Saturday, June 28, 2014

Aaaahhhh! Relief!

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


Bob Mc said...

The shoes I'm wearing right now are the best $50 pair of shoes that I've had in years. I bought them from Cabelas, and yes, they were probably made in China. Just walking/hiking/work shoes, but practically impossible to wear out, and comfortable. When I realized just how good they are I turned right around and bought another pair. I figured either they would be discontinued or the price would go way up. I was right! I still have the second pair put away in my closet. Can't wear the original pair out, and I wear them every day.

Sixbears said...

Jan. 2013 I bought a really good pair of sandals from LLBean. Wore the heck out of them until they were falling apart. Sent them back and got a new pair for the price of shipping. They were not cheap, but the super customer support made it worth while. I can't afford super cheap shoes as I can't afford foot injuries.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I have been getting shoes and boots from the rescue mission as even when I can afford new ones, they don't last very long before falling apart.
I have a fried who also gives me his old shoes that he doesn't wear anymore. Some day when the world economy collapses we won't get Chinese shoes anymore and maybe they will make them here again. It would be worth buying new shoes if they were any good.

Gorges Smythe said...

Glad you found some good ones, Bob. There is still ONE American company making shoes for cops and such that are supposed to be really good, but they cost over $100. Even then, they'd be worth it, if the quality is good.

I've always heard good things about their dealings, Sixbears.

Someday, SF, the old supply of used American shoes will dry up, then we'll be in REAL trouble, UNLESS the scenario you mentioned comes to pass.

Pumice said...

Two things.

First, I have found that New Balance is the only athletic shoe that works for me. They seem to be a little roomier. With my big feet I usually can't find anything to fit so when I find them on cheap I buy. I have extra pairs waiting in the garage.

Second, if you insurance will cover it see an orthopedist and have some custom inserts made.

I guess that is more than two, isn't it?

Grace and peace.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

My husband wears New Balance but I was given a pair of Reebok safety tennis shoes that were never worn. They turned out to be the best tennis shoes I ever wore and they never slid when the tile was wet from people walking in out of the rain. My foot is wide and I have arthritis in them so shoes that are comfortable are few and far between. I have no idea what they cost though. I'm about to find out - not looking forward to it.

Gorges Smythe said...

I'll have to remember that, Kathy.