oIRlSOmuEAb6L6_HakQ0_bK7DdLmgOB9U0D6nJv27coTake heed: these are the very wise words to remember from Cliff of Cheers this holiday season: “If you’re not wearing comfortable shoes, life is just chaos. I mean the greatest accomplishments in history have been made by men wearing accommodating shoes. Uh, Frasier, tell me, who do you think is the greatest thinker in all mankind?” (Frasier: I don’t know, uh, Aristotle.) “There you go: sandals. Perhaps the most comfortable shoe there is. You hardly even know you have them on. I mean Confucius: thongs. Einstein: loose loafers.” Thanks, for that, Cliff. I’ll also add that Jesus wore sandals.  Boba Fett wears soft-sided boots (much like my Converse high tops, pictured left) so he can sneak up on people. High heels are way too noisy.

I’ve never been one to wear uncomfy shoes, like my aunt who always bought shoes two sizes too small and when fed up then gave her shoes to my mom. I’ve always been proud of my size 8.5, slightly wide flat feet. I never had foot problems even after working an arduous retail job on concrete floors for three years, running and two pregnancies. I wore square heels, wedges, Converses, Birkenstocks, seldom pointy toes. And when I joined Trionoide, a competitive Raleigh Irish dance school last December, I was more concerned over my bad back not making it, rather than my feet. But I got a rude introduction to stress fractures three months ago when one happened on my right foot in the middle of dance practice. Turns out my right foot already doesn’t have a lot of cushioning in it (bones hitting bones, ugh), so I was dealing with a time bomb. Of course, everyone says I’ll heal better in the broken places. Now, that sounds like life.

Which leads me back to comfortable shoes. Right now I’m wearing my pink Converse low tops with my new orthotics in them. All I want for Christmas is to get back to Irish dancing in January. I figure after a few months in my “boot” (quite the Darth Vader fashion statement) and physical therapy, I’ll be ready. Even before my stress fracture, I wore my Converses to poetry readings and other artistic gigs—even to meet clients at country clubs. I say, business up top, party below. Perhaps I’ll start a movement.

Here are my comfy foot tips:

  • If the dress code isn’t too restrictive, stick to colorful sneakers, clogs, or my daughter’s favorite, flip-flops. If it is, wear shoes you know will not hurt your feet, especially if you’re going to be standing around gabbing by the shrimp cocktail for an hour.
  • Get your foot accurately measured by an expert—like a bra fitting.
  • Don’t tolerate foot pain—if something’s wrong, got see a foot doctor!

Foot pain stinks because it limits your mobility and exercise abilities. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Stress fractures also take a long time to heal because you have to stay off of your feet!

Be well, my friends, this holiday season, and plan ahead for what your feet must go through as your party, shop, cook, and travel. Be kind to them and they’ll be kind to you!