When I was a carefree teen I was exceptionally cruel to my poor feet. 6 inch heels with pointy toes were all the rage (well in the Midlands anyway) usually teamed with a ridiculously tight, short dress for nights out, no matter the weather. The picture? Not my legs or feet. Or shoes sadly.
I remember one particular occasion after a night drinking and dancing in Worcester where I worked on my first newspaper I ended up walking home to St Johns, across the bridge and the famous cricket ground. My shoes were crippling me so of course I too them off and walked the rest of the way barefoot. I fell into bed fully clothed and woke in the morning to find the soles of my feet encrusted with glass, sticks, dirt and goodness knows what else.
Through seven pregnancies my feet obviously took the brunt of my added load but I made sure that I wore comfortable shoes as the last thing you want is to aggravate already angry feet by forcing them into tight shoes. I didn't look particularly stylish but back in the 90's maternity wear was still more tent like than fashion-led. I had one particularly monstrous dress in Black Tartan with an actual bow at the neck. Google "Princess Diana maternity wear" and you will get a feel for the sort of terribleness I'm talking about.
Anyway. Fast forward to my fifties and my feet hurt. Like, all the time. I know many of my peers have similar issues - there's a reason women of a certain age (including me) have happily embraced the floral dress/denim jacket/white trainers look. I even wore flat canvas trainers when I was a bridesmaid!
To be fair nowadays even standard fashion trainers aren't comfortable nowadays and I buy a brand with memory foam insoles. But even they, in recent weeks, have not been as slipper-like as previously.
I don't know if it's age, the weather, the effect of my many health conditions or something else but now the most comfortable things to wear are those famous foam clogs which bizarrely have become the in thing for instagram influencers to wear.
Yes they make my feet look larger than Minnie Mouse's but since I've started wearing them away from the campsite I can appreciate why so may people have ignored the haters and embraced the trend.
I discovered the brand even do a more spring/autumn-friendly version with no holes round the bottom edge making them more waterproof and a fleecy lining to keep those tootsies toasty.
I also have some of those sheepskin boots which possibly look even less stylish than the foam mules but are perfect for those of us with toes prone to feeling the cold.
I look back at younger me with her 6 inch heels and crunched up toes and shake my head in pity. I don't think memory foam was even a thing back then and I certainly had never heard of Crocs or Uggs.
Thankfully, despite the abuse my feet suffered at the hands (?) of my younger self I don't have bunions or any other serious issues so I suppose it could be worse. But I totally get why people buy those foot spa things. I personally love the £1 foot masks you can get which I promise you will better than a soak and only take 15 mins to refresh, moisturise and soothe tired achy feet.