Love is in the air! And with Valentine’s Day fast approaching there is a surge of red and pink everywhere you look. But instead of talking about love we are going to turn everything February seems to stand for on its head and talk about divorce. You may be asking yourself already, where is this going? Why such a depressing subject so close to such a happy holiday? While the term divorce is generally defined as the legal division of partners in a marriage, a simpler definition is to think of divorce as a total separation.
We at the FAAWC want you to divorce yourself from your old shoes. Everyone knows what I’m talking about here. As soon as you read that, I’m sure at least one particular pair of shoes in your closet (or maybe even the ones currently on your feet) comes to mind. We all hold onto shoes we know are past their prime. Maybe they were super comfortable and you hope to find a similar pair in the future, but until you do you figure you’ll hold onto the old ones. Perhaps they were a gift from a special person or you wore them for a memorable occasion and just can’t toss them out for these emotional reasons. Right now we need to divorce you from these feelings and bring out your practical side. Here are some very practical and objective ways you can determine which shoes will be the love of your life and which should get kicked to the curb.
- Look at the soles. The pattern of raised lines on the bottom of your shoes is called the tread and just like the tread on your car tires, there are some very obvious visible signs that the tread is worn out. No one walks perfectly flat on their feet so don’t justify that the tread is still good if it’s only worn out in a few places. Obviously, these are the places that take the brunt of the force as you walk so these are the places that matter the most. If you set your shoes down on a flat surface and they don’t sit evenly, it’s time to divorce those shoes.
- Pay attention to your comfort. The materials inside our shoes are designed to cushion us as we walk and will compress due to the weight of our body. In new shoes, when we take the off, the materials bounce back to their original position. In older shoes, the materials wont go back to their original position, but will remain compressed. This means that you will be able to feel a difference in the comfort and support of the shoe when you walk in it. If a pair of shoes that used to feel like walking on clouds now feel like walking on rocks, it’s time to divorce them.
- Check for rips, tears, and holes. Okay, this one should be really obvious, but I myself have been guilty in the past of continuing to wear a pair of shoes that I justified as still good even though I could see me socks through it. Any visible signs of damage, signs of wear such as thinning materials in certain spots, or obvious distortions to the shape of your shoes mean that you need to divorce that pair.
- Smell your shoes. This may sound a little gross, but it’s important to stay alert to the smells emanating from our footwear. Sure, if you take your shoes off after a particularly hard and sweaty workout, there may be a bit of a smell, but if the smell lingers and wont go away even after trying commercial or homemade deodorizers, it’s a good sign that you need to divorce those shoes.
- Keep track of your miles. You don’t have to take this one literally, but you should have a general idea of how often you wear each of your pairs of shoes and how much activity you do in them. If you wear the same pair of shoes to work everyday, it may be a good idea to have two or three pairs of the same shoe so that you can alternate between. This will help each pair last longer and avoid the tragedy of your only pair wearing out and not being able to find that particular pair again. Unlike marriage, where the longer lasting it is, the better it is generally considered, if you’ve been with the same pair of shoes for years after years, it may be time to divorce them.
Separation can be difficult and throwing away shoes we love is something everyone avoids, but wearing a worn out pair of shoes can lead to serious foot problems and lots of time spent with your Podiatrist. Do yourself a favor this Valentine’sDay and divorce the shoes you know you should. After all, abandoning and old love means opening ourselves to a whole new love affair with a great new pair of shoes.