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Goodbye Peep-Toe Pumps

I remember the exact moment when I spotted them. Perfect in every way, I had to make them mine, no matter the cost. Oh, if only they knew their future. If they could speak and tell me how they would meet their ultimate end. That their future would be one of darkness, shoved back in the hollow recesses of my closet. Out of sight so they don’t taunt me with their beauty. Goodbye dear, sweet, magnificent peep-toed pumps.

So many things I’ve given up

There are a great many things that I have given up for my psoriatic arthritis. Things I’ve sacrificed to the altar of pain and practicality, but nothing haunts me more than the loss of my favorite pair of cute shoes. Perhaps you think I’m vain, and you’d probably be right. And I’m sure you could argue that I’ve lost many more things of much greater value like friendships, moments with my family, or even my job. Again, you would probably be right. So then, why is it the shoes that seem to bother me the most?

To me, shoes represent youth, they show a bit of sass and yes, a lovely bit of flair if chosen correctly. The right pair of shoes exude confidence and determination, pride and promise. They can make or break an outfit. Without a doubt, my shoes have always been linked to my self-confidence. Which probably explains why I was so heartbroken when it became quite clear that my beautiful, peep-toed pumps could no longer do their job for me.

It is about so much more than my peep-toe pumps

Yes, I love my shoes. But I also love my independence. I love being me. I love being able to be “present” during a conversation and not focused on my pain. My shoes were always my statement piece. Now all they state is pain. Losing my favorite shoes is like losing a piece of myself. It is like yet another piece of who I was, “pre-diagnosis” is stolen from me.

I want to be positive about this. I want to find some sort of bright side. The truth is I have yet to find it. Sure, I have found some shoes that are “okay.” I have found some shoes that I guess will “work.” But I haven’t found anything nearly close enough to replace those peep-toed beauties.

A much needed distraction

I know shoes are not earth ending things and perhaps I should be more grateful for what I do have. But focusing on my shoes allows me to briefly forget about all of the “larger” things that I have lost. For now, that is okay with me. Being heartbroken over shoes beats being heartbroken over all the other things in my life that I can’t control right now. Focusing of my shoes takes my focus off of the fact that I don’t have the energy to do my makeup. It distracts me from the fact that I not only do I not have cute shoes to wear, I don’t have it in me to go anywhere in them anyway.

Goodbye peep-toe pumps, hello unexpected gifts

Yes, there are a great deal of things that living with PsA has made me say goodbye to: pain-free mornings, opening my own water bottle, and yes my dear peep-toed pumps. But, PsA has also gifted me with a strength I never knew I had. Presents wrapped in the caring arms of deeper, more meaningful relationship with those that know me best. So what, my feet aren’t as cute as they once were, nor do I feel as sassy. But I feel strong and hopeful so for now, I’ll take that gift any day.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • harneybh
    2 years ago

    I totally get what you are saying. Giving up cute shoes has been a big loss to me as well. I’ve always loved fashion and shoes were a big part of that. As you said, it’s not the biggest loss in my life due to this disease, but it seems significant. About 10 years ago I had to give up high heels due to pain in my spine and feet. Not such a big loss. I still found cute, stylish low-heeled pumps- even peep-toe pumps. Then came the swollen digits. My toes became swollen and my big toe went crazy! It started moving toward the next toe causing a significant bunion. I thought to myself, I’m not going to live with this. I’ll just get it fixed! Silly me!. Not only did it not fix it, but that big toe just traveled right over the top of the next toe. Now it looks like I’m crossing my fingers…only its my toes. I thought it was a bad surgery, so I got a second opinion, and a third and they all told me it was a good surgery. It’s my disease.
    So I gave up and started looking for extra extra wide shoes for my left foot and just plain wide shoes for my right foot. At first glance, my choices were very limited and not cute- at all. I bought a pair and thought, “This is my life now. Ugly feet that look MUCH older than I am” But, I didn’t give up and eventually found shoes that don’t hurt either my feet or my sense of style. I guess my advice is don’t give up. So, my complaint was as much about comfort, change and the ability to walk as it was about style. As the baby boomers age I believe there will be more and more choices. We are an inventive group. Don’t give up or give in.

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