A Shoenista’s Guide to Post-Winter Feet

shutterstock_179253173It is a lovely warm day in England, and the first day in months I am able to wear heels with jeans and BARE FEET!  (The crowd goes wild…) 

After having toiled endless cold days in woolly tights, socks, Wellies and anything hideous and mud-proof since October, my feet were pretty excited to see the light of day.

hunter boots

We are SO done with winter. And mud.

All winter long I have been reassuring them that there will come a day when they will be let out to play again.  I even got my toes painted last month.  It was a sort of bribe to keep them from resorting to industrial action.  The nails were getting ugly, calling secret meetings and painting signboards.  The cuticles and calluses were starting to make their presence known, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I had a full-blown foot riot on my hands.

“Just stay calm, my pretties… it won’t be long now…”  I soothed them with lotion every night before bed (or at least as often as I remembered to), and promised them that the next time the sun peeked from between the clouds for more than 10 minutes, I would bare them and let them go wild.

So today, my tootsies were in foot heaven.  FREE AT LAST!  We had great plans to gallop, unfettered by leather and rubber, through sunny fields of daffodils, to wiggle our toes into cool, green clumps of English clover and to wade ankle deep in a crystal blue Italian stream… Even my month-old toe polish was happy to be out, chips, regrowth and all.  Nothing was going to stop these feet, no dream too ridiculous, no heel too high.


The very shoe…

From the darkest recesses of my wardrobe, I unearthed my Sam Edelmans.  (Cue rays of light out of heaven…)

As I slipped into the croc-stamped leather peep-toe slingback platforms with the metallic gold kitten heel, I am fairly certain I heard the sound of angels singing.  (It might well have been the wardrobe squeaking or my dodgy knee, but let’s not split hairs here.)

In a pair of pretty shoes, the world is a happier place.

(Or, so it was for about 10 minutes…)

As it happens, today hubby took me shopping.  Me and my feet were so excited to be out, it didn’t matter it was just boring tie shopping for him.  Well, shopping is never boring.  We were actually shopping for a boring tie – specifically, a boring blue tie – to go with his new suit; a suit that is actually so cool looking, it needed a boring tie.  In the end, we couldn’t find one boring enough and abandoned our search.  But I digress…

We parked at the top of the car park and took the stairs – all 70 of them – down to street level.  Hubby and I had not yet crossed the street when my poor virgin feet were beginning to burn.  By the time we reached the shopping center, I had a weeping blister on each pinkie toe.  It was a shoezaster.


I hope these Gucci loving feet have taken a few test drives in WalMart flip flops…  (Yes. I must have these. One can never have too many purple shoes… or too much Gucci!)

Somewhere in my fluffy, pink, estrogen-fueled unreality cloud, I had forgotten a few things about post-winter feet.  Now that I have been painfully reminded of said facts, I have included here some instructions not only for MY future reference, but to help any of you out there that are contemplating how to cope with returning your feet to polite society after an extended imprisonment.

  1. Post-winter feet have been freeze-dried and vacuum packed,and therefore need time to be reconstituted into regular feet.  Just treat them as you would a memory foam mattress:  Gently remove the packaging and allow plenty of time for them to take on a normal shape and consistency.
  2. Be sensible in your shoe choices at the beginning of the spring. Break your feet in easy.  Maybe start with a flip-flop and work your way gradually up to a gladiator, moving on to a T-bar or espadrille before graduating up to the peep-toe slingback.  This is not to say pretty shoes are out of the question.  Just let your feet go on a few casual dates before you move on to a more serious relationship.  Slow and steady is the key, here.  Wear in haste, repent at leisure.
  3. Your feet have not seen light of day for monthsand are therefore as soft and sensitive as the skin inside of your belly button (though hopefully free of lint on both accounts).  I would recommend gentle administration of UV therapy before attempting to go the full foot Monty after a long winter.  You could buy one of those fancy blue light bulbs for this or hire a tanning bed.

But I would recommend just popping them out of the car window when your husband is driving.  This will allow exposure both to sun and to wind, which will also help in the reconstitution process, post-winter feet also being air deprived.

Sure, your feet will get a bit chilly – it is early spring, after all – and you’ll probably get some funny looks. People might point and laugh at your post-winter feet when you stop at the stoplight, probably on account of the Gollum-esque appearance and ghostly pallor.  Mothers might shield the faces of their children from such a frightening display, and there is the remote possibility you might nudge – I said NUDGE– a cyclist as you pass them on the A40, but in the end, just remember it will all be worth it.  The next time you trot out your Sam Edelmans, you’ll be ready for them.

Any embarrassment felt by said spouse on account of pulling such a stunt is sure to be outweighed by the fact he does not have to stop and buy you toe Band-Aids every time he takes you out shopping.  Make sure you remind him of this fact.  Often.

Mother Hen

Originally posted on Mother Hen Diaries, 8 March 2014

For the Record:

If I were born a pair of shoes, I would want to be these ones…


Nothing says “I love you” like Louboutins.

 Or possibly these.


Choo up my mortgage payment, baby. You’re so worth it!

 I wouldn’t even say no to being a little Valentino bootie!


Tripping up on that georgette bow would be so much fun!

But, as we all know, these are the shoes that truly fit a Mother Hen!

chicken feet


  •  feature photo: shutterstock
  • Hunter boots:
  • Sam Edelmans:
  • Gucci heels:
  • Louboutin heels:
  • Valentino heels:
  • Jimmy Choo:
  • Chicken shoes:

© motherhendiaries 2014, all rights reserved.

14 replies »

  1. My daughter came out in some gorgeous green heels. I knew they had to be killing her. She said they hurt so badly she was saving for the same style in pink.


  2. Oh, today is my first day of wearing sandals! I am excited since my toes needed to be sanded by a nail file, forcing the cuticles back but I chose to do this without polish, just letting the toes and nails breathing space, just for today. Sunday morning, a coat of a light pastel pink or coral will make them look better. I have horrible ‘blue’ veiny ankles and wanted to mention to those out there maybe suffering from this horrible atrocity, that I use leg makeup and when out of it use foundation spreaad with lotion. I may not be ‘fooling’ most people, but this allows me not to worry about how ‘ugly’ I feel my feet, legs and ankles are. The webbing of veins is such that it would take too much surgery. My Dad had them, my Mom has them….
    I love the clapping and applause I hear over the ocean and time and space, of those little piggies being allowed out of their wellington boots (wellies is such a clever name for them!) My hands are clapping, too. Enjoy, my dear!


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