For the past couple weeks, I’d been wearing a cheap pair of “tennis shoes” with “old man’s Velcro fasteners.” My stiff joints and huge belly make it hard to tie laces anymore, so the need for Velcro. Plus, I’ve learned the hard way that ALL tennis shoes seem to be made in China these days and fall apart in a month or two, regardless of how cheap or expensive they may have been at the register. As a result, I’ve taken to getting the cheapest shoes I can get (usually about $15 these days) and count on throwing them away after a month’s daily wear. They aren’t comfortable, though, since they come only in medium sizes and I’ve got a wide foot. That fact sometimes necessitates getting one size longer, in order to gain a little width. Even then, the manufacturer puts a narrow sole on them to save a few cents, so my wide foot tries to sag down over the edges of the sole. To keep my foot balanced on the narrow sole, I clamp the Velcro dern near as tight as when I chained logs on my truck. That doesn’t seem to add much to the comfort of the shoe, but then neither does slipping off the sole and walking on the side of the shoe.
Luckily, the pac-liners I ordered came a couple days ago. Yesterday, I had time to cut them down to about two inches taller than my L.L. Bean camp mocs and put them inside. It was like putting on a comfortable pair of slippers when I slipped my feet into them. I originally got them just for taking the dog outside, but they were so comfortable that I’ve used them for my daily shoes, winter and summer, for the past year or two and have gotten quite spoiled by them. The old felt liners had worn out, and were getting a bit odiferous besides, so I finally pitched them.
I was surprised with the difficulty of even just FINDING the old-fashioned blue felt pac-liners online. They were everywhere a couple years ago. The prices were nearly double what I paid last time, also. I finally found a pair for only 50% more than last time (plus shipping) and ordered them. When they arrived, I noticed they were thinner than the old ones, but that wasn’t surprising. I suspect that would have been the case no matter where I ordered them, or what I paid. Quality decline seems as much a part of modern business as skyrocketing prices. However, I’m now back to wearing my favorite footwear and loving it. There’s a lot to be said for having happy feet!
Incidentally, should you wish to try my method, get the liners in your regular shoe size, but get the mocs one size larger. Otherwise, you’d probably never get the liners in place, or the boots on your feet. © 2014