Born and raised in a very free, sub tropical environment by the beach I have little memory of wearing shoes. In fact my feet literally feel like a stranger’s pair of feet when they are covered in shoes and especially boots. I can’t feel the ground, I am unable feel the contours of the path I am walking on and I don’t actually feel grounded.

Like many of us I have used and abused my feet in more ways than one – from dancing outdoors barefoot in the forest for days to walking on burning hot tarmac and through rubble and grime in the backstreets of some far off city who’s name I can’t pronounce. My feet are a vehicle for life, I am not a girly girl and get pedicures on a regular basis, in fact I have only ever had two in my entire life and the second one was only a few months ago! Sure, I cut my own toe nails and polish them myself occasionally but with a daily yoga practice the polish flakes away in no time and ends up in the fine cracks of my yoga mat.

It wasn’t until a few months ago when I somehow sprained a tendon in my ankle that I had ever even considered taking care of my arches. Being a long time dancer and having naturally high arches I have been happily walking around feeling the earth beneath my feet and living in flip flops for years. Like seriously, YEARS! As we get older our bone density changes and the weight is distributed differently which can also impact on our arches and this ripple effect travels up to the knees, hips, spine, shoulders etc. – I am sure you are following!

So I found myself with a sprained tendon in my ankle and talking to absolutely everyone to find out as much about it as I could. I had acupuncture, medical qigong treatments, stuck heat patches on it, I sat in daily meditation with it and did myofascial release yoga classes. I readjusted the way I walked, how I got off my scooter here in Bali so my foot wouldn’t twist as I stepped off and I even stopped all standing poses in my yoga practice for a period of time. Finally, slowly and surely it healed but it took time, even 3 months after it happened I could still feel a twinge of pain if my ankle was stretched too much in a certain direction. After this experience I made a promise to my ankles and arches that I would take good care of them as there are many other amazing and beautiful places I want to walk on and absorb the energy through my feet.

Enter the dorky shoes. Lol! I bought these shoes because I was told by a chiropractor friend to help heal the sprain I need to take care of my arches, like ASAP and in doing so it would prevent this happening again, I would never imagine in my wildest dreams that I would wear or even enjoy wearing these. If you are an avid wearer of these shoes then I salute you, smart move and please don’t be offended here. You have been doing your arches and entire body a healthy service!

To be honest I am not 100% comfortable wearing them and only wear them if I know I am walking a lot that day.  Plus I can’t wear them with everything, being a Libran we have a sensitivity of feeling balanced with our outer attire which means that for these shoes I can’t mix and match them with any big bold crazy colours as it makes me feel too chaotic, like way too busy in my feet area and being predominately an air sign this is not cool!

So my experience so far…. Once I managed to find a way to rock the shoes while wearing some plain coloured leggings I am shy to admit but they are not half bad…! I have noticed the difference in my posture when I wear them, I feel taller and I walk with a tiny bounce in my step which is from the soft cushioning in the heel – bonus!

Last week here in Bali a snake slid across the path we were walking on and I swear the shoes saved me because it happened so fast and I jumped high and bounced around trying to avoid it. If I was wearing flip flops there would be no way I could have done that so easily and effortlessly. Slowly slowly I will get used to them but my feet still crave the feeling of soft grass, grainy sand and the earthy delights, which have moulded my relationship to walking on this sacred earth.

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