New year, new shoes: that’s always been my motto. I guess it was drummed into me in early childhood via the ritual of shopping for new school shoes, and it seems to have stuck. I simply can’t go into February without a new pair of toe-tappers. What, you don’t call your shoes toe-tappers? Get with the program.
School shoe shopping, for me, always coincided with getting a new pair of heel supports to help correct my mildly askew tootsies. It may surprise you to hear that it’s actually quite exciting to go for a children’s orthotics fitting. Cheltenham used to have a podiatry clinic that specialised in kids’ foot conditions, and I’d always get a jelly bean after my feet had been measured up. That was enough of an incentive for me to consider the whole exercise a fun outing. It’s possible that it made me feel special, having slightly weird feet.
Anyway, making the most of these interventions meant having well-fitting shoes, and when you’re a kid that essentially means getting new shoes every year. According to that Cheltenham podiatrist, this was the most important thing that could be done to correct my foot posture, more so than the orthotics themselves.
It makes sense, then, that I absorbed the idea that annual shoe shopping is of the essence. As my feet tend to stay the same size from year to year and I no longer have a foot issue to correct, it’s not quite so applicable these days, yet I continue to behave as though my foot health depends on it.
What can I say? Maybe I just like having new shoes – the factory-fresh smell as you open the box, the point-of-no-return moment when you take them outside for the first time, the slight awkwardness of the fit for the first few days of wear. Of course, there’s also the excitement of ‘new year shoe shopping’. That in itself is worth the price of admission.