Monday, October 6, 2014

Behind the scenes, Chicago anniversary trip (aka footwear recommendations for when you walk a lot)

As I mentioned (this post), we had a great 15th anniversary trip.  However, there were some wardrobe malfunctions, particularly in the shoe department.  Mike was frustrated with me, because "who brings new shoes on a trip where you'll be walking a bunch"?  He's right, and I had thought of that, but I didn't (and don't, although perhaps I have some future contenders once I break them in) have non-running shoes I can walk in all day.  Plus, although I wore previously comfortable sandals our first day (Saturday), we walked a LOT and it was quite warm, so I got the start of a blister on my heel.  That lovely seed developed into a major issue after walking all day the next day (Sunday) in a different pair of (new) sandals.  Although I thought they'd be fine since they were Dansko brand (via ebay, of course), so you know, those are good sandals, right?  Well, while they were quite comfortably padded on the bottom of the foot, the ankle straps rubbed on my previously started heel blister, and created some new ones on the heel, plus the front band rubbed completely new blisters on two toes.  Quite inexplicably, I didn't even bother to bring my running shoes, which are not only comfortable, but also a bit trendy these days.  Oh no, I wanted to be "City Girl" and wear my cute ankle strap sandals and oxford shoes the whole trip.  I'm sure I looked adorable hobbling around United Center in my oxford shoes with the worst blistered heel sticking out of the shoe to avoid rubbing.  Classy. That's me.

Flash forward to Monday and my blisters are so bad I can't wear ANY shoes without socks (for protection and to keep the bandaids in place - I also spent lots of time at the pharmacy on the corner buying various styles of bandaids).  Fun fact: I didn't bring any socks, nor were either of my shoe choices sized to be worn with socks.  So, instead of being able to wear my running shoes to refresh my sad piggies, I have to borrow my husband's socks (too-large) and wear them with my SANDALS.  My cute ankle strap sandals.  Plus, in a cruel weather trick, the temperatures dropped at least 20 degrees, and sandals were no longer appropriate.  Farewell "City Girl".  Hello "Stupid Girl".  I include photos for your amusement.

I'll spare you the without bandages look, but this should give you an idea of how much I messed up my feet.  At the worst point, I needed 7 bandaids just to survive...  (The other 2 were on the pinkie toes to protect them from rubbing.)  Sigh.

So, here are my tips for foot survival during a city trip where you'll be walking a lot:

1. Bring several types of shoes (including running-type shoes - suck it up and bring the dowdy shoes).  That way if you get a blister, you can switch to a pair of shoes that doesn't rub on exactly the same spot.

2. Invest in those "invisible" sock liners.  I did look for those before we left on our trip, knowing that I would want them inside my (new) oxford shoes, but since I didn't easily spot a pair, I gave up and just went without.  Big mistake.  Plus, they protect your shoes from getting funky from being worn with bare feet.  Win win.

3. Bring a few bandaids with you in your travel kit.  Just protecting a developing blister can prevent a world of hurt.  Had I done that earlier, the blisters wouldn't have gotten so bad.

4. Buy the right bandaids, if more are needed.  I tried an expensive version that was supposed to be like "skin", but when they were peeled off, they took quite a bit of skin with it, making my blisters MUCH worse than they would have been.  I prefer the large size bandaid made with flexible fabric on the outside, they seemed to protect and stay on better than anything else I tried.

I hope this will save your tootsies a bit of wear and tear.  At least you won't have to walk around Michigan Avenue in socks and sandals like me.  Ew.

Here's my question, are there ANY shoes that can be walked in all day, in heat, and be worn without socks, that don't cause blisters?  Because I sure haven't found any....  ever.  If you have, please share!

No comments:

Post a Comment