Top Reviews: Ugly Shoes Edition

Ugly, but with a purpose.

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After retiring a little over a year ago, I began to envision a successful day if during the day I didn’t have to wear socks. The shoes were either flip flops or the shoes of all good socialites, Birkenstocks. Then something happened.

In early July, a minor pain I had felt in my right heel started to turn into severe pain. During our year in retirement, we took walks of 10,000 steps or more almost every day for exercise. So I couldn’t take it anymore. I was quiet for three weeks, but any tie I tried to walk any distance, the pain would drive me home.

Eventually I went to see my doctor who diagnosed plantar fasciitis, a condition I had never heard of before, but is apparently quite common among runners. It is caused by excessive foot contact with surfaces like concrete and asphalt, which are much harder than the natural surfaces our feet evolved to walk on. Among other things, the doctor recommended that I acquire a pair of shoes designed to deal with this particular condition, made by a company called Hoka, and that I should wear them as much as possible.

I used to wonder why old people wear ugly shoes, and now I know why. I just turned 63, am now in that category of people, and while there are uglier shoes out there than these Hokas, they still leave a lot to be desired. However, they have very thick and soft insoles that effectively cushion the hardness of the surface I walk on. When I wear them I feel less pain than I otherwise would, but the pain is still there. I really wonder how long I will have to endure this condition.

On the other hand, at the instigation of my husband, we joined the local YMCA, and after a three-year hiatus (the pandemic), I started swimming again, in order to get some exercise while I can’t walk a distance. Its good.

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