My Good Shoes Gone Bad, Cupcake!

http://ownyourcupcake.comeI don’t know what was worse this week; the fact that I entered my very first class as a GTA (Graduate Teaching Assistant) after all my darling freshmen were in their chairs, or the fact that my shoes gave me blisters this week. I think it’s the shoes. They are mad at me, and they have chosen this week for revenge. My good shoes have gone bad. And it’s really not my fault.

If you knew my weight gain story or my history as a teen, you would understand that I have several pairs of shoes for each occasion. My teaching shoes are no different; these are the shoes that are comfortable, have very low heels, and sometimes they even border on “cute.” They are all neutral colors, like black, brown, and “natural,” so they match with everything, and they are very practical. Other teachers will understand this. I also have some purple and cranberry, because sometimes I don’t want to dress neutral or practical.

I left the public school system in December 2006.  Since then, I have been working on tennis courts in the private sector, and the only time I wear cute shoes are when my husband and I go somewhere nice. I have not worn my practical teaching shoes in almost nine years. So why, oh why, was I surprised when all hell broke loose Monday morning as I dressed for my first classroom appearance?

I will tell you why. The first pair of shoes felt too loose, and when I
Look closely, and you will see the side stitching is gone.

looked harder, they had literally blown out of the sides. The next pair had the same problem at the seems; and just like that, I was minus two pairs of shoes. When I tried to put on yet another favorite old pair, my feet were so swollen from my weight gain that I could not fit into my own shoes! Before I fell into despair, I found a pair that I often wear to church in the hot months.  They are cute little ballet flats and cream colored, so on this Cinderella’s feet they went, and off to the ball–I mean, class– I went.

I have not been on this campus the first day of school in the morning, so it never occurred to me that I would need more than an hour to find a parking spot. I ended up parking a mile–yes, a flippin’ MILE–away from my office, which is three buildings away from my classroom. I’ll make this brief. After a mile hike to my office, walking to the class, walking around class for three hours, trekking back to my office and another MILE back to my car (which was now at the end of an abandoned parking lot), I had an impressive blister on my pinky toe.  And the next “visit” to campus, even though I drove to school an hour earlier, I had two more blisters in different places. This Cinderella was feeling pretty miserable.

My feet were a wreck, and they were complaining about all the abuse. So, since I am a person of action and planning, here is my plan on how to avoid a repeat week.

1.  Appreciate the fact that I have an 11:00 class, but get to campus at 8:30 to find a better parking spot.  Added bonus here: more time to study my notes and finish my own homework.

2.  Wear tennis shoes on Monday.  Trust me: I have some cute ones. Because nobody wants to see my feet yet. They are not even ready for a pedicure. 

3.  Go shopping. This Cupcake is going to suck it up, and go find some practical but cute black shoes. Seriously, what self-respecting teacher doesn’t have black shoes in her closet? Oh, yeah:  me. Don’t judge! Coaches don’t need heels on tennis courts. 

4.  Shop smart. Buy some of those bootie panty-hose things for ballet shoes. How bad is it that I have no idea what the proper name is? I am confident that I will find them in the sock section. Or the hose section. Or anywhere in DSW.

5.  Find reasons to wear more cute shoes so my feet get tougher. Of course, some of you are going ,”Duh!” Honestly, this whole experience of working on my MA, teaching First Year Composition, teaching tennis, and giving my husband and my dogs the attention they deserve, does not really lend itself to going out more. But I will give it a try.

So, what advice can you give me today?
photo courtesy of

As always, let me know how it’s going, and stay frosted!

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16 thoughts on “My Good Shoes Gone Bad, Cupcake!

  1. I feel for you. My advice: find a brand that is comfortable & try on every style. I have difficult feet & love Monroe, Merrills, Clarks. Once you have found your company- dont have time to keep shopping, so on Zappos & order tons- free ship back & forth- eventually you will find the PERFECT shoes.

    1. Roz, I’ve tried this twice, so maybe our computers are conspiring together? It was the Clarks that fell apart! Who knew? They are still one of my favorite brands. Zappos is great; so is Never thought about ordering a ton, but that is a great idea. Thanks, Cupcake, and have a great Labor Day! 🙂

  2. I feel for you and can relate to the pain. I’ve ruined many a fine pair of shoes while driving and my feet have been tortured in the name of ‘smart business attire for women’ and fashion.

    Ultimately, you need to be kind to your feet and by proxy to yourself so here are some things you can do.

    1. Keep your official shoes in a nice bag and drive to work and walk to campus in comfy sneakers or ballerina shoes. It is okay to show that you are human.

    2. Invest in a good peppermint spray for your tired feet – I use Body Shop though any good brand will do.

    3. Invest in a pair or two of ballerina shoes in black, brown or neutral colors that will go with your wardrobe. There are some lovely ones out there nowadays and you might just start a fashion statement for the kids. How cool would that be?

    1. Vatsala, would you believe me if I told you it was my wonderful cream-colored Born ballerina shoes that gave me the worst blister? I was not expecting that at all, since I really wear them often in the summer months. I have not hear of peppermint spray, but that is now on my shopping list for this weekend. Thank you for such a wonderful suggestion, Cupcake! 🙂

  3. Sounds like you have a great plan to make sure your feet are happy! I feel the pain and can only say the sooner you get new comfy shoes…the better. I love my minimus shoes by New Balance and can walk for hours in them. Like Roslyn said, I’d find the brand and style that you LOVE and that your feet love and get a few pairs, so you always have a backup. Having unhappy feet is the worst feeling, so hope you’ve already circumvented it happening again. 🙂

    1. Beverley, I usually do this. I never thought that my shoes would be decimated in their boxes! Guess 7 years of being ignored was just too much rejection for them, lol, after so much wear and tear. I wore tennis shoes with cute capris this week, but I don’t know if I was going for cute or professional but comfy. The funny thing is, the kids don’t care. It’s me.

  4. Comfortable shoe, I know what you mean for me it was finding ones the would last for hiking. I was burning through a pair every couple of months. If you want some real quality comfortable shoes check out Merrell, they have a casual line for women.

    1. Joe, I love Merrell! I haven’t found any of their shoes for teaching yet (never thought of it), but it is a great thought. Thanks, Cupcake! 🙂

  5. Great blog Liz… (although this blog is about your pain because of shoes.) Finding a great pair of shoes is like marriage. Once you have found them, then you will keep buying them almost forever, but you need to try many shoes to find the perfect ones 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

    1. Kaz, isn’t it funny how we want the perfect pair of shoes? Then it’s like, buy seven of the same pair! In every color! lol. Glad you know the feeling.

  6. Hi Liz,
    I feel your pain as well. I have been there in the past. I love your action plan and how you bring humor into your story. I do hope that you can find the perfect pair! Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend and if you do go shopping, wishing you much success!

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