Shoes for old feet—a bad poem

photo of four lace-up shoes, mauve, white, red and creame
Good shoes for old feet? Maybe not

It’s hard to find good shoes for old feet. A bad poem about a familiar problem for old women and men.

Old woman visits the podiatrist

Had a lump on the arch
of my faithful right foot
and occasional pain.
Remembered a happy podiatrist
and went back again.
Got a frowny one now
sick and tired of her job
sick and tired of her clients
and itching for home and a gin.

"Incipient geriatric arthritis.
Go shop for new shoes
with a SHANK.
See, this is a SHANK
a metal support
to prop up your second-rate foot.
No reason, no cure:
you were born with a foot
like a plank."

Well I shopped and I shopped
and I bought not a thing
though the choice was amazing
the colours were popping
the soles were all bouncy
but never a shank or a prop
in sight and anyway  
who wants to tie up their laces
twenty-five times a day?

This instant doggerel may remind you of your own search for the perfect shoe. For years I’ve relished the fashion and technology that lets us wear flat shoes with comfort and flair. My favourites are as light as a feather, they’re CC resorts Danielle, made of stretchy woven elastic in various colours, most of which I have bought over the years. I’ve worn them to picnics, concerts, weddings, and supermarkets. But apparently their day is done.

photo of four pairs of well-used shoes made of woven elastic with a light-weight sole. Colours are white (dirty), multicoloured blue and white, red and yellow, and red.
Four pairs of the same favourite shoe in woven elastic: CC Resorts Danielle.

You don’t want to know all this. Short story short, I bought an elastic-and-plastic arch support that wraps around my foot and works for now. I’m guessing that the “incipient geriatric arthritis” will give me a few months break, and some glorious old-woman shoe will appear magically in a shop window one day.

Heaven knows, in other ways we old men and women are spoiled for choice when we shop for shoes. I’d just like some shoes that:

  • feel divine
  • support my perfectly nice arches that have done me proud for almost 82 years
  • don’t require me to bend over and tie and untie long shoe laces (thought I was done with that)
  • don’t get sloppy too soon
  • don’t cost the earth
  • look cool and fun and colourful
  • are in local shops when I decide to look for them.

Is that too much to ask? Pleeeease! I hear a thousand sore-footed old men and old women cry.

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18 thoughts on “Shoes for old feet—a bad poem

  1. That’s marvelous that you still want lovely shoes that are good for your feet. I wear sneakers all the time now, even to weddings. Good luck!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      But sneakers can be lovely!

  2. Alan Ralph says:

    I got a new pair of Clarks trainers for Christmas last year, as my old pair were finally starting to wear out after over a decade of use. They weren’t cheap, but I reckon they’ll last me longer than some of the low-priced trainers I saw for sale at some ‘sport’ footwear sites here in the UK.

    My shoes are lace-ups, but I intentionally leave them a bit loose so I can just slide my feet in and out. 🙂 Saves me time and energy, totally not being lazy!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Slop-along, Alan! While you can.

  3. What irks me is when podiatrists tell us to find wide shoes so our toes have room and we won’t get bunions, but when I go look for wide shoes, the heel is really wide, too, and the shoe falls off my foot!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That is tricky! So the barefoot Priscilla…

  4. You’d think by now we would have solved the problem, it happens to everyone after all.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I dare say it has been solved but not in my backyard on that particular day

      1. A perfect shoe, that is ideal for all, heads the google searches but is the subject of many reports of scams and poor service. That seems par for the course for the elderly here in UK.

      2. Rachel McAlpine says:

        This I didn’t know. Thanks for the information.

      3. Have a look at Dr Comfort shoes. I wear the Jason shoes – costly but super comfortable, but I add an additional orthotic insole. Katy may be an option too.

      4. Rachel McAlpine says:

        Thanks Peter

  5. joliesattic says:

    For years, we’ve endured shoes that didn’t fit properly or torqued our posture, but as we aged we chucked all that. Right?Interestingly though, since Covid, I’ve watched any number of Korean RomCom’s and noticed that even when dressed up in nice gowns or dresses, some of these women are wearing what look like sneakers! They have these pretty dresses and they are in either high top sneakers or just plain sneakers and socks. And… the best part is, they look fine! Who knew?

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I also noticed that during my three weeks in Korea two or three years ago. Korean fashion in general favours a comfortable sort of glamour, loose sculptured garments. And that includes shoes. Love it.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I figure that tying my shoes prevents my hips from permanently freezing in place. Some days that is the only flexibility they seem to get.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Keep up the good work! Don’t freeze in place like that other Elizabeth did recently.

  7. Judith says:

    I already have to think about an bunion and, in Wellington, about shoes which will not take in water. This means proper leather but I think it is worth it. I bought some shoes from a real sports shop – they were called “low mileage running shoes””. That sounds about me

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Low mileage I’m not, but low mileage running—yes. And the shoes are our tyres, Judith. Mine wore out and were getting dangerous.

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