I spent most of my college years working in retail. Chances are if you went to college, the retail world isn't totally unfamiliar to you either, and like many clothing store employees I had to stand up during my entire shift (this was usually somewhere between 4-6 hours with a small break). The standing up part was pretty standard, but at the particular store where I worked the longest we were asked to model the merchandise on our feet as well as our bodies.
Here's where the real problem comes in...this particular store did not sell anything resembling a full shoe. They only sold flip flops. That means that for approximately 20 hours a week for almost 3 years, rain or shine, winter or summer, I was standing up and wearing flip flops. Seriously? Yeah...unfortunately, this company was too focused on image to worry about their employees' feet, and I was too young to worry when my elders commented that I "needed more support" or I'd "be sorry later."
Clearly that day has arrived, and it wasn't too long after that I began to experience the increasing symptoms of plantar fasciitis. I didn't know that's what it was at the time, but after a trip to the podiatrist and a necessary pair of Powerstep insoles (these are amazing too - I use these when I'm wearing shoes without arch support), I realized I had done some real damage.
Since then I decided I would make a marked effort to take much better care of my feet with the idea that this condition could improve, and even go away. Of course it didn't, which makes sense given that scientists still aren't even sure what actually causes it. Then again, I'm a glutton for punishment and I ended up in another series of jobs that required standing for long periods of time. I've done it all, and standing!
Working outside at a local plant stand I met a coworker who introduced me to Chacos and my feet have been thanking her ever since. Chacos were perfect for my outdoor job, because not only are they approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), which means they're as comfortable as ugly old people shoes, but they're also machine washable and virtually indestructible!
I know I already said they were comfortable, but when you're used to having your heels feel like they're on fire, or your arches pulling like an old rubberband, you will feel like the word comfort is leaving your vocabulary.
Now that I've started my own business where I also, again, spend several hours at a time on my feet helping people organize, Chacos have become an important investment, a trusted travel buddy, and basically a necessity. I now have a full on love affair going with my Chacos, and have since become a little obsessed. I even had 4 pairs at one point, and am currently considering another. [Here's my favorite style] I don't go out of town without them, and my favorite pair has enjoyed many vacations around the world (see below for my favorite Chaco memories). It's a problem, but not a bad one to have, so thank you Chaco!
So, the moral to this story (besides go buy yourself some Chacos) is that shoes are important, because they make or break your feet, which impacts your overall health and happiness! Our feet are the base of our entire body, and we use them tirelessly and many times without even realizing the miles and stress we are putting on them. Don't get yourself into the foot "situation" that I got myself into - care for your feet before they demand to be cared for and they will thank you.
There's no longer the excuse of compromising on look for comfort, because Zappos exists and it's basically a shoe encyclopedia So, if Chacos don't strike your fancy there are thousands of other pairs out there waiting to make your feet happy...though I doubt their ability to measure up. ;)
*This is not a paid advertisement for Chacos. All content of this blog is drawn from my honest opinion and experience. I really do love Chacos that much!