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Healthy Feet: How Much Will Those Fancy Shoes Really Cost You?

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fancy shoes may cost you healthy feet Comstock Images/Thinkstock

It was a typical day. I had already dropped all three boys off at school and decided to treat myself to a latte and some retail pleasure.

I wasn’t even shopping really.

Just browsing aimlessly through the store, my glances brushing only briefly over displayed items.

Comments echoed inside my head without evoking much excitement.

“That’s a cute shirt.”

“That’s a fun summer bag.”

Until I was frozen in mid-step. I stared in awe. I think I gasped out loud.

On display just in front of me was the most fabulous pair of shoes. I had to try them on.

As luck would have it, they had my size and even though they were pricey, they were on sale. There was a little skip in my step as I walked out of the store carrying a shopping bag with my new fun shoes.

And they are really cute. They go with everything.

Sure, they pinch my feet a little as I try to break them in but that is to be expected. No pain, no gain, they say.

Someday they will fit like the ruby slippers and in the meantime, I get compliments on them everywhere I go.

After a few weeks, I noticed a painful spot on the bottom of my foot. Actually both feet. It seemed to be under the skin. It didn’t go away.

Before long, it was painful to walk barefoot. I made an appointment with a dermatologist to look at the skin.

It took just a few days to schedule the appointment. My hands were sweating as I waited for the doctor to see me.

Once I explained why I was there, he motioned for me to kick off my flip flops and show him the bottoms of my feet. I smiled nervously as I tried to brush off the sand from preschool that had gotten embedded between my foot and shoe.

I was embarrassed by my dry heels and wished that I would have taken the extra time after the shower to loofah and moisturize my feet. I tried to remind myself that the polish on my toes still looked great.

He took a little light out of his pocket and looked closely at the painful spots. I blurted out, “What is it? Some weird disease that I picked up from being barefoot? Foot cancer?”

I had done plenty of internet research and was scared that I had some strange contagious skin condition that I was subjecting the rest of my family to. This is the danger of self-diagnosis on the Internet.

“Um, no. It looks as though you are wearing shoes that don’t fit your feet correctly. See how it is in the exact same spot on both feet. The skin is most likely being pinched and a sort of callus or corn has formed on the bottom of your foot. I can use liquid nitrogen to freeze those skin cells and I would suggest not wearing the shoes that are causing this. In a few weeks, your feet should be like new.”

I looked at him without emotion. Is he telling me to give up my cute, new, and expensive shoes?

After enduring the brief but painful “freezing” treatment, I hobbled out of the doctor’s office. I couldn’t help but look at the other women’s feet in the waiting room on my way to the door.

Do other women have this same issue with the shoes they love? I wonder what condition Carrie Bradshaw’s feet are in?

In the safety of my car, I kicked off my shoes, popped an Advil and knew that I would never look at a pair of high heels the same way again.

Why do I feel like finding a perfect fitting shoe will be as hard as finding a perfect fitting swimsuit? Let the games begin.

Edited by Jody Smith

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EmpowHER Guest

I had no idea that they can freeze off corns or calluses. I might some of those issues on my own feet... :(

Was it worth it do have the procedure done?

May 8, 2012 - 5:40pm
(reply to Anonymous)

I didn't know that either.  It was worth it.  It has only been a week and one foot no longer hurts  and the other one is almost back to normal too.  I was told that I might get a blister on the frozen spot but I didn't notice one.  It was uncomfortable for a couple of days so I wore slippers around the house instead of going barefoot.  Good luck.

May 9, 2012 - 5:23pm
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