My Stripper Shoe Makeover; Anti Aging for Feet

The cripplers

If I had saved the money I sunk into shoes over the past decade, I could retire.  I rationalized that shoes gave great  ROI, because they made the difference between merely walking into a room and making An Entrance.

Until the day they didn’t.  I was at  wedding, sporting a pair of Stuart Weitzman platform stripper shoes (left).  They felt great in the store (all 5 steps on a carpet), but walking down a marble church aisle the length of a football field on a hot day after a night of dim sum proved more challenging.  My weight was thrust onto the balls of my burning, swollen feet.  Every step forced my heel to slip out and slowly pull apart the 5 Band Aids I attempted to cushion my bunions with.  If it weren’t for the healing powers of dirty martinis, I wouldn’t have made it thru the reception.

The worst wasn’t over.

The next morning, my husband shared video out takes which featured me, walking like a chicken, unbalanced with feet and knees pronating inwards.  The grimace on my face made me look somewhere between constipated and medicated.  All before said martinis.

Lesson learned.  There isn’t a dress, blow out, or spray tan that can compensate for how you you can look when wearing  shoes that hurt and are hard to walk in.  Clearly, the recent popularity of Stripper Shoes (platforms plus 5″ heels, which I adore) had created an epidemic.

Ever the optimist, I made my first visit to podiatrist, Dr. Elise Kavanaugh, hoping she would wave her magic medical wand and restore my Happy Feet.  After a thorough exam,  the verdict. “Aside from two small bunions and your arch falling a bit, your feet are fine.  Nothing worth operating on”.   “But..my shoes?” I asked.  “Change them.  It’s normal for our feet to spread as we age because your arch slowly falls, causing the bones to push out”.

The brutal take-away:

  1. Buy gold, not shoes.  Shoes have a 5 year shelf life at best.   Styles change and so will your feet.
  2. If they don’t fit, you must omit. If you don’t feel like a gazelle, you’re not looking like one either.   Get rid of them now.  I cry with you, I do.
  3. Orthodics are like Spanx for your feet!  They’ll support your arch, improve your posture and actually feel great.  My doctor recommended Power Step inserts.
  4. Gormel Creme is miracle goo for calluses.  Smells awful, but put this on your feet, cover with socks for 4 nights a month before bed and you’ll have the heels of a 19 year old.
  5. You can still rock heels. Sort of.  Nix the ballet flats and 4″+ heel stilletos with pointy toes.  Instead try wedges, sturdy heels and stay under 3″. J. Crew and Stuart Weitzman make alternatives I can live with (see gallery).  Dr. Kavanaugh raved about  Theirry Rabotin but frankly, I think they look a little Amish.
  6. You can get a face lift for your feet. I’m personally not there yet, but if you want your toes shortened, fat injected into the balls of your feet and more, Dr. Susan Levine is the go to doc for plastic podiatry.

In loving tribute, I say goodbye to about 40% of my shoe collection.  They’re memories of my personal era of fabulousness (1996-2008), and remnants of a gilded age economy, where a working girl could rationalize spending $600 on a pair of shoes.

Here’s to a era, new economy and a much more elegant step forward.  Below is my foot reform tool kit and shoe wish list.