I'm a shoe addict. When I'm 80, I could very well be the old lady who lives in her shoe, given how much I invest in footwear.
And I'm not alone. Have you heard Paris Hilton no longer knows how many shoes she has, but thinks its upwards of 2000? Or that Christina Aguilera has a cool 750 pairs and Danielle Steele fessed up to more than 6000 Louboutins?
But there's an underlying issue here that no one really talks about-all those beautiful designer shoes come with foot problems a-plenty. Because-hey-we shoe addicts aren't generally characterised as ladies in comfortable shoes. No, we're focussed on buying more than our fair share of exquisitely designed, yet oh so awkward to wear booties, sky-high heels, platforms, and pumps.
And that's precisely where the problems begin.
Cramming our dainties into tight-fitting, unnaturally high heels then pounding the pavement to show them off has a detrimental effect on the 26 bones, intricate muscles and ligament webs in each of our feet. It's no wonder they can't stand the pressure.
You've felt it. I know you have. It starts with a dull ache. Then your soles start to throb. Soon you're hopping from foot to foot to stem the pain. You desperately search for a quiet place away from prying eyes to slip your shoes off-and that works for a moment, until it's time to ram them back on.
Or you've been on your feet so long in shoes just fractionally too small (but still so pretty), that blisters form. They're raw, maybe bleeding, and making you limp. Your shoes may be lovely but the feet in them are a genuine horror story.
Interestingly shaped, on-trend shoes invite bunions. This is when you've forced your foot into an unnatural position for so long an inflamed and super sore bulge appears. Or, if your shoes are too short, you might fall prey to hammer toes. Your smaller toes claw up because your toe joints have become misaligned. And, yes, it's just as attractive in open-toed sandals as it sounds, and twice as painful.
If not kept in check, a shoe addict's problems will only increase with age. Can I hear you say, "plantar fasciitis"? Overly high arches, poor fitting shoes or flat feet can cause inflammation in the ligament that runs from the ball of your foot to its heel. The first sign is pain when you walk first thing in the morning. You'll hobble to the shower, trust me. That pain will dog you throughout the day. And it's really hard to treat effectively without-dear lord, I can barely say the words-orthotic shoes. It's a shoe addict's very worst nightmare.
So, take it from me, ladies. Be kinder to your feet. After all, they have to carry you for life-the least you can do is take care of them from time to time. And, if you must have fancy shoes, please see a podiatrist to learn how to properly fit them.