Call Me Bigfoot
My feet were hurting in the hiking shoes I got two years ago. That was odd. They were comfortable when I bought them, and they were still in good shape. I kept trying to wear them, but finally gave up on them, and went shoe shopping while I was in the States. I was shocked by what I found.
I’ve worn size 43 European (more or less American size 9.5) for decades, but absolutely nothing in that size fit anymore. As a joke, I went up a half size to 10s. That was better. Then 10.5. I walked out with a pair of those.
I couldn’t find any information online about it. I emailed my brother-in-law, a custom boot maker in Colonial Williamsburg. He said, “the soft connective tissue is what is expanding…” Apparently a year and a half of walking around barefoot or in toe shoes allows feet to resume a more natural shape.
Okay, that was nice to know, but I still had a problem. Where could I find a new pair of shoes? The 10.5s I bought weeks earlier just didn’t fit right. The arch was all wrong. After going to half a dozen shoe stores, I learned that my feet have grown in width, not really in length. Nearly all shoes sold in America have a width of D. The next size up is 2E, then the next size up from that is 4E. I did find a pair of Asics GT-1000 running shoes that mostly fit. They are white with neon blue highlights, but I took them anyway. Just call me Flash. Or Bigfoot.
The only pair of shoes that still truly fits well are my FiveFinger KSO toe shoes. I hope they hold together for a long time, because they are getting hard to find, even in Dallas. They cost twice as much on this side of the world.
When I came back to Papua New Guinea, I told one of the doctors here, “My feet have been expanding!”
She waved me off. “Oh, that happens to everyone here.”