wedge heel converse tennis shoes on my Amazon wish list! ♥

  7. Janey says:

    I am a retired teacher. My last six years I taught in an alternative high school. The students called us by our first names. I wore sandals a lot. One day a girl just blurted in a very surprised voice….”J…. look at you” “What?” I said. “You polished your toenails.” Yup, students did notice your feet, even when you are old. I was pretty amused but also glad someone did notice. Be comfortable. Life is too short to wear uncomfortable, ill-fitting shoes. When you are older, much older, your feet will thank you for it.
    I love your quilt designs and color selections.

  8. Diane says:

    So, Suzy;
    I’m 68 and retired. One of the most liberating things I’ve done is to decide that nobody (at least among my friends) cares what I wear, as long as I’m appropriately covered. I probably didn’t think that at 30 as a new mom, but, if I’m going to the supermarket or the quilt store (or fill in the blank), I can’t believe the 30-somethings care, either. Now, if I’m dressing for an event, that’s different. But if the event is my birthday or anniversary, and it’s at a local restaurant here in Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area, believe me, nobody cares, because no on is dressed up, even at a “nice” restaurant (and they’re all 30 somethings).

  9. Michele Vogel says:

    I have size 11’s. Try to find good (or cute) shoes is almost impossible. Plus the ones that are cute and good for you feet cost a fortune. I, for one, can’t afford that. My 15 year old eats like a horse and keeps outgrowing his clothes. I have to pay to feed him and keep him in size 15 shoes!

    Plus I have these hobbies (quilting, gardening, canning, etc) that I’d rather spend my money on. Wear what’s comfortable and what you like. It’s a great lesson for Desi and tell the lady in the grocery store to keep her eye on her own bobber.

  10. Vivian says:

    I love your shoes! I’m a retired nurse and I looked for comfortable shoes. Good running shoes, the cutest, whitest that I could find. Replaced x 2 a year. I washed them in the washing machine. Now they come in amazing colors and that’s fabulous! Now I am much older and everything else hurts but my feet. So I’d recommend the runners. Save the cute boots for date night.

  11. Terrie says:

    Hi Suzy,
    I’m a 70 year old grandma and am more comfortable now that I have ever been. My shoes are slippers and Dr. Scholl’s orthotics. It is not bothersome when others critique my wardrobe, including my shoes. They’re my freedom go-to’s. I can quilt anyway and any time. What bliss! Oversized t-shirts and sweat pants complete the outfit. Since I only go to the grocery and Dollar Store, I have no need for expensive outfits. Life gets so good after retirement!

  12. Kate says:

    Keen shoes/sandals are the best!! Some years back I noticed a couple people wearing them, and I loved them. Sporty, and able to walk right in the lake with them if you want, but also nice enough to wear with casual clothes. I only wear Keen now because they have better support than anything else. A little expensive, but well worth it and they last forever! Try them.. you’ll love ❤️ them. !!

  13. Stephanie says:

    Suzy, I realize it’s not the season for sandals…but when you do get sandals weather again (I know you’re in the chicago area which means probably not for a long time) I highly recommend Earth Runners. Feels like you’re barefoot, they stay on your feet and are the most comfortable shoes! I like minimalist shoes – so this works great for me. I ordered the 12mm sole and it’s been awesome. Anyway, just a plug for a company that I’ve been impressed with.

  14. pam says:

    Not sure how I missed this post since it coincided with my own actual (and emotional) shoe epiphany. I found the most comfy and still groovy shoes: Allbirds. It started as an amazingly comfortable addiction and I loved every pair so much, I bought the company. Kidding! It just feels like it as I think I own one pair of every style they make! They are cute and supportive (I walked all around San Francisco in the flats and they never made me frown once.) Now I can say something nice about shoes in 2020!

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