|If the boot fits
||[Dec. 3rd, 2016|02:59 am]
It feels weird to talk about something so basic, and so... I want to say "superficial", and I'm not sure if that's the right word. But I've debated even posting about this, and I still don't know if I'll click post.
So, I was boot shopping last weekend. Well, I was shopping and decided to look yearnfully at boots. Actually, I decided I was going to go in, look yearnfully at boots, convince myself that I was going to try some on, then chicken out, then skulk back into the shadows.
Y'see, my foot size is a bit bigger than most women's footwear brands cater for. Like, I'm a size 9, but most go to 8. But I had to get a new pair because my last old faithful pair of boots had to go away after I threw their heels in July. These boots were literally over a decade old, because it's really difficult for me to find good ones (and these were black velvet-ish ankle boots with a heel). Anything I find wearable has to, by sheer necessity of unavailability, last me a long time. And I have to put up with whatever pinches or quirks come with it.
Look, I get it, there's probably no stylish footwear for women that's actually comfortable, but the choices I need to make are deciding if that size 8 is liberal enough, or if I can dance with the pinching of something that's too narrow. Back in my late teens/early 20s, I put up with a lot. And there were a few pieces I loved dearly, because they were the closest I'd get to comfortable, and I genuinely felt constricted when they went away.
These days, I figure the best bet with brands is the high end crowds, but I'm too cowardly to ask for a size. I know what I look like. I know what I am. I know I am not the target audience. I tried Office one time, and that was a no-go. And I'm afraid of ordering online because I don't like returning things, and I really want to try it on before I even part money (even if it comes back to me with the return).
I've considered asking friends to come in and help me dither over footwear that wouldn't even fit, but I even chicken out at that.
So, I had a look in Evans, just to see. And sometimes I'd just fly-by the entrance, cursing myself for not going in. Sometimes I'd make it up the stairs to footwear, and I'd look. I'd leave as soon as I heard the sound of the staff using a vacuum cleaner. I convinced myself that I was getting odd looks from the security guard as I'd ghost in and ghost out of the shop, without buying anything.
But, last Sunday, I went in, and had a look.
Then I left. About half an hour later, I popped back in again. One of the staff told me to ask her if there was anything, so I asked if it was ok to try on something from the rack. By the way, this is not something I take as a given. I've had staff in other stores tell me I was looking at the wrong jeans, or that I was going to try on the wrong jeans and just sort of stare at me until I went away. I can not take this for granted.
She didn't miss a beat and said, "Sure, fire away". I tried the boot I was looking at. It was a 10, because the amount of times I've tried a 9 and it didn't fit, I just tried this. But it fit. What was weirder was it felt like there was a little too much room. But there wasn't a 9 in that style, so I tried another knee-high style in a 9. Fucking hell, it fit. Sure it was marked "extra wide", and the boot has room in the calf, even over my jeans, but it fit. So, I bought it.
The staff didn't bat an eyelid, and it was the Black Friday sale, so I got a chunk knocked off.
I seriously felt over the moon that day, because I had a black boot that fits me and is comfortable. I mean, seriously? This never happens. I never have a moment where I think, "No, hang on, this is too big", not with women's shoes. It just Never. Happens. But it did, last Sunday.
And at every point that I talk about this, I keep thinking that I'm concentrating on the wrong things, that I shouldn't even be talking about this. But, I found something that fits.
Compare that with getting a new pair of my regular black walking boots (which I did on Monday). I went into the Camping shop as an after-thought, tried on the boots as a mere formality and walked out again ten minutes later, boots in hand.
But yeah, I found a place that had something that fitted me, and the staff didn't seem to be trying to hide a smile of "that won't work, but go for it". I was able to see something and buy it.
And it feels weird that this feels like progress to me.