Pick Your Shoes

September 26th, 2011

Thank you to Leora Tanenbaum '91 for "Stepping Up" to the issue of smart footwear (POV, July/August). As a man, I have never faced the choice between high-heel style and low-heel practicality, but I have been torn by the more masculine choice of running marathons for glory or pacing myself for a healthful habit. Of course, I succumbed to the allure of the former. Despite the superior state of running shoe technology, middle-aged distance runners are susceptible to plantar fasciitis. This scourge brings such all-encompassing pain (you're fine as long as you can avoid standing or walking) that I opted without hesitation for a set of custom plastic shoe inserts—which kept the pain just bearable for the twelve months it took my fascia to "fully" heal. During those twelve months I looked with great resentment at the impractical footwear cavalierly worn by the younger generation. Stilettos, yes, but what about the arch-less flip-flops? To me, they looked like foot pain waiting to happen. Still do.

Andrew Speno '88


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September/October 2011