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You choose the shoes - don't let the shoes woo you!

You choose the shoes - don't let the shoes woo you!

“But why do orthopedic shoes have to be so ugly? Why doesn't someone make an attractive orthopedic shoe? I’m sure if they did, well…. they’d clean-up!”

Without realizing it the wife of one of the attendees at the Medtrade show had perfectly framed the quest for the holy grail of the orthopedic shoe world – an aesthetically pleasing, fashionable, but perfectly functional shoe. She was standing in the Pedors booth with her left eyebrow raised inquisitively as if it was quite an obvious and simple request.

“People come into our store all the time and they keep asking me the same thing and I keep telling my husband that if only …..”

Bruno Magli and Christian Louboutin can rest at ease, it hasn't been done yet and I doubt if I’ll see it in my lifetime. The aesthetic form and function of footwear are diametrically opposed. Some manufacturers claim that they've accomplished it but they haven’t. They spend the money on packaging and marketing to try and convince you differently but at the end of the day, it’s either one or the other, a great looking shoe worn on the silver screen or a functional not so good looking one that pampers your feet. It can’t be both. It can’t be done-unless you live in Holland and a pair of deep roomy Dutch orthopedically designed clogs is your idea of the perfect pair of shoes for the catwalk along the canals.

People don’t think about looking after their feet until one day they realize they've got a problem and their dogs start barking. When you think about it, your feet are the root to good health. Without healthy feet, mobility is a serious problem. Immobility has so many repercussions on the quality and longevity of life that foot care should be the first lesson in Healthcare 101, but for some reason it’s not.

It was her bunion that caused her so much grief schlepping around the huge trade show hall trying to find a comfortable pair of shoes that at the same time made her feet look twenty years younger.

“I can show you a pair of shoes that can accommodate your bunion but at the end of the day you've got to feel comfortable wearing the shoe or they’ll just sit in the closet with Manolo and friends” was my eventual answer. It wasn't what she wanted to hear.

But here’s the thing. You've got to choose the right shoe for you and not be wooed by the shoe…even if it does promise take 20 years off your feet. It will, but not the way you want it to.