The wearer knows where the shoe pinches
I’ve never seen so much snow in December, not a day passes without at least snow flurries. I wasn’t prepared for a full-fledged winter. My half shoes were warm enough and kept my feet dry – until the snow got too deep and started falling into the tops. By the time I decided I needed boots, the shelves were almost empty and I spent an inordinate amount of time shopping in the pre-Christmas hectic. I was almost ready to throw in the sponge. Well, I’m glad I didn’t because I needed the sponge later.
I thought I had found the perfect winter boots: They were waterproof, warm, my feet felt very comfy in them, they gave me good traction in the snow. The German expression ‘wo drückt der Schuh?’, literally translated ‘where does the shoe pinch?’, means ‘what’s the problem?’ So what was the problem? It wasn’t the feet as you might expect. But the English idiom ‘the wearer knows where the shoe pinches’ is so true. I soon felt painful pressure on the calf bone or fibula, the bone leading away from my ankle.
The first time I ventured out of the house with my new boots, after ten minutes every step became torture. I managed to get home by stuffing my wool glove into the shaft of the boot for protection. By the way, the gloves I had on were the ones I described in my previous blog entry. I didn’t realize they were going to be so extremely multi-functional.
Obviously, I had little choice but to break in the boots gently, step by step, since I needed snow-worthy footwear. I put them on for our next outing in the snow and carried my comfortable but too low shoes in my backpack, just in case. And to alleviate the pressure on my calf bone – the sponge, finally – I took a sturdy kitchen sponge, abrasive on one side and soft on the other and wedged it in between my ankle and the shaft of the boot. It worked fairly well, but it was wise that I brought a reserve pair of shoes with me. I changed from boots to shoes midway on our walk, and yes, the snow did fall into the tops, but that was definitely the lesser evil.