Shoes and handbags? They’re a bit like cars….

Other blogs, such as that of my BFF Kirsty, have mentioned (ladies) shoes…. and, as I am into month two (yes, not week, but MONTH TWO already) naturally living as my female self, they play a not-insignificant part in my life.

On the plus side, I am lucky enough not to be born with feet the size of flippers, and so I do find ladies shoes readily available in a length that fit my average-size-7 feet. However, my feet are just slightly wider than average and, as with most people, my feet are not the same size as each other – my left is a bit longer than my right, my right a bit wider than my left. Over the last year or so I have acquired quite a sizeable number of shoes and boots, and before I started living full-time most of them did not suggest themselves to be particular uncomfortable… but that is because I did not wear them for very long on any particular day. Now, living every hour of every day, I have over the past weeks worn quite a number of different pairs from my foot-drobe, and sadly VERY FEW of my beautiful shoes and boots are in any way comfortable, especially those that are not smart-casual – two pairs of ankle boots (including, surprisingly, a pair of higher-heeled Tesco boots) are comfortable for a whole day, one pair of shoes similarly… but everything else that I have worn to-date, pretty much a total disaster! Most cause an unreasonable amount of soreness to my little toes, especially on my slightly-wider right foot, one or two have given me blisters on top of my right big toe too… and so on.

And this is what I mean by shoes are like cars… for example – the more one pays, within reason, the more one is likely to get comfort… as well as the optional extra of having virtually all styles available in a wide fitting, even if it is to-order from the warehouse. If one buys a car, then anything with four wheels will get from A to B, but the more one pays for it then the more comfortable and engaging the drive is likely to be… though beyond a certain amount, having so much power and speed is totally pointless on everyday roads. To-date, I have generally been buying Dacia or Suzuki-level shoes (Tesco, Primark, and so on), and perhaps the odd Toyota (cheaper-end M&S without a width fitting)… whereas I have now had to come to terms with the fact that, for my everyday working life, I MUST spend more on shoes so that I will get something where my feet won’t feel like they are falling off after a day wearing them. So, as a minimum, wide-fit M&S shoes will have to slot into my wardrobe, along with some pairs from Clarke’s, who do most of their shoes in a wider fitting… and even then, it is wise to try them out at home for several hours to ensure that if one’s feet swell then they will still be comfortable and not excessively sore. A big mistake I made, because I didn’t know otherwise, was that in the January sales I bought quite a number of pairs of shoes to accessorise my wardrobe ready for work… and all of them are a waste because I can’t wear them for a full day.

The same is true of handbags. If one pays little, one is likely to get something that either lasts no time at all, has few pockets (which is no good for a woman such as myself who commutes a lot and needs to carry a fair amount of stuff), or weighs about the same amount as a bag of compost before anything has even been put in it! The most I spent on a handbag to-date is £45 (the bag was reduced from £90), and although it is only just big enough to put my requirements for a day of work and commuting, it is SOOOO light compared to a bag that I paid less than half the price for.

So, my advice, to any woman is to not scrimp on shoes or handbags! Your poor feet will pay for it soon enough if you do, and with a heavy bag your back will probably be groaning under the strain of carrying around a ridiculously heavy bag too.

Yours achingly and sorely,



10 thoughts on “Shoes and handbags? They’re a bit like cars….

  1. So you really do need to seek out the Citroen of shoes. Comfortable, stylish and just a bit quircky (in a good way). That or the Saab or if being sensible the Volvo. I quickly discovered what you are talking about on my first LLFDC outing when I wore shoes I love and thought would he no problem only to find they really slowed me down and were apt to slip off if not careful. As for bags I know what you are getting at with respect to capacity however I always believe the smaller the container the more discriminating we will be about what we really need in it and so will then only take absolute essentials. But that is me.
    Such excellent advice in your closing paragraph snd it only goes to support the age old saying of “You pays your money and you take what you get”

    M x

  2. An excellent analogy, Andrea – the experience sounds similar to that moment when, after venturing out for the first few times we realise our relationship is no longer with the bedroom mirror but the real world, need to start dressing accordingly and end up discarding half our carefully assembled wardrobe.
    And if shoes aren’t comfortable when you first try them on, no amount of ‘wearing in’ is likely to help.

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