Happy Feet

There comes a time in the life cycle of my footwear when I can’t ignore the truth any longer. It’s time to replace old faithful. The notion packs with it a whole lot of baggage; the well-worn shoes represent so much more to me than simple fashion or gear. Each scuff and small tear triggers memories of trips and trails, exhausting city promenades, and rainy Sunday morning camping trips.

I think back to the day I acquired them; they held no special place in my heart. In fact, I almost resented them for showing up. Their firm sides and new insoles hinted at discomfort and showed no sign of bending to my need for instant fit and flexibility. My old shoes, dutifully stationed at the door, beckoned me to ignore the new and stay with what I knew.

My friends laugh at the number of uses my old shoes fulfill. They are walkers, hikers, garden workers, slippers, they do concerts in the park, and they’re good for skipping from rock to rock on shoreline trails. Every attempt to convince me to buy new shoes brings up feelings of infidelity and fear of forsaking the memories we shared.

Accepting their age and loss of usefulness is slow coming; sore arches and heels are reminders. It doesn’t really sink in until the need for foot soaks and massages after exercise; the writing is on the wall.

Because I like recommendations from others, I put the word out that I’m considering adding new shoes; note the word adding since that means I’m not getting rid of anything. In fact, the old shoes will assume a new, less strenuous function.

Thanks go to the kind folks at Valhalla Pure store in Nanaimo for the safe, socially distanced service and the reassuring return policy. A special thanks too for the old North Face shoes whose comfort and reliability gave me the points of reference for selecting yet another great shoe.

Welcoming the arrival of the new Solomon shoe is a phased event; first, there’s a house trial to pass and second the countdown of the return policy deadline.

A socially distanced evening deck visit with friends gave the new shoe one final endorsement as the female guest was sporting the same brand. Comfortable and relieved, I ceremoniously snipped the tags and welcomed the new shoes. Three weeks in and two hikes later, I succumbed to their charm, welcome the long walks, and I’m resting assured knowing my feet will stay happy.

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