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I am not a big fan of shoes. I roll my eyes at the stereotype that women are crazy for shoes, especially for shoes that are expensive or uncomfortable to wear but look good. I think Sarah Jessica Parker has a lot to answer for, especially since I’ve read stories that say she messed up her feet after years of wearing heels. Since I live with chronic pain I just do not understand why people would intentionally put themselves in pain just to fit into a certain pair of shoes.

Before fibro (B.F.), I cared that shoes were cute, fit reasonably well, and weren’t that expensive. My mother took me to Payless when I was younger and we’d find something with plenty of room to grow in the toe box. When I started making my own money, I moved up to Sears and Penney’s (I am from a small town–those stores are as fancy as it gets for me, unless Dillard’s is having a sale). After fibro (A.F.), the only thing I care about in shoes is fit and comfort. I actually don’t mind if shoes are on the expensive side (which for me means $60-$100) if the shoes are from a brand that I know makes long-lasting shoes. As for looks–well, I don’t want to wear the exact same style as my 70 year old aunt who has had two knee replacements, but cuteness isn’t much of a factor anymore.

So I feel like I got lucky when I bought a new pair of shoes that were comfy, not-too-expensive and cute. I went to Dillard’s for the sales and looked for the Clark’s section since they’ve been a good brand for my A.F. feet. I ended up getting the Arbor Jade style.

Clarks Arbor Jade shoes--a little worn-in and dusty

Clarks Arbor Jade shoes–a little worn-in and dusty


they have a soft sole that is comfortable and provides more support than your average shoe, but it is a little on the slim side–if you have serious arch issues you might need to add a liner. The style is cute and they make my feet look small (this is an added bonus because my feet are size 10W or 10.5W and pretty much never look small). The part that I like best about them is that they fit snugly without binding or hurting my feet. For some reason, A.F. I have wanted my clothes and shoes to fit snugly. Snugly bit not tight, which can be hard to manage, but can be done as long as there’s stretch involved. The material of the shoes feels stretchy and not binding, so even if I wear the shoes for hours they don’t end up hurting my feet that much. Of course, when you are A.F. shoes will end up hurting sometimes no matter how comfortable they are. But when you’re A.F. you have to take what you can get. And thankfully there are brands out there that will give you something you can live with that still looks cute.