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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

YumaBev and Her Shoe Shopping Adventure

A few months ago, I diagnosed myself with plantar fasciitis. My feet were improving somewhat, but I went to see my Doctor just to be sure. She confirmed my diagnosis and added prescription strength naproxen to my daily drug regimen. Then she looked at the brand new shoes I was wearing and said, "You NEED to wear better quality shoes, or your feet will never heal."

Sounds simple, right? Wrong.

I have worn the same type sneakers for DECADES: Velcro, wide-width, plain white, boring and cheap. My feet are short, but they are also wide, so my current shoe size is 6.5 W.

Kmart sneakers

The name changed, but the shoe didn't
I used to buy Kmart brand. It was simple; walk in, grab my size, try them on just to be sure they felt okay, pay for them and I was done. Over the years the size grew a little larger and the "brand name" changed, but they were the exact same shoes. During our traveling years, I would buy them whenever we were near a Kmart. If they were on sale, I'd buy two. A few years ago, the closest Kmart to Yuma, which was 80 miles away, closed, and I was stuck. I could no longer easily get my beloved sneakers.

So, I started buying the Walmart brand, interestingly named "Betty" which was my Mother's name. They fit okay, not the same, but okay. They didn't last as long, but were half the price of the Kmart brand, so it was a good deal. Or so I thought. I was wearing these brand new shoes when my Doctor scolded me.  
Betty sneakers

I left the Doctors office in a quandary. I haven't shopped for shoes for decades. I didn't know how or where to begin. 

First I went to a store with the word Famous in their name. It was a Monday morning and the store was almost empty. There were shoes everywhere and to be honest, it was a bit overwhelming. I started at the far end and looked for shoes in my size range. The few boxes I found with size 6.5 on them were way up high, beyond my reach. I asked the only employee, who was busy gossiping with the mall security guard, if she could help me. She looked down at my shoes and said, "I hope you don't need Velcro, because we don't carry those." I assured her that I could tie laces, but needed wider width shoes. She went and got two boxes down from the shelves and went back to gossiping. I tried them on and both were way too tight. Since all the smaller sizes were way up high and I got no additional help, I left.

From the Famous store, I walked next door to Kohl's, but ran into a similar problem finding my size. I did try on one pair of Skechers at Kohl's, but they were too big. They didn't have any smaller sizes so, I gave up and went home.

The next day, I went shopping again. This time, I headed to the Skechers Outlet store. As I walked in the door, I felt overwhelmed once again. Too many choices can cause anxiety for some people with Parkinson's and apparently I am one of them. 

The Manager of the store came right over and asked if I needed help. I told her what I was looking for and my size. She said, let's go sit down and measure your feet to make sure. She then went and brought two pairs of shoes to try on. After I tried them on, I told her what was "wrong" with each pair. She then went and brought two more. Within 20 minutes, I had shoes that fit my feet perfectly! 

I really liked the brightly colored ones, but the only ones that fit my feet were rather plain. I had my choice of gray or white. Since gray is the color of the Parkinson's Awareness ribbon, I bought the gray pair. 

My Parkinson gray Skechers

The Manager said I could get a second pair half off within 45 days. After wearing the gray pair for a few weeks, I decided they fit better when I wore thin socks, so I went back and bought the second pair, a size larger, to wear with my thicker socks. The price was reduced, so by waiting a few weeks, I actually saved money! 

The shoes were not cheap. The gray pair cost about six times more than the Walmart Betty's, which would start to come apart after 2 months. I've been wearing the Skechers all day, everyday and 6 weeks later, they still are like brand new. 

2nd Pair of White Skechers

Now all I need is some colorful laces to brighten them up. Maybe pink for Breast Cancer Awareness? 

Clicking on the colored words will open a new window and take you to a different story.