Oooo, I'm a martyr to my feet. Along with every other womn, I love shoes. There can never be too many pairs. Ever. I'm not going to count how many I have, someone might do the sums and work out how much per outing they cost. Let's just say I have enough. More than some, less than others. An adequate sufficiency.
It was that wild and reckless shoe-coveting that led to martyrdom. Tottering on stilettos in shoes too small. Add the bunion gene and, hey presto, it's Blister City.
I can't wear heels any more – years of stilettos and more recently climbing shoes, rigid boots and ski boots have left me longing for my highly-fashionable slippers or Teva sandals before you can say corn plaster.
But technology is coming to the rescue. And not a moment too soon. My hiking boots have given up the ghost, I managed to make a hole through the side of the heel, I have NO idea how I did it, but there you are.
Now I thought I knew what I wanted. Soft leather, with leather linings, I imagine it would be like having my feet kissed….. But no. The very knowledgeable shoe-fitter-cum-general-outdoors-expert at the shop in Ilkley explained why they didn't stock those particular boots (too lightweight – only meant for towns) or the others (poor stitching, high return rate). I bemoaned my blisters and, sometimes, blisters upon blisters, before I discovered Compeed, the blisterdote.
It was, he said, a matter of personal pride, that none of his customers should suffer from blisters, or pain.Properly-fitted boots would be my friend.
As I've abused my feet so dreadfully, I'm more than a little coy about showing them in public, let alone allow them to be measured from every angle. I made him shut his eyes, a challenge I know, but the customer is always right.
There was a lot of huffing and puffing. walking up slopes, who'd have thought you could find those in a shop? and experimentation with footbeds, heel lifts and socks. Piece de resistance, the peculiarly-bent steel bar which can make room in the boot for the bunions – it usually takes me a few hundred miles to do that…
I am now the proud owner of blister-free boots. That's the theory, I may have to put it into practice on Lakeland fells very soon. There will be NO photographic evidence of the state of my feet.
Today's lovely thing
Doing a favour for someone.