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Monday, June 06, 2005

Shopping For Sandals

Guys: allow me to be completely honest with you.

I have revolting feet.

No, no, don't try to convince me otherwise. I know the truth. They're horrible.

In my youth it was simply a case of having feet that looked like a ski jump - my big toe, you see, is longer than the next toe along. But as time wore on matters became much worse. We're talking toenails that rather grow out rather than up - and, occasionally, grow in, leading to all sorts of nasty problems. We're talking hair growth on the big toe. We're talking occasional fungal infections, for crying out loud.

But, perhaps most significantly, we're talking weird swelling. One night, about four years ago, my right foot suddenly became very swollen, red, and painful for no apparent reason. I was put on heavy duty antibiotics which, eventually, brought the foot back to its normal size.

A few months later, though, the left foot decided to get in on the action. It did the exact same act - redness, pain, swelling. Unfortunately, for reasons too boring to explain, the left foot never de-swelled.

Folks, my name is McReadie and I have a permanently fat left foot.

It should be noted that the fat foot is typically well behaved. Other, that is, than in the Summer. The minute it gets hot, the foot gets even more swollen than usual, which can become really uncomfortable. Thus, when we had that brief burst of Summer a few days back, I was reminded - with a distinct lack of joy - of the Fat Foot's Summer Routine.

My mum suggested that I should perhaps look into the purchase of sandals. This did seem like a good idea but I didn't much like the prospect of displaying my feet to all and sundry. Good citizen that I am, I do not wish to expose you to such hideousness while you're sitting opposite me on the train. I would regard it as cruel. You've done nothing wrong. You shouldn't have to have your attention distracted by a hairy, swollen toe with an ingrown toenail.

But, good people, at some point I have to be selfish. So I decided to do a little sandal research. No harm in that. Maybe I could find something that wouldn't show off too much foot flesh (showing off my toes, however, seemed inevitable). And so I headed for the mighty Decathlon on a quest for just such a shoe. A sandal that was comfortable, practical, and hopefully wouldn't draw too much attention to the hideous foot contained therein.

I was in luck:

merrell sandals

What do you think? They, apparently, are "suitable for Summer day hikes and activities where comfort and strength are required". I figured that description would include wandering around Tulse Hill in the Summer months, and going to see The Tour, and my miserly nature couldn't resist the reduction in price from £45 to £27.95.

As you may be able to see, they're made by Merrell. Displaying my usual level of ignorance, I'd never heard of 'em, but a quick web search suggested that they are actually, well, quite well known. And they have a very cool animation on their home page (check it out - top right of their front page).

I have the sandals on now. I'm trying to get used to the concept that my feet will be on display this Summer. I think I'm managing to come to terms with it. But, please, should you see McReadie on the tube, wearing her Merrell sandals, divert your eyes from the feet. Do the decent thing and stare at your own instead.


  • At 8:01 PM, Blogger the watcher said…

    you know I gotta admit i was laughin readin about your feet, not that mine are so great. but those sandals- warghh. they're uglier than any pair of feet on man or beast!

  • At 10:40 AM, Blogger McReadie said…

    Ha ha ha! Well, that's good if they're ugly. They'll divert attention from my ugly feet :)

  • At 3:51 PM, Blogger Fizzwhizz said…

    Merrell sandals are fantastic. I have a pair of the convertibles (they are almost identical to yours, but you can remove the back and turn them into slip-ons if you fancy) and they have been all round the world with me, I've worn them in the water, walking up volcanos, on beaches in a dozen different countries, slogging round temples, shopping, ambling round festivals, gardening, working, just generally mooching around the house and pretty much anything else you can imagine. I've even worn them in the shower in a few less salubrious Asian doss-houses. And they are still going strong. They don't get out so much now as they have been all but retired by my Birkenstocks, but I know they're there if I need them - and if I were strapping on my backpack again, they'd be the first thing I packed (couldn't walk two miles with a full-laden 80litre rucksack in my Birkies, even though they are orange).
    May I recommend Merrells with socks. They work very well as you can adjust the velcro bit to allow for the extra width of a nice thick, woolly footbag - ideal for an evening around a barbecue or campfire.

    As for the feet, treat yourself to a pedicure. It makes the world of difference, and you don't have to get your toenails painted if you don't want to draw attention to them.

  • At 4:21 PM, Blogger McReadie said…

    Way hay! Thank you for the sandal support, Fizzwhizz. Pleased to know that I made a good choice (albeit it through complete luck rather than judgement - story of my life.) Y'know, I was rather pleased with the purchase, and your support has reinforced my sandal self-belief.

    And please do recommend them with socks. It is an angle I will investigate during chilly evenings - especially cos I have some incredibly comfortable hiking socks which, unsurprisingly, were also bought very cheaply at Decathlon. Are you spotting a pattern here?

    The tales of your sandals' escapades have rather made me worry for mine, though. They were obviously brought into this world expecting a lifetime of adventure, and I fear this is something I simply cannot offer them. We shall have to hope that they will be content with a relatively quiet life... A life of walking in South London... And we'll also have to hope they like cycling, since I certainly plan to wear 'em on the roads of the Tour.

    See, here's what I'd worry about with a pedicure: the poor pedicurist who has to touch/look at my feet. It just seems so harsh to subject them to that, though I do appreciate they have chosen to work with feet (of all sorts) for a living.


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