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The Day I Said Goodbye to My Favorite Shoes

I recently switched rheumatologists – not because of my doctor, but because of his staff getting in the way of my care and my son’s care. When I called the scheduling department, the soonest appointment I could get was three months out, which actually would have been my 41st birthday. I was so excited when I received a call asking to reschedule and that they could get me in the next day. I know breaks like this rarely happen.

My exam

After talking a bit and getting my history, my new doctor asked me to undress and put on a paper shirt and wrap a paper blanket around my lower half. When he returned to the room, he examined my fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, neck, knees, and ankles. He tested for pain and for range of motion. Aside from my right ankle being hot to touch and my left shoulder being in pain, my joints were pretty good.

But then it happened. My doctor asked me to stand. This was odd to me since no other doctor had ever asked me to do that while he looked at my stance. Immediately he said, “You’re losing your arches,” and pointed to my feet.

Wait, what?

I must have looked very perplexed. He said that could be why I am having more pain that usual in my ankles, knees, and hips. He said that while losing the arches in my feet were probably not a direct result of my psoriatic arthritis, it was most definitely contributing to it.

I told him that no doctor has ever examined my feet like that before. I’ll never forget what he said: “I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t look at your feet.”

That made me feel very at ease knowing he was so thorough. However, what he said next made me very sad.

Bye-bye flats

Upon doctor’s orders, I was only allowed to wear shoes with good arch support. Great. No only were heeled shoes out – those have always aggravated my psoriatic arthritis – but now, flat shoes were also a no-go:

  • No flip-flops
  • No ballet slippers
  • No cute summer flats.

I don’t fit into the stereotype of a woman with a closet full of shoes to match every outfit and every purse. I’m definitely low-key in the maintenance department. But when I realized that I’d also have to retire my favorite Converse shoes, I did have a few tears.

My favorite sneakers

My Converse and I have a history. We’re good friends, and the dirt and wear on the shoes definitely show. I bought them specifically for when my husband and I renewed our vows in Las Vegas five years ago. I wore a cute polka-dot sundress and he wore his T-shirt with screen printed tuxedo on the front. We both wore Converse shoes. Elvis married us for the second time.

My sneakers are a reminder of persevering through the pain. When I bought them, I was in a major disease flare – both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. These red shoes symbolized steps I took to fight back and live my life to the fullest. As time passed, when I was having a bad day, I would throw on these shoes as a reminder that I am stronger than my disease.

Even with dirt and scuff marks, I still get compliments on them. I really didn’t think a person could get so attached to a pair of shoes. It will be hard to say goodbye, but the pain I will endure wearing them with no arch support will outweigh the good times we shared.

Goodbye, reds. You will be missed.

My Lucky Red Sneakers

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

Comments

  • CathyD moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi @cherylartfarm, I thought this thread from our Facebook page may be helpful – there are lots of community recommendations under the article: https://www.facebook.com/PsoriaticArthritisDotCom/posts/513524739033388

    I hope you are able to find some shoes that work for you – let us know if you do!

  • byoungpdx
    1 year ago

    Bummer saying goodbye to such cute shoes. What brands of cute shoes with arch support are you finding out there in the world??

  • VickiN moderator
    1 year ago

    Just wanted to link to our latest article for community recommendations! A lot of people have reviewed these Vionic shoes. They have all types of shoes with built in support:
    https://psoriatic-arthritis.com/living/massage-sticks-vionic-shoes-community-recommendations/
    That’s a big thing for me because most cute shoes won’t accommodate my orthotics. By building in the arch and heel support, we can get around that!
    -Victoria, Community Moderator

  • Jaime Lyn Moy author
    1 year ago

    Fantastic! Thank you!

  • cherylartfarm
    1 year ago

    I have yet to find comfortable shoes to walk in. After my hip replacement last year, the doctor advised me to walk several times a week. My feet fluctuate from a size 10.5 in the am to a size 12 at night. With my PsA, my ankles and the tops of my feet swell at the end of the day, and is is hard to wear shoes that lace to my ankles. The most comfortable shoes that I own are my rubber sole Indian moccasins (which do not have support) or my pair of water shoes which are very comfortable but not practical for winter wear. Can anyone offer suggestions as to their own comfortable and supportive footwear that they have found workable? Thank you for your help.

  • Jaime Lyn Moy author
    1 year ago

    I did find some good tennis shoes for working out, but as for cute shoes to wear out on the town or to work… I’m still on the hunt. I did find some socks with arch support. There’s a couple of brands out there. I look for the stitching in the center of the sock. That does help, but boy, I still miss my Converse.

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