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These Shoes Were Made for Walking

An old song about standing up for your rights – “These boots were made for walking and I am going to walk right out on you” – apropos when I am thinking about spending 3 weeks walking.

Several years ago (quite a large number of years ago) my left knee started to ache all the time when I was sitting. I remember being at a ballet performance in the big city and my knee just screamed in pain through the entire experience.

About 5 years ago, one of the toes on my left foot just felt strange all the time, as though you were putting your hand up to another’s hand and feeling the fingers pressed together – we called it the dead finger test.

My hips were nearly always popping in and out of joint and the small of my back was just exhausted all of the time.

I walked and walked, lifted weights, took supplements and a couple of pharmaceuticals and was told I had moderate to severe arthritis in my knee, hips, and toes. When I slipped and fractured 3 bones and tore 3 ligaments in my left foot, I found out that there was no sign or evidence of arthritis.

In the meantime, a group of us took the pledge to stop wearing shoes that were not comfortable and only wear shoes that we felt good wearing.

Right now I walk 6.5 miles every morning around the Lake. I finished off having my hips centered in March at the Chiropractor and I began looking for comfortable shoes I could wear walking on my tour of Scotland.

I am also in recovery from a torn ligament which holds digestive organs in place – we think this happened in yoga class but not for sure?

I went to sporting goods stores, running shoes stores, and searched on line; I even glanced at the $400 pair of sneakers Mrs. Obama wore to a school one day.

On a trip to the big city, I came across a store called The Walking Company. They sell shoes – lots of shoes. They are primarily an online company but it was nice to discover them at an actual store. The clerk actually interviewed me about my habits, routines, and what I needed a shoe for; he then made a recommendation of a Swiss Shoe call the MBT.

new shoes

I tried on the shoe that they had in my size and walked around in the store. The pain in the small of my back was relieved – immediately. My posture was improved – immediately. My hamstring muscles in the back of my legs felt a gentle pull and release. Because the shoes move on a rocking motion, my daughter was sure that I would twist my ankle or fall down.

I was told I could order the style I wanted and they would be delivered to my home in about 2 days from the warehouse. I could wear them around home, watch the video, and if they did not work for me – I could return them within a month’s time. The shoes were about $100 more than I wanted to spend, but with the return guarantee I decided to give them a try.

I wore them around the house for three weeks. I loved standing in them while I prepared things at the sink or when was on my feet for a number of hours at a time – no small of the back pain or stiffness. I decided I would keep the shoes, they did the trick.

I now have nearly 300 miles of walking on the shoes. No knee pain, no hip disjointing, no small of the back pain, my toe is back to feeling normal, the circulation in my feet is improving, and my posture is just getting better and better all the time. I am not taking any supplements for joint pain and have almost no inflammation – one ankle is still problematic in the heat.

I chose the sandal style, see related picture, and I will choose the shoes again; saving money to do just that. Isn’t it just wonderful when you find something that works?

What have you found that just works for you? Makes you feel better and better? And what do you think about comfortable shoes?

Looking forward to your comments – they are greatly appreciated and add so much to each post – thank you.

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30 Responses to “These Shoes Were Made for Walking”

  1. Mama Zen Says:

    I’m getting some of these immediately!

    Mama Zens last blog post..Fluffy, Fluffy Bunnies

  2. Betsy Wuebker Says:

    Some shoes hurt me just looking at them. I worked in the garment industry and ruined my feet on the streets of NY and on store floors with pretty shoes. I’m built for comfort now, not for speed. There is nothing worse than chronic pain as you go about your daily routine. I know you’ll be taking these to Scotland!

    Betsy Wuebkers last blog post..THE FLAME OF LIBERTY STILL BURNS

  3. Dot Says:

    I’ve never had a pair of shoes that didn’t hurt. New Balance sneakers are the most comfortable. I gave up wearing shoes that hurt a lot a long time ago, but still haven’t found a pair like yours. Going to read about them.

    Dots last blog post..My Mother Has Passed

  4. Talon Says:

    Wow, those shoes sound incredible. Going to check those out! Sounds like you’ve got the perfect footwear to make your walking tour truly fantastic!

    Talons last blog post..Night sounds…

  5. Vered - MomGrind Says:

    Wow, these sound great. I’m still wearing uncomfortable shoes too often, although I never wear very high heels or pointy shoes.

    Vered – MomGrinds last blog post..Retouching As An Act Of Kindness

  6. Patricia Says:

    Mama Zen,
    I sure do hope that they work for you – I saw on the video that there were many styles and for men also

    Betsy,
    All of my early jobs were waitressing, ice cream store – hours on my feet and lots of concrete floors to work on – ouch no more! Join our comfort shoe pledge!

    Dot,
    I feel like trying to find a comfortable pair of shoes is just a nightmare at times. I hear you.

    Talon,
    Do check these shoes out – what a difference (I wish I had an affiliates icon for these!)

    Vered,
    I gave up on the heels and pointy shoes early on – it was just not worth it and hard to sing in the really high ones…I am going to wear these to Scotland and to SF for Thanksgiving.
    Two other walkers told me this morning that they could tell a difference in my legs – much firmer and the compliments on my posture are fabulous

  7. Mark Says:

    It is amazing how when we open ourselves up to all the possibilities how a problem can be solved. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Marks last blog post..Are You At The End of Your Rope?

  8. Patricia Says:

    Mark,
    Open and possibilities are such wonder full words!

  9. Mary Jane Bradley Says:

    Trish, I can’t wait to drive to Independence Center tomorrow and check out this store for myself. My husband has developed a really painful big toe – probably due to arthritis – his first sign — The dr gave him a pad to wear under his foot, and it helped tremendously. I’m thinking that these shoes might be just the thing to give him relief without medical intervention at this point.

  10. Davina Says:

    Hi Patricia. That’s great that you found these shoes. They look a lot like a pair I bought years ago when I was planning a trip to Austria. The trip never happened, but I still have the shoes. When I was in college I wore high heels, but now I wear them rarely. I’m quite comfortable in sandals and flats. And I have rather large feet so finding a good pair of dressy shoes that don’t make my feel look huge is a real challenge.

    I’m glad that you have been able to make walking such a regular part of your schedule. You must feel pretty good about that. You’ll be in great shape for all the walking on your Scotland trip.

    Davinas last blog post..On the Edge of Being

  11. J.D. Meier Says:

    One thing that always surprised me about shoes is that I can’t predict which ones will work out the best.

    I always have to test them. And by test them, I mean literally walk in them for a week and gauge the results. Some of the shoes I’ve expected to like the most, I’ve liked the least and vice-versa. I guess it’s one of those things that has so many variables that it really is about testing your results.

    J.D. Meiers last blog post..Find Your Unique 20 Percent Spike

  12. Robin McMaster Says:

    Shoes! The bane of my life. I also must be very choosy with shoes, have spent a fortune on shoes that later was unable to wear, and would love to look cute once in a while without pain. Ah well, “when I get to heaven, gonna put on my shoes, gonna walk all over God’s heaven.” Scotland is gorgeous, too. I will try these shoes. Thanks from your Cottey classmate.

  13. patricia Says:

    Mary Jane,
    There are lots of styles for men and women, and I found the CD very helpful with the shoes, they really exercise your feet and the back of your legs. I don’t know if they will help, but the 2 weeks of practice in them are great testing times.

    Davina,
    One pair of shoes I bought will just not work at all, even for the dressy nights. I love to go walking and just feel better when I do, these shoes help my posture and to gain results

    JD
    As I said above, testing is important and one pair of shoes I got will not do at all. When I do buy walking shoes I was always having to get mens to fit the lift in to assist my hip placement – now I don’t have to wear the lift at all … Ahh Comfort

  14. Patricia Says:

    Robin from Cottey – I do remember you!

    Welcome, welcome and are not shoes of comfort hard to find? Wow! I have so many shoes that just did not work out…I think I am taking these shoes and a pair of older sneakers for the trip – skip the fancy shoes – I go for comfort all the time now.

    Good luck at finding the comfort…

  15. Robin Says:

    Hi Patricia – Fantastic! I had a similar experience with a pair of sandals I bought last summer – they are Keen, a type of hiking sandal, I suppose, and they made me feel more energetic instantly, plus are comfortable over a period of time. I’d been having foot issues, so was getting desperate, and was so glad to find them (and they are grey plastic with apple green suede, and with grey and yellow touches – very fetching!) You must be leaving soon?

    Robins last blog post..Counterclockwise, by Ellen Langer

  16. Barbara Swafford Says:

    Hi Patricia,

    I just answered your comment on my post about you falling down. Did you have these shoes on? Hopefully they’re not the cause of your fall.

    The shoes sound phenomenal.

    I hate uncomfortable shoes. If they don’t feel good the moment I put them on, forget it. I know they’re not going to get better. In years past I wore stylish shoes, but now I’m all about comfort.

    P.S. I pray you’re feeling better. Keep me posted.

    Barbara Swaffords last blog post..Embracing The Distractions In Life

  17. Patricia Says:

    Robin,
    Isn’t it great when you find the best comfort – I have a several pair of KEEN sandals but they hurt my smallest toes after awhile, my husband just got a pair of KEEN with biking cleats – he wears them to work! Aren’t we glad there are different kinds to fix different feet.

    Barbara,
    I was wearing these shoes when I fell – up the curb so to speak – and I can not believe how they worked for me even in the fall – plus my yoga training…my hands took the worst and then my knees – with no broken skin – ice has reduced the knees to just sore if you touch them and a small bruise on it…the face swelling is down all the way and no bruising…the palms of the hands are awful, but the shoes allowed me to kind of roll into “down dog” stance and my hands pushed up my head and face in another pose….I have sore back muscles and upper arms, but I would say the rolling of the shoes and the yoga response was a blessing…I am doing very well this morning…very well.

    These shoes just relieved the tension in the small of my back within minutes of putting them on….yep that first moment of comfort what a blessing.

  18. Barbara Swafford Says:

    Hi again Patricia,

    I was just doing some research on the MBT shoes. The reviews are all so positive.

    I’m adding MBTs to my wish list. They sound awesome. Thank you for letting us know about them.

    P.S. I hope you feeling better today. :)

    Barbara Swaffords last blog post..Embracing The Distractions In Life

  19. Tara@Sticky Fingers Says:

    Ooo ooo ooo. I have a pair of MBTs too and love love love them. However, mine a shoe types and rubbish in the summer so I bought myself a pair of Fit Flops.
    So I’m all ‘these can’t possibly work but I’ll give them a go’ (and they’re not cheap let me tell you). But oh boy, I can walk for miles in them. They are the comfiest pair of shoes I’ve ever worn. Bar none.
    I do torture my feet with unsuitable shoes, but then treat them with a day of Fit Flops!

    Tara@Sticky Fingerss last blog post..The day I met Kate Moss and her minions

  20. Patricia Says:

    Barbara,
    Much better today and no facial bruising – the shoes helped
    Do put the shoes on the wish list – well worth it.

    Tara,
    I just must take care of my feet these days – they are so valuable for your health – and the MBT are just life savers…have not tried the Fit Flops yet…Glad to hear another voice who is pro!

  21. JD Sullivan Says:

    Patricia,

    I am glad something so simple as a pair of shoes improved everything from your posture to hip and joint pain! Even though you did shell out more than you wanted to on them, the money you’re saving from joint supplements and such makes up for it.

    I still have not found a very comfortable pair of shoes yet in my day. I do like my feet to be surrounded by nice materials and such so it’s been hard. I have found a pair of diesel shoes that have a great arch already in them that feels very spongy when pressure is applied to it, in a good way :) I really should give my feet more comfort and tlc then they are currently getting! I’ll on a mission now.

  22. Patricia Says:

    JD,
    Just one day you wake up and say – I want comfortable shoes and my feet are worth it…I hope your mission goes well. I bought these shoes at the store in the downtown mall near you…

  23. Mary Jane (Logan) Bradley Says:

    Another Cottey classmate writes! Tom purchased a pair of MBT sandals today! He’s trying them out at home, but so far thinks it’s really “weird!” No pressure on his arthritic big toe! So that’s great. He got the enclosed toe sandal. Looks really nice. He also purchased some shoe inserts that help his other shoes that he wears a lot. I’ll let you know how it goes. As far as price, for a really good quality pair of shoes, I don’t think these are out of line.

  24. patricia Says:

    Mary Jane,
    They feel very weird until you start realizing how much relief you are getting from them – watching the video several times really helped me adjust to them also. Oh I do hope they work out for him and I do not think the price was too much as they have helped me so much – they are worth every penny.
    Thank you for coming on by…and sharing.

  25. Metropolitan Mum Says:

    Now you’ve got me convinced. I held them in my hands a hundred times and couldn’t quite believe that they should make such a difference. I shall give it a try, really. Have to admit that I do torture my feet, too. With all the wrong kind of shoes.

    Metropolitan Mums last blog post..Wednesday Weigh-In Vol.7. Or: I’m losing it

  26. patricia Says:

    Metropolitan Mum
    Welcome to the site and yes! yes! stop torturing you feet. It takes awhile to get used to them but I think finding foot comfort is vital to good health.
    I think they should give me an affiliates button! I am a walking, joyous ad for these shoes.

    Good luck. Thank you for the comment

  27. Jeanne Says:

    Patricia,

    Those sandals look amazing! Two summers ago, we found a really cool shoe store with only high-quality shoes. Sadly, they were in a going-out-of-business sale the day we found them. I say sadly because my husband and I both found sandals there that blew away anything we had been wearing. Plus, we really felt badly for the store owners, who were very helpful. The good news was we got a huge discount.

    So we made our purchases and off we went with our high-quality sandals that we’d gotten at a real steal. They were more comfortable than my sneakers and I was grateful for that! However, my numerous health problems (most especially neuropathy in my feet) were not as responsive to my new sandals as I had hoped. :( In any event, I felt there had to be something better out there.

    As time went on “the phenomenon” around me grew and grew. What phenomenon, you ask? The Croc phenomenon.

    As first, I dismissed them as “ugly”. Then, I dismissed them as a hyped-up fad. Then, tons of kids started wearing them. Then, people I knew/liked started raving about them to me. (We’re talking people raving about Crocs to me the way you’re raving about your sandals here). One person after another told me tales of this health problem or that which responded to Crocs dramatically.

    So, last summer I did it. I bought some Crocs. Patricia, I won’t wear anything else now! Seriously. Not even those expensive sandals I had bought.

    The only time I have stepped foot out of my house in anything others than Crocs was this past winter when I threw my husband’s sub-zero-approved winter boots on for REALLY cold, snowy days.

    I even wore my Crocs on snowy days (provided it wasn’t too deep)… and I have Raynaud’s Disease! That is how much Crocs have helped me. My feet, knees, and back all do better with Crocs than with anything else I’ve ever worn (including a few expensive, high-quality items). My foot neuropathy is WAY better! On top of that, they are so inexpensive! (These are real Crocs. I can’t vouch for “fake Crocs”).

    In any event, I have never been so attached to a pair of shoes in my life. Literally. They are beyond awesome!

    Jeanne

    P.S. Now that you know the exact brand/type of shoe that you like, there is a mail-order company my acupuncturist had told me about called Zappos. They are really good with returns and customer service. So if you ever want to replace those when they wear out or get a spare pair, it might come in handy to know you can probably mail-order them. They are super-fast (we got my husband’s sneakers from there) and they have a wide inventory, including high-quality shoes/European sizes, etc.

    Jeannes last blog post..Hummingbird Happiness

  28. Patricia Says:

    Jeanne,
    Oh when our feet feel good! nothing can compare. I have my whole group of comfort shoe people in CROCS and I wish I had my whole group of diabetic folks in Crocs, but they are not as open to change in diet or shoes.
    Sketchers have also come out with a rolling shoe which are about $100 less than my MBTs…and I picked a Maryjane style for dress up days on my trip. The MBT have dress men’s shoes and work shoes – just no high heels…and lots of running, sneaker styles.

    I found a CROCS store in Hawaii and came home with 3 new pair – I wear them exclusively before I found the MBT, but they just do not work for my 5.5 miles of speed walking the Lake in the morning…My husband has Reynaud’s too and he loves his Croc flip flops at home…

    Oh we are getting some good stuff here and referrals for our comfort shoe list – thank you for sharing such good “stuff”

    Patricias last blog post..Understanding Agenda For a New Economy ~ David Korten

  29. Cordieb Says:

    Wow! I can’t believe I’m reading this! :) I now have all the symtoms you described above on my left side. . .from the bottom of my spine down to the left side of my left foot. I’m on day 12 of prednizone…along with other drugs, in an effort to relieve me of some of the discomfort! I’m 45 and too was told it’s artheritis – along with injury to the lower spine. Now I’m wondering, if a good pair of walking shoes, like the ones you have, would do the trick. This only started for me about 6 weeks ago, and it was all of a sudden. It’s definitely worth looking into! Thanks for sharing!!!!

    Cordiebs last blog post..A Spiritual Riddle – by CordieB

  30. patricia Says:

    Cordieb,
    I just walked for 20 days in the UK in these shoes and had no pain. I also had a pair of Sketcher’s Shape Ups which are similar but they did not do the the trick for me for all that walking – they are comfortable and less money.

    I want my husband to get a pair of the MBT dress shoes for work or for running too as he has RA.

    The only pain I have any more – on the trip was that my knees hurt and swelled from sitting on the tour bus too many hours of the day -and a massage has helped that situation.

    Good luck – I love my posture in these shoes also…about 500 miles on mine now…I need a new pair – they have been so worth it.