This post is kind of difficult to write. Like most bloggers, I think, I really try to keep too much of my personal life off the blog. For lots of reasons, but I also like to try and keep a happy atmosphere on the blog. Of course, no one's life is perfectly happy all of the time, and Blythe and I have sometimes talked about that. Things like bad days, lots of work, or something. But this is a bit different. This post will be rather personal and a bit long, so you don't have to read it all if you don't want to. You can just look at the pictures and move on if you like. That's fine! But this post is about something about me that's a bit important, so if you want to understand me/the blog a bit better, then read it. But if you don't want to, that's okay too. No hard feelings.
Okay. Here we go:
I used to be a dancer. I've loved dance all my life, and even though things are a lot different now, I still find myself doing dance stretches and moves every once in a while. Anyway, a few years ago (I'm not exactly sure how long it's been exactly. At least two and a half years or so), I was getting ready for a show. I was doing a lot of pointe and other rehersal, much more than I was used to doing or had ever done before. Anyway, basically I ended up having a lot of foot pain every day. A lot of people told me to just take Tylenol and move on. But I refused to. I've never liked taking pain meds, and this was no exception. There was a reason my feet were hurting. My body was trying to tell me something, and I really didn't want to ignore it.
I went to the doctor who told me to stop dancing immeadiately. Honestly, no one really knew for sure what was wrong. Nothing was broken or anything, so he thought that I might have plantar fasciitis and tendinitis as a product of overstretching my feet from so much dancing. In any event, I stopped and the doctor thought that I should heal soon, since I was pretty young. As you probably guessed, years went by, and it's still a major problem and a large obstacle in my life. We're actually not sure if I really have plantar fasciitis and tendinitis now because those problems should have been resolved, but I do have some similar symptoms. Anyway, because my feet were overstretched and had all those problems, the podiatrist told me that I needed to wear shoes with a lot of support and inserts all the time. If I don't, I can get quite a bit of pain from just walking around my house barefoot for a day. But here's what that translates into--for the past few years, I've had to wear tennis shoes plus inserts basically every day.
Fashion-wise, that's incredibly restrictive, especially because I've been a bit self-conscious about it. So I have a confession to make. A lot of what I wear on the blog is stuff I wouldn't wear in real life, only because I wear flats or heels or something in those outfits. Especially with dresses and what not, I hate wearing tennis shoes. I really do. So I basically wear jeans a lot. And I always feel silly when someone I know in real life finds out about the blog because if I were them, I know I'd be thinking, "What? She has a fashion blog? She wears tennis shoes all the time. That's like the complete opposite of fashion." But this blog has kind of been an outlet for me to be able to wear and put together those outfits with whatever shoes I like, and so in that way, it's been really great. But if you've ever thought that I seem to have a rather sparse collection of shoes, that's why. It's really not practical for me to buy lots of flats and stuff--I never wear them! The heels were a bit of an exception, as they were on a really good sale and I got them for about ten dollars.
Since a key part of needing to have foot support every day is in my inserts, the first thought is to put the inserts in other shoes and wear those! And I've tried that a lot. But it really doesn't work. It's a bit difficult to explain why without pictures, so I've included a few. As you can see in this picture, the part of the flat that touches the Achilles tendon area is a bit higher than all other parts. Even so, when I put my inserts in, they have a bit of a heel so then my foot pops out of the flat when I walk because that part of the flat designed to keep the heel in is suddenly shorter. So I had basically given up on that and just kept wearing my tennis shoes every single day. And then something happened.
I was goofing around with a friend of mine who happened to be wearing Toms. I thought that they had a bit of a higher back than flats so maybe that would work. I put the inserts in, tried them, and wore them all of Saturday around my house. When I woke up Sunday, I had no foot pain. I usually have a bit of foot pain when I wake up, and so this was huge. I even wore the Toms plus inserts all of Sunday. It was only about five o'clock in the evening on Sunday when my feet hurt a bit, but this was still a really big deal. Though my feet hurt a little, it wasn't any more than I might have on a normal day. I can wear Toms.
The next day, I wore this outfit to class. This is actually the very first time I have ever posted a complete outfit that I actually wore. I had never worn a dress to class before because I don't have the guts to wear tennis shoes and dresses there. But since I could wear Toms, I wore this dress. I brought my tennis shoes along just in case, but it turns out that I never needed them. I arrived home that evening feeling amazing, and my feet were perfectly fine.
My feet are still far from healed. I've just found some shoes that work for me. And that's why I'm writing this post. It's not really so that you all can learn about me, but because I thought maybe I could help someone. Toms are really flat shoes and so I would imagine they fit all kinds of inserts. The ones that I wear are only half ones, so they are not as long as my foot, so I can't say how Toms might fit with full length inserts. I just know that quite a bit of people have foot problems and need to wear inserts, and that this worked for me, and maybe it might work for someone else. I don't know exactly what my foot problem is either, and so I can't exactly say who this will work for. I guess I'm just saying that it's worth a try.
These are still my friend's shoes, and they are a bit big on me, but I'm planning on going and trying different sizes. It's possible that part of the reason that these shoes work for me is because they are a bit big, but I'll experiment with different sizes to make sure.
This discovery changes a lot of things for me. Up to this point, I don't really wear skinny jeans, dresses, or skirts because I feel like it draws attention to my tennis shoes, and while it's a silly thing to be embarrassed about, I really do get self-conscious about it. But this changes all that. Of course I won't be able to wear Toms every day, just in case they do strain my feet a bit, I should give them a rest. But honestly, I still can't wrap my mind around what this means and the new clothes I can wear. It'll definitely take some getting used to, but it's an incredible feeling.
My foot problem is actually very restrictive in many ways. I can't tell you how many events and activities I haven't been able to do because there has been a lot of walking, hiking, running, or dancing involved. It's taken a lot from me, but Toms is at least giving me the chance to possibly wear what I want while I sit out of those things, and I hope it can do the same for someone else.
I hope I haven't bored anyone to death with my story, and if you read it all the way through, I'm really impressed. I've always been a bit of a rambler, and so this probably wasn't as concise as it could be, but I decided to tell it my way. And hopefully you got something out of it that will help you if you have foot problems or if you know someone who does. And if not, at least you learned something about me. And got to look at pretty pictures at the same time, right?
Anyway, I hope you've all had a great weekend! And let me know if you have any questions or if I didn't explain something well enough. That's why this post is here, is to explain. So please let me know if I didn't do as good of a job as I could.