The 40 Year Old Bunion

Behind the sparkle lies a horrific secret...

What is it about a beautiful pair of shoes that sets a gal’s heart racing? I’m a sucker for a pointed toe, a stiletto heel, and the suppleness of calf leather: a classic skyscraper court – that’s the dream. But these pointed pretties are not my friends, have never been my friends, and yet I’ve only recently come to accept this.

A few years ago (oh, go on then – it was twenty years ago) I took my shoes off at work. Can’t remember why, but the reason I exposed my feet to the world (i.e. two colleagues) isn’t important – the response I got from them is the issue here. ‘What’s wrong with your plates?’ one asked, recoiling. ‘Troll feet!’ shrieked the other. Peering down at said feet, I couldn’t quite understand what was so appalling about them. Sure, my feet were pale (I’ve never been a tanner) and my pedicure was a little chipped, but ‘troll feet’?! Seemed a bit much.

‘It’s that weird bony bit. Next to your big toe,’ my colleague helpfully pointed out. I quickly slipped my shoes back on and sat silently fuming at my desk for the rest of the day. Weird bony bit?! What does that even mean? And doesn’t everyone have that weird bony bit? Sure they do. Don’t they? Oh. OhThey don’t.

After that particular ridicule, I mostly kept my feet hidden from the cruel judgement of the general public. Strappy heels were out, sadly, and flip flops were a definite no no (less sad about this. I really hate flip flops). I grew used to describing my feet as ‘wide’, which isn’t so bad, I guess. I still bought LOTS of shoes, most of them hideously uncomfortable. I played the part, though; learning to stride on through the pain of bone rubbing against pleather, despite the blisters and callouses. Twenty years of this carry-on later, my feet could literally take no more.

In the back of my mind, hidden away, I think I always knew what the real situation was with my feet, but I was in denial. I’d seen the Daily Mail articles about Victoria Beckham. I’d watched Embarrassing Bodies. My feet weren’t just wide. Approaching aged 40, it was time to admit it *deep breath* : I have bunions.

There – it’s out there. It’s out there, and it’s not going back in. Just like my bunions, I guess. They’re hereditary, I reckon (thanks, Mam), since they’ve been there as long as I can remember. I don’t doubt the years of ill-fitting footwear did me no favours, but I don’t think they were the cause. So now that hurdle’s over, I have a new quest  - finding nice shoes to accommodate said bunions COMFORTABLY. (I say this because I’ve never had trouble finding shoes that I can get on – it’s the cheesegrater effect I experienced after a couple of hours wear that I’m so keen on). This quest is kinda addictive, like Fortnite. (NB: I have no idea what Fortnite is, I just put that in there so I sound less 40).

*For any fellow bunionites, I can totally recommend Calla Shoes, particularly the Charlotte flats. Honestly - the most comfortable shoes EVER. 
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