I cleaned out my closet a couple of weeks ago. The warmer weather was inspiring me to “spring clean” my wardrobe. This feat is not extraordinary in any way since I do it a couple of times a year. There was no hesitation in deciding what articles of clothing would make it through to the next elimination round. My real problem is hanging on to shoes for far too long. Here we go!

As I started dragging them out, I actually played that little game in my head whenever I picked up a pair, “Oh, those are so cute. I can’t believe I forgot I had them.” And, “I love these! I can’t wait to wear them this summer.” I walked around the closet and bedroom in each pair in order to make an educated “stay” or “go” decision.

I must interject here by telling you that I love shoes, especially sandals and flip-flops. I believe the right flip-flop can accompany any spring or summer attire for any event. It’s true. I even have a pair to golf in. And wedges. Oh, how I love my wedges! High or low, strappy or slide, I love them all.

Dansko Sandals

As I walked around in a favorite pair of wedges, the “ouch” factor set in. They hurt. They’re uncomfortable. I put them in the “maybe” pile anyway because I wasn’t quite sure I was ready to let them go. I reached for another pair to try on. The strap cuts into my little toe and I slung it off like the shoe was on fire and it hit the wall in my closet. WHAT? I perform this ritual again with yet another pair. Same thing. What is wrong with my feet?

I immediately had a flashback to a recent eye appointment when the doctor said the “B” word. My eyes welled up when he said I needed bifocals. Yep, BIFOCALS! He followed it up with, “I’m sorry, Dana. That just comes with AGE.” He could have just said it was in my genes and not mentioned anything about age at all.

I looked down at my bare feet. Are my feet changing? Surely the years of working while on my feet could not have contributed to this. Is this, yet again, because of my AGE? Do I now have OLD feet? Will I ever be able to purchase another pair of sandals based solely on looks? Then it hit me. Will I have to make future buying decisions based on the “C” word – COMFORT? Yuck!

Luckily, the next pair of sandals I tried on were comfortable. They were cute. I can do this. After all, I eventually got used to my bifocals. It took a lot of practice walking and using the stairs with them on. By the end of my try-on ritual, I had quite a pile of “go” shoes. The upside to this is that I now have the space available to buy new “comfortable” and cute sandals for the warmer months. My husband is so excited.

Just like the rest of our parts, our feet change, too. This is completely normal at ANY age. We put a lot of miles on our feet with all the walking, standing, running and physical activity over the years. Our feet spread out in width and length and they lose natural cushion. Don’t try to cram your foot into a size eight because that’s what you’ve always been, it’s harmful. Don’t be afraid to try on a half or whole size when needed. Be kind to your feet.

A comfortable shoe not only feels great for our feet, but it will greatly benefit our legs, hips and posture. I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you — for young AND old feet.

KEEN: I am totally against wearing shoes and socks during the summer, so I bought my first pair of Keen sandals last year. I definitely got my money’s worth. They’re versatile and as rugged as a shoe. I’ve thrown them in the washing machine and they come out looking brand new. And — they’re so “comfortable.” Keen offers a variety of colors and styles to appeal to your own sense of style.

Keen Shoes

B.O.C. by BORN: For someone with OLD feet, I have no problem wearing my B.O.C. wedges all day or all night. They are light-weight and have soft, comfortable cushioned insoles. The leather is full grain, high quality and soft. The great thing about B.O.C. is they only carry over a few styles from year to year (their best-sellers), so you’re sure to find something new and fresh, and “comfortable” every season.

B.O.C Shoes

DANSKO: Whether you are a huge fan of their clogs, or not, you really need to try on a pair of Dansko sandals. They are lightweight and have full foot support for all day comfort. The outsoles are flexible and provide energy return — and they are great for your posture. If your only attraction to shoes is based on shelf appeal, throw that out the window and try these babies on.

Dansko Sandals

TELIC: These sandals deliver awesome cushioning that recharges and rejuvenates your entire body. They allow the body to relax after long runs, grueling workouts, and other strenuous activities. Telic headquarters are here in Boise. Best of all, they are 100 percent made in the United States.

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I know my piles of “uncomfortable” shoes will find their way to good homes. Probably homes with young feet. I’m excited to introduce my new sandals to the free space in my closet. And I have learned the “C” word isn’t such a bad thing.

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