Why I’ll never compromise on comfort again.
Several years ago I had an experience that would change the way I considered footwear.
Torrential rain had wreaked havoc on the roads forcing commuters into chaos. I had a 9am meeting that was a deal breaker, and so I had to be in the office ready to go by 8.30am. But at 7.45am, as I stood squashed into the train carriage with hundreds of other people, the likelihood of me meeting that deadline was looking grim.
Standing in the train I could feel my feet begin to throb from the high-heeled pumps I had bought the previous day. When I tried them on in the store they felt tight, but the sales assistant assured me that this was normal and all I needed to do was ‘wear them in.’ As my jammed toes started to lose feeling, my shoulders and neck began to tense. I wasn’t even half way to my destination and on top of that I had a four-block distance to walk before I reached my office. I moved my weight from one foot to the other to give some relief, eventually removing one shoe at a time. My poor toes were numb only regaining feeling for the briefest of moments before being cramped back into the shoes.
As my train pulled up at the station I could see that the rain had not subsided. I opened my umbrella and decided to run for it. What started as a sprint soon turned to a limp as every part of my body was now in agony due to the darn shoes. I stopped at a park bench to catch my breath and I made a deal with myself. If I could just make it to work on time, I would never ever put my feet through this pain again. I entered my office door at 8.32am looking dishevelled but it didn’t matter. At least I had made it.
As the meeting broke up for lunch, I headed immediately to my closest Peter Sheppard store. This name had long been synonymous with magnificent footwear and it was a name I trusted. As I raced in I explained that I was on limited time and what my needs were. The sales assistant measured my feet then got to work finding me a suitable collection of shoes. Each pair I tried on fit like a glove and there was no pressure anywhere. When I explained that I had been told that shoes needed to be ‘worn in’ before they were so comfortable the sales person had a look of confusion on her face. She explained that if shoes are not comfortable in the first moment of trying on, then they were simply not suitable for my foot shape.
I purchased my brand new pair of patent leather pumps and felt like I was walking on a cloud. Immediately I felt a shift in my mood and confidence. As I went to leave the store my sales assistant came running towards me with my old pair of shoes in hand. “I’m sorry, but what do you want me to do with these,” she asked holding what was a torture chamber for my feet only minutes before. “There’s only one place they belong and that’s in the bin,” I responded before spinning around and floating back to my office.