If the shoe fits, then no more blisters

I recently stepped out of my brown-and-black comfort zone and borrowed a pair of red-patent wedges to wear for my husband?s and my fifth wedding anniversary. It was refreshing to dress up for an evening out, and the bold shoes added to the fun.

Shoes have the potential to make or break an outfit. First designed for foot-protection, modern shoes now require a flair for fashion. And the more fashion-driven, the less foot-protection offered.

Gone are the days of simple foot-bags made of leather, although the simple, inexpensive flip-flop could compare. Today there are shoe engineers paid to design aero-dynamic tennis shoes, light-weight, innovative Crocs, earth-friendly mules. The list could go on.

And my 14-month-old has already bought into the shoe hype. My daughter loves shoes.

Her shoe fetish not only includes carrying around her shoes, begging someone to help her put them on, but also carrying other shoes found around the house.

One of her favorites to haul around is her daddy?s tennis shoes. She?ll grab the foot-long sneakers by the shoelace and lug them from room to room. Despite the shoes being a little under half her size, she still tries to put them on.

But the best part of her day comes when Mommy says, ?Go find your shoes.? Off she goes in search of her brown-and-yellow Robeez. Yes, name-brand shoes for a toddler.

Robeez shoes are slip-on leather shoes with a simplistic design. The good thing about Robeez is my daughter doesn?t trip on a bulky sole. The modern foot-bag doesn?t have a hard sole like a typical shoe.

You see, toddlers? feet are best-off barefoot, according to the rules of raising a child. And Robeez are the next best thing because they ?mimic bare feet, by supporting?not constricting tiny growing feet.?

What a great marketing scheme?but marketing is another column entirely.

There are generic ?Robeez,? but because my daughter has small, narrow feet, we were forced to buy in to the trend. But, lucky for us, I found a pair that was on sale for half-price. I?ll admit the cosmetic, sunflower design wasn?t my first choice, but they fit the best.

And isn?t that how it goes? I often find myself in shoes I don?t want to wear, at least not with the outfit I have on. But wear them I must, in order to break them in.

Right now I?m forced to wear shoes that accessorize my current position of mommy-of-a-medical-mystery. For the past two months, these shoes have left blisters as I?ve walked my daughter into and out of more doctors? appointments than I care to remember, two specialist appointments and two hospitals, one as an in-patient, and the other for an afternoon of lab work.

But, just like any other new shoes, they eventually begin to fit. And while I still don?t like these shoes, I no longer get blisters. I?m learning to live in a world of doctors, and I?m becoming more adept at asking pointed questions to get specific information. But I still hope that, in time, I can put these ugly shoes in storage.

Becoming a new mommy was another pair of shoes worth breaking in. In spite of the labor, the nighttime-wakings, the diaper changes and the constant worry that I was doing something wrong, my mommy shoes are some of my favorites. After a year of wear, they are a comfortable fit with room to grow.

I selected white-satin ballet flats for my wedding. Bridal shoes can range from high-fashion stilettos to ornately-adorned flip-flops. Knowing I would be on my feet all day, I opted for comfort over fashion. It was a great choice. No blisters. (Although, if I were to be honest, maybe an occasional toe pinch or two.)

I?ve also enjoyed wearing ballet shoes, volleyball shoes, track spikes, prom shoes, snow boots and flip-flops.

Going barefoot, however, would be my shoe of choice. But because I can?t always go barefoot?no shoes, no shirt, no service?some discomfort is necessary, so I keep a range of practical to fashionable shoes in my closet.