Buying Shoes For My Complicated Feet -- For Cheap!

Shoe shopping has not been easy for me, like ever. But it has gotten especially harder since I moved abroad. Shoe shopping has always led me to crying, because I can never find what I want in my size, and usually end up paying exorbitant prices for shoes I don't even like when I finally do find something that fits me.

When I was in the US in September, I stocked up on a bunch of dress shoes at Nordstrom Rack, and I'm really happy I did that, because now I finally have dress shoes that I like, that fit me, and are comfortable. (I only use a small amount of what I got, the rest is put away for when I need new shoes, and I'll just switch to some of the other pairs). I felt less of a need to buy sneakers for myself, because I can always go to the men's department for sneakers, which means that I can find them my size locally, even if they are expensive. I did look to see if they had good sneakers for myself while I was there, but I couldn't find anything specifically that was for my feet issues, so I decided not to just buy whatever.

Speaking of feet issues, about a year ago my feet were in incredible pain. I felt like the soles of my feet were constantly ripping, and my heels had sharp pains. This is a problem for someone who is working in cleaning, or teaching classes on her feet, or doesn't have a car. Ok, fine, painful feet is a problem, period, and it was making me very non functional. I went to a podiatrist who diagnosed me with plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis, and told me that my shoes were really bad for my feet, and were contributing to the issues I was having. He recommended that I get insoles for my plantar fasciitis and go buy myself some high quality name brand supportive sneakers, which, I'll admit, was hard for me to stomach, because I'm someone who grew up only ever wearing Payless shoes. But the shoes I was wearing were causing me pain. So a change needed to happen.

So I did. I bought myself a pair of high quality brand name supportive sneakers, but less than 3 months later, my shoes were already wearing down on the side and had holes in them, so I went to a shoe "specialist" who pointed out that I supinate, or under pronate, which means that my ankles lean outward, and I wear more on the outside of my shoe, which causes my shoes to end up leaning outward which makes my supination worse and my feet end up really hurting me and my shoes end up problematic for me. At this specialist shoe store, they didn't even have any shoes that were officially meant for supination, but they did find a shoe that was built stronger and would be suitable for someone with supination. And it cost $200, but they gave me a discount and "only" charged me $170.

Yes, expensive, but it meant that I was able to function. I was able to walk without being in pain, I was able to work and stand without being in pain, I was able to do my housework without being in constant pain. I wore them with inserts meant for people with plantar fasciitis, and yes it was expensive, but well worth it.
These shoes cost me a lot, but they lasted me 8 months. 8 months in which I was able to function.

And because I knew how expensive they were, and didn't want to have to all of a sudden shell out $170 dollars on a pair of shoes when mine broke, I set aside a line in my budget every month to go towards shoe replacements.

Mine aren't totally broken, but I have noticed that they already wore away at the side, which means that if I keep wearing them like that my feet will start to hurt again.

So I decided to do some research, and instead of just buying shoes locally, see what I could find that is ideal for my type of foot. I searched various websites for "best shoes for people with supination" and found extensive lists that compared and contrasted different shoes. I then searched Amazon for each of them that had points that were important to me, to see which were available in my size, and then which were available with free shipping to where I live. This already narrowed down the list tremendously.

Then I wanted to narrow it down further. We can import things tax free as long as it is under 75 dollars, so I wanted to see if I could find any shoes for under 75 dollars, and if not, I would have paid more, because it still would be better than the shoes I could buy locally, not to mention cheaper.

Fortunately I found these shoes that are only $52.88 and the reviews are decent and the price was right. I know that I do best with inserts in addition to the shoe, so I found these inserts for plantar fascitis with good reviews and were cheap, and then lastly I got these gel wedge inserts meant for suppination, to push my feet back how they should be.

Best of all, everything together came out under 75 dollars, which means no import tax, as well as free shipping!

Oh, and since I had already put money in my "shoe replacement fund" in advance, I already had that covered without needing to cover that from my monthly budget, and still had some money left over in my budgeting category.

I'm really excited and can't wait for them to arrive, and I'm glad I decided to buy them before my current shoes totally give out, so that I don't need to rush and buy a more expensive less good pair out of desperation.

Do you have special shoe needs? Do you find it hard to buy shoes for you? What are your special shoe needs? Where do you tend to buy your shoes?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I hope they fit. Please let us know.

  2. I am happy you found shoes that really helped you- what a mentally healthy way to approach a problem- research well, consult with people, do the math- wow!
    But what impressed me most about your post was this line- "I set aside a line in my budget every month to go towards shoe replacements."

  3. I have big legs and this means I need big sizes. With each pregnancy, I feel my feet get bigger.

    It's always difficult getting a shoe that fits properly.

  4. It really seems to me that you could benefit of Katy Bowman's work:
    She's written books on foot pain and diastasis recti and other topics on how we move and should move our bodies. In short, we've been using our bodies wrong for years, and pain and injuries happen because of the under use of the muscle/joint. Her website is a mine of information if that's all you do :)

  5. Keep your eye on I spend 12 hours at a time on my feet, and have bunions and plantar faciitis. Alegrias are the only shoes I can comfortably wear. They normally run about 130-140/pair. but they have sale where they are 69.00/pair. I buy from the nursing/professional collection for work, and like them so much I bought a pair of sandals last summer. They come in EU sizes, and wide width inserts are free with purchase.

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