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Sacrificing Fashion In The Name Of Painless Feet

I'm a big fan of Craig Wilson who writes The Final Word column for USA Today.  When I have a chance, I attempt to scan a variety of morning papers, with USA Today being one of my favorites.

I have become very fond of Craig's column which offers many unique insights about life.  He has a great sense of humor, but more importantly he knows how to cut to the chase on life's little hassles which really don't matter all that much, even though some people think they do.

In his July 30, 2008 column Craig examined whether it is appropriate to go sockless in certain shoe situations.  I found his column amusing and entertaining.  Little did I know that sock controversy would strike in my own life in a matter of days.

The event that triggered my sock trauma was not one, not two, but six, major fashion related trade shows I had traveled to New York to visit over a two day period.

Not a newbie to trawling up and down endless aisles of booths stuffed with an array of handbags, hats, wraps, scarves and other similar items, I had suffered the painful after-effects in the form of major blisters, swollen ankles and toes.

Usually I would try to look at least partially cool since I was buying from some really awesome designers.  I would slap on suffocating pantyhose and a pair of cute ballerina flats.  The result?  The inability to even look at my feet, which were barking for days.  Not to mention suffering through the uncomfortable sizzling heat generated by pantyhose and accompanied by waves of sweat.  Yuck.

I recently got smart and invested in Nike's Mary Janes for walking the show floors.  They look semi-fashionable and they offer good protection while walking the miles and miles of fashion booths.  However, they are designed to be worn with socks.

Which is where the rub came in.  Should I go fashionably sock less for the sake of being chic or put foot comfort above the cool factor?  The foot comfort won out.  After first slathering my feet with the amazing Peaches & Boo Boo lotion designed to prevent blisters and skin rubbing (that stuff really works) I slipped on a pair of matching Nike black sock with white trim.  Which worked beautifully with my MaryJane shoes which are shiny black with tasteful splashes of white trim.  I combined my socks and shoes with a short flowly dressy/casual dress to look a little more professional and because it was so hot outside.

After I was all dressed I stopped to look in the mirror.  To my dismay,  I truly looked like an escapee from the fashion police.  I debated about shucking the whole sock idea but remembered Craig Wilson's column and his confession of going sock less while wearing a summer suit.  Even though my situation was reversed, thinking about Craig without shoes in a suit gave me the courage to shuffle ahead, covered in my socks.

OK, so I still felt lame and uncool, but as I glided down never ending rows of trendy fashionistas selling their designs, I noticed some of the smartly dressed reps attired in towering stillettos.  Yes, they looked very cool, but several also appeared to be limping along as they paced in their booths.

I can not even begin to imagine the foot aftermath from 12 hours days standing on a concrete floor in 6" heels.  Definitely not worth the cool factor for me.

Whew! I'm so glad that I threw fashion to the wind in the name of my feet and was fortified by the knowledge that others struggle with proper sock etiquette.  Although my tootsies were a little tired, they looked normal size and there wasn't a blister in evidence.

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