Who doesn’t run around all day, squashing their poor feet in ill-fitting shoes, those you can’t toss because you paid a fortune and don’t want to waste even a day’s worth of usage. When you are working on construction sites, you step on metal debris, you slip and twist your ankle, and you risk life and limb. You think twice about keeping those not yet worn out shoes and you get ready to trade them in for something soothing and comfortable. You wish you were a nurse and had those soft slip ons with insoles for extra padding. You know the kind that look like clogs but are better constructed and not so rigid. Shoes are our support and we should not take what we put on our feet lightly, as we often do. We go home with swollen toes and aching ankles. We soak in a hot tub, but why did we get this far anyway?

I think I had been suffering too long by the time I started griping about my shoes. Guess why? I am a builder with flat feet trying to execute multiple jobs all at the same time with little to no pain. It got to be time to talk to the doctor. I have a friend who recommended a podiatrist, a specialist in matters of the feet. I had the flatness checked out, verified, and learned that there is, in fact, little that you can do other than wear insoles, just as I thought. Hence the thoughts about getting nurses shoes. Would I be laughed off the job by my cronies? The doctor mentioned that in addition to clogs there are re-enforced sneaker styles that do as good a job. He recommended a particular brand that are light weight, provide good support, and well made to last and last. They are typically worn by hospital staff and that in itself is a great testimonial.

Shoes are kind of a status symbol so I wasn’t sure what an odd-looking sneaker was going to do for my image. Probably not a lot more than clogs would. I simply have to let people know about ol’ flat foot and get some sympathy. They will understand my lack of fashion sense while at the same time they will admire my practicality and common sense. So I did get the sneakers in a basic grey mesh that will go with everything—particularly my ubiquitous khakis. Maybe I will start a new fad. Ha! A cabinet maker on one job said I have to admire your guts. Someone else muttered something about being in the wrong place. Didn’t I need to get my way to the hospital. I love a sense of humor.

Meanwhile, flat foot problem solved no matter the consequences. The shoes added to the general camaraderie on the construction site and I may go out and get another pair in black. I will not risk a second of pain for my feet and will rotate the shoes as the need arises.