The only thing about me is the way that I walk

June 05, 2009 By: erik Category: England, Musings, Photos 2,481 views

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Worn SolesFavorite shoes are a funny thing. I remember vivid details of the stores where I buy my favorite shoes. I’m not sure why this is. Perhaps because, once I realize how great the shoes are, I imagine myself going back to buy more, because good comfortable shoes are hard to find and worth stocking up on if you find a brand and model that agrees with you. Of course I have yet to actually follow the whole process of 1) discover after a week or two that these are really great shoes, 2) make it back to the store, and 3) find and buy more pairs for when current pairs wear out.

This week I threw out two of my favorite pairs of shoes of all time. I purchased the black pair from Next, in Walsall, England (next to the Blockbuster Video), and wore them more or less every day for the four years I lived in England. A couple months after moving to Spain, I was climbing the stairs to our rented apartment and Marga noticed something odd about the heels of my shoes. “Why do you walk on the outside of your heels like that?”, she asked. I said I had no idea what she was talking about and she made me take off my shoes to examine the evidence. Sure enough, the outside part of my heels were worn down, and the insides were not. Of course once I knew about the side-worn heels, I could feel my foot twisting with each step. So those shoes were set aside and have lived out their retirement in my closet with the other, younger, whippersnapper shoes. Until this week, that is.

Worn Soles

Best black shoes ever.

Worn Soles

Brown shoes bare their soles.

The yellowish-brown pair, I bought my last year in England from a shop in downtown Birmingham. They, too, have been worn just about every day since. They were so comfortable and easy to take on and off. Eventually, though, they were worn through one too many rainstorm and the suede became discolored and stiff. Not surprisingly, upon inspection, they also had the outside of their heels worn down.

So now I’m wondering if I have some orthopedic problem worth correcting. No doubt there are people in white lab coats willing to sell me things to put in or on my shoes to correct my problem. Personally I’m fine with my everyday shoes only lasting 1,500 days.

  • Uncle Neil

    Find shoes when you travel to some place that has shoes like a city. Then buy the same shoes on line. I can tell you how to do that if you would like.
    Neil Rasmussen
    Eagle River, Alaska

  • It’s called ‘reverse pronation’ (regular pronation is when you walk on the insides of your feet). Your case is not too extreme, though it can be a problem for runners. My shoes have the same wear-patterns, and some better dress shoes have a special, easily replaced rubber element in exactly that rear-outside spot for resoling.

    I’m funny about shoes, too, and have trouble finding ones that really work for me. When I do, like you I always think about stockpiling and never follow through.

  • Strangely, a day after I posted this, I was killing boredom in a bar with a sports newspaper and reading about Rafa Nadal’s ankles and how grass and clay courts are different on the players’ ankles. There were diagrams with words like pronation and supination.

  • UncleDave

    I’ve had shoes with severe overpronation, too. I know what that’s like.

  • Now I am not a doctor or a footologist but it looks to me like you have a mild case of wonky feet or possibly wonky legs leading to wonky feet. Have you considered having your house redone by the guy who does all of Dr Seus s’ houses?

  • I could definitely use some dewonking…and not just my feet.

  • Count me as a member of the Reverse Pronation Club too.

  • I have no problem finding comfy shoes, but I did have a pair of walking boots that ended up looking like your black shoes there.
    And I’m constantly being told by persons who shall remain nameless that I need new (or more) shoes.

  • Katy Rosewell

    It is called supination, it can cause excessive wear on ligaments that hold the ankle stable and also cause back ache, torsion on the knees and a high risk of ‘going over’ on the ankle involved.