The Bunion Shoes by Sharon O’Donnell

Hey, I know that boots of all lengths and shapes are all the fashion rage right now, and most women seem to have at least two pair, maybe more. So am I an old fuddy-duddy if what I really want in footwear fashion is shoes that won’t hurt the bunion on my left foot — it’s just a moderate one as the podiatrist says and surgery is only needed if it really, really bothers me. But ‘really bothering someone” is a relative term because what bother one person a lot might not bother another person that much. I decided to put off surgery since the memories of my back surgery in August of 2008 are still fresh in mind, though the scar on my neck has faded. And of course, doctors would not have to go through the front of my neck to get to my bunion as they did to repair my C6-C7 vertebrae (though stranger things have been known to happen, I guess!). My foot problem was caused by years of high arches and being on my feet a lot, especially for the past 10 years when I taught writing classes in schools part-time.

It was after teaching one of these series of classes (3-5 hour long classes in a day and constantly standing and walking through the classroom to be animated) that I drove immediately to the shoe store. It was October, and I hadn’t taught all summer, during which time I’d been wearing sandals that never rubbed against the bunion. OMG, by the end of the day of teaching, I could barely walk. On the advice of friends who spend more money on shoes than I usually do, I went straight to a store in the mall that sells European shoes that give much more support to feet than most shoes do. Ahhhh. That was the day that I found — as I’ve come to fondly call them — my bunion shoes. I had no pain the rest of the week, and I’ve rarely worn anything else since then.

The bunion shoes don’t look bad — kind of like a fashionable clog — but they definitely aren’t the fashionable boots so in vogue right now. I did buy a pair of boots to only be worn in situations when I will not have to wear them for longer than 3 hours and will remain sitting for most of that time. Which pretty much means I can wear my boots to movies — movies which are so dark nobody can see my boots anyway. Oh well.

As I shopped this Christmas and from time to time encountered women trying on boots, some of them obviously not being successful in finding a comfortable pair, I almost leaned over and said, “Psst, hey you you, forget the boots and buy the bunion shoes.” Yet, I refrained. A complete stranger spouting the merits of bunion shoes might come off as just a bit weird.

No, bunion shoes aren’t especially sexy and certainly indicate that I’m no spring chicken anymore, but I have no qualms about being honest and open about things like bunions and shoe comfort. I know there are lots of women who can relate who would like to know they don’t have to wear the boots and grin and bear the pain. Go for the bunion shoes, ladies. You’ll be glad you did.

  1. One Response to “The Bunion Shoes by Sharon O’Donnell”

  2. OK. What shoes are they? Danskos? Bjorns? Keens? I don't have bunions, but I walk about three miles a day in the city, and I hate wearing running shoes, which are way too cold this time of year anyway….I need some good shoes. Ugly or not.

    By Laura Houston on Jan 3, 2011