Day 76: Wear shoes that are one size too small.

The idea is that the removal of the not-quite-big-enough shoes will produce pleasure, or something.

I don’t need a special day to do this – I am always happy to take my shoes off. Isn’t everyone?

The best pair of shoes I have ever owned was purchased for me by my parents, back in the summer of 2000 – I was going off to college, and entertaining wild ideas about running for fun, and thought I needed shoes in which to pursue that ridiculous activity. So I convinced my parents to get me some Saucony Shadows. Green ones.

I didn’t really do any running in those shoes, but I wore them everywhere, and they eventually were worn out enough that I couldn’t wear them “out” anymore. I didn’t get rid of them, though, because they’re the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned. They became my yardwork/chainsawing/whatever shoes. I still have them, actually, and still wear them. They’ve been entirely caked with mud at least twice, most recently when I spent a few days in the mud under the house trying to fix a broken copper water line.

This isn’t a post about those shoes, though: it’s about the boots I wore today.

Cowboy boots, specifically, that used to belong to Lorna’s grandfather, who died about six months before we got married. They’re great boots, but I almost never wear them, because they’re about a half-size too small, and the toes are pointy, and the heels of the boots are tall enough that they shove my toes even further into the pointy front of the boots. My toes don’t like that; my toes need room to spread out.

I wore them – well, not all day, but until about four o’clock this afternoon, when I switched to my Chacos (another amazing pair of shoes sandals, which I wear any time the temperature is above 50°F).

Incredibly, my feet felt fine at four. Now, I hadn’t done much walking: mostly I sat around on my in-laws’ back porch, drank some coffee, smoked a cigar, and finished (finally!) Hamlet. I’m sure if I’d walked even a mile in the boots, my feet would have been aching – but I didn’t, and so they didn’t. And I’ll definitely be wearing the boots more often: both because I’ve discovered that they’re not actually that uncomfortable, and because my wife likes them. A lot. Inordinately, I think, but I’m not going to argue with her when she tells me I look good.

I’ve learned that much, at least, over the last ten years.

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