I hate my shoes right now.
Sharp-eyed readers will probably realize that these are the exact same shoes I wore back during my little journey through the rain. It's been almost a week since I decided to break them in, mind you, and the verdict is already sounding clear in my head: I hate these shoes.
Where do I start? Their frame is surprisingly rigid, the tops of their heels are bent inwards (so as to bite into your skin), and to top it all off, the insides of their soles feel as though they've been pasted on. This last point is a particularly sore one -- literally -- as every step I take now constantly squeezes the bottoms of my feet against the reckless folds of hard leather. I've been wearing these things for less than a week, and I'm now the proud owner of some very painful blisters. That's pretty bad, as far as shoes go.
A few hours ago, I decided to take the bits of black footwear for an acid test: I wore them on my occasional after-work "rounds", which involve little more than punching out at six o'clock and walking around the mall for the next four hours. Now I'm sitting at one of the tables in an internet café, stretching my legs out and letting my feet touch the floor as little as possible, wondering why I punish myself like this.
I said it once, and I'll say it again: I hate my shoes right now.
I actually fear going home, kicking off the offensive pieces of stiff leather, and peeling back my socks; I don't want to see what my feet look like at the moment. This is not the discomfort that comes after you finish your morning jog, mind you. This is pure and comprehensive pain, the sort of feeling that shoots through your veins because the right pressures aren't being placed in the right areas.
Good shoes aren't like this. Good shoes are supposed to make your feet feel contented. They're not necessarily supposed to pamper and caress each and every one of your toes, but at least they're expected to let you walk without the slightest hint of an artificial limp.
I'm wondering if a couple of foam insertions will improve matters here. They're supposed to cushion the soles of your feet against the pockmarked leather, and as far as I know, they seem to work for most people. The catch is that I bought my shoes as a near-perfect fit. Throwing in something that effectively amounts to an extra layer of insulation might make the shoes even more uncomfortable.
The only other alternative I have -- short of actually continuing to wear the silly things -- is to simply buy a new pair of shoes. That'll run me another one or two thousand pesos (about twenty to forty bucks in American currency), and I'd technically be back where I started. If I somehow manage to acquire another dud pair, then I'll probably switch to sandals for good.
Somebody should really come up with the idea of shoe warranties sometime. That way, if you buy a pair of shoes that turns out to be really uncomfortable, you can turn it back into the store for a substantial refund. That, and they'd probably chastise the designer for his or her lapse in judgement. You could even argue that this might make for an interesting job market: You'd need people to "test" new shoe designs, after all. And you could even have an entire R&D department dedicated to figuring out why certain models are uncomfortable while others are not. It would be their sole purpose in life. (Yes, that pun was definitely intended.)
And right now, I hate my shoes. The only thing that's keeping me from kicking them off right now is the notion that I don't want to foist them on an unwary public. In my humble opinion, there are better things that one can do with bad shoes or with unwary publics.
Being the generous sole... er... soul that I am, I'll probably give the shoes one last chance. If they see me through on the way home, then I'll consider showing them a bit of mercy. Otherwise, well, I'll just have to drag out the remnants of my last pair and use them to go shopping. That, or I'll go barefoot. Anything to avoid this terrible mix of leather and nails. Anything to make the blisters die down. Anything for a bit of solace in shoes.