Last year, my spouse bought me a pair of Legendary Cowboy Boots. Man, these are really cool-looking boots with 18-inch tall dark blue shafts, fancy stitching, and full quill black ostrich foot.
I wore these boots when we were married. They are very special to me. Very classy and good-looking. They go well with dress clothes or denim jeans.
On occasion, I wear these boots to work. Being a professional in a management position, I often have to dress up in slacks, dress shirt, & tie.
These boots also have 2-1/2-inch (6.4cm) underslung riding heels. And those heels have become a problem when I wear these boots to work …
I wore these boots all day on Monday. I didn’t realize how much walking I do on any given day at the office. I usually avoid the elevators, and walk up and down the stairs when I attend meetings. It is quite common for me to walk 5 to 10 flights of stairs several times a day to get to meetings on different floors of my building.
While I don’t go out to lunch, I usually take a walk during lunchtime. Monday was no exception. I didn’t walk fast-paced, but I walked about 3/4 of a mile.
When I got home from work on Monday, I changed boots (as usual) and didn’t think anything more about it. But man oh man, on Tuesday morning, my lower calfs were aching like hell! It felt as if I had stretched or strained the tendons or lower muscles in both of my legs. Ouch!
I wrote a friend who likes to wear higher-heeled cowboy boots to ask his advice. Should I have the heels replaced? How can I get over the feeling of dread and pain-avoidance and choose to wear these boots again?
Here is some of his sage advice:
I would try the following, in this order:
1. Wear them during off-times – like at home. For no more than a couple of hours. Do not wear them today or tomorrow. Give your feet a break because you strained something already and if you wear those boots you will exasperate the condition. But DO wear them before you consider having the heels changed.
2. It may be that your feet are wiggling around too much when you walk, too. Wear thicker socks (or two pairs of “gym” socks – I do that sometimes) so that your feet don’t shuffle around in your boots. Or you could have done something and hurt yourself without knowing it — lifted something, etc. — and the minor injury is manifesting itself when you wear those boots.
3. After several tries of this routine — thicker socks, a couple of hours here a couple of hours there — note if you have pain and where it is, so if you do take your boots to someone, they can help you. If there is no pain, continue to wear the boots, but NOT for the whole day. Also, don’t wear flat engineer boots one day, then go to high heels the next. Keep the height consistent over a few days. If you decide to wear your Legendary boots to work, fine, but bring a pair of regular lower heels with you too, as well as a bootjack, so you can adjust your footwear accordingly.
My friend wrote more, but what is above made great sense to begin with. The problem really is not with the heels, but is with me and my adjustment from wearing boots with low heels one day to much higher heels the next.
While I probably will not bring different boots to the office to change into during the day, the advice to wear these boots for shorter periods made a lot of sense. And I probably should not wear boots like that when doing as much physical exercise (stair climbing) as I do. That is what probably caused the problem in the first place.
Rather than give up about the only exercise that I get, I will choose to wear boots that provide support when I do that kind of exercise and walking.
Lesson learned — once again — the “right boots for the right application.” Who woulda thunk that the amount of walking that I do in a day makes choosing these boots inappropriate for me to choose to wear to work.
Life is short: appreciate sage advice from a friend.