Joco 913

Cold or not, if the sandal fits, bring on the comfort

The world is brimming with serious problems, yet I am here trying to figure out a way to wear sandals through fall and winter. This is an example of how we distract ourselves. Lately, I’m all in for distraction.

Anyway, it’s getting colder. Socks might have to enter into the equation.

Socks and sandals, man. It’s like I don’t care anymore. I’m on the road to becoming a line-drawn cartoon of a dorkish middle-aged woman who has launched her fashion sense along with her grown children.

Here come the outdated eyeglasses and droopy sweatshirts embroidered with abstract kittens. (Not quite there yet, but life is full of surprises.)

It’s just that my feet have never felt so good since April. Or the previous summer. I own magical sandals. Truly magical ones. This has been my second season wearing them but I’m seriously thinking of riding these foot clouds beyond the unseasonably warm fall days that might speckle October.

I want to clomp, clomp, clomp my beloved sandals past decorative pumpkin displays and swirling red leaves. Through cold rains and early frosts and Thanksgiving errands and snowy vistas glistening in moonbeams. That’s how comfortable these slip-ons are.

I’m not here to endorse any brand or style. These miraculous sandals of mine are just a bizarre harmonic convergence of my particular foot shape and rubber and random voodoo. What’s comfortable on me might cause blisters or squeeze the tendons of the next person. I just hope others can find a similar podiatric nirvana.

The circumstances of how I discovered this pair add to the dork factor, but please admire my honesty. It had nothing to do with research or prodding orthopedic specialists or surveying all the women I know. It was merely an accidental discovery in the vast sea of suburban asphalt.

The spring before last I was roaming a Marshall’s. What a bland, pedestrian admission — an aimless cruising of a strip mall’s stalwart retailer — but you never know where you’re going to stumble upon a miracle. It was in this discount store I spotted the shimmery black sandals. They were labeled a size smaller than my typical canoe number, but my eyeballs knew better. I tried the things on and ahhhhhh.

Just ahhhhh.

I have this theory. The way a shoe feels when you first try it on is a good indicator of how it will always treat you. If there’s a minor pinch somewhere and you convince yourself the shoes will stretch out, they will not. The problem will likely always be there. This is also a useful way to evaluate people, by the way.

I’ve had an unusually adventurous past few months, and my heavenly sandals took me every step of the way: on a one-day 14 mile trek from Manhattan to Queens New York, across the boulder-ish cobblestones of Pompeii, Italy, and, of course, along the streets of Johnson County. The only time I ever suffered a blister was after that long adventure in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. I blame the endless uneven terrain and a tour guide who kept warning us we could break a leg (as he did a few years earlier) if we were not careful. Nary a blister since that tense trek.

Call it the wisdom of middle age. Though the sandals are still going strong, I am no idiot. The previous summer, when I realized I hit the Cinderella jackpot in a lifelong quest for comfortable-yet-not-ugly-to-me-footwear, I jumped on the internet. I have an identical pair for the day my originals fall apart. I might put ‘em in a safety deposit box.

And as far as life’s bigger problems go, I know at least I can walk through bad days without (physically) flinching. That’s a good start.

See you in the socks department.

Reach Denise Snodell at stripmalltree@gmail.com or on Twitter @DeniseSnodell

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