I have a confession to make, dear readers. At 28, I have the feet of a middle-aged woman. Or Cinderella’s evil stepsister (even in Technicolor, her feet seem gnarled and bulbous…)
Thankfully, it has only been close friends and family members who have dissuaded me from baring my battered toes, blistered heels and bunioned arches to the world this summer. I look down and see what they mean. Years of squeezing into too-tight day-to-day shoes and too-small athletic shoes have wreaked havoc on these tootsies of mine. A doctor put it to me straight—if I continue on this (arguably masochistic) path, I certainly won’t be taking my long walks or avoiding imminent foot surgery. These doggies aren’t just barking—they’re howling like hounds of the Baskervilles!
It was not easy to go into my closet and weed out my pointy-toe pumps; *SIZE 11* oxfords; and sky-high sandals. But it needed to be done. I had thought I was saving money by squeezing my feet and curling my toes into ANY sale shoes that came remotely close to fitting— instead, the wrong shoes have added decades to the two size 12/13 workhorses that take me where I need to go. Now it’s only good fit and good feel from here on out!
My favorite of the handful of pairs left in my closet is a Fidji maryjane that I nabbed from Nordstrom Rack. I can—and have—walked miles in those gray, perforated beauties. Remarkably, the heels have held up, the cushioning has stayed spongy, the leather has conformed to my feet, and as I’ve bumped my toes, scuffed the straps, and flexed my feet, they’ve only gotten somewhat patinaed.
…but there’s a catch. There’s always a catch when shoes are fairytale-perfect. At retail, Fidjis top off near $200/pair. For exactly the reasons above AND the fact that each pair is meticulously thoughtful and lovely. Fidji styles are designed in France; manufactured in Portugal of the softest leathers, rubbers, and woods; and tres-tres appealing to any seemingly-effortless, dreamy ingenue or comfort-driven, whimsical femme. I may be sized out of Chie Miharas, but size 43 Fidjis hold the trump card to fit my true age, lifestyle (ambulatory?), and if not budget, then my pedcentric investment strategy…
Tall ladies, please save some 43s for me! I am dreaming of several pairs of pumps mixed with opaque black tights, muted lace dresses, a fur-collared coat, and deep-dark plummy lipstick as a moody, autumnal spin on the neo-Gatsby look. Can’t you just picture any of these worn on a cool stroll through an enchanted forest in the waning light, or donned stepping out for a mint julep and a Charleston before the clock strikes midnight?
Truly, I need a Fidji fairy godmother for a little more sparkle in my step (that Cinderella shouldn’t get carte-blanche access to the most perfect, magical heels)!