Tantejoan here, trying my best to walk a mile in Gigi’s shoes, the better to fill in for Drugstore Deals. Trouble is, it’s 90 outside, and New York sidewalks are hard on the tootsies in the best of weather, and, let’s face it: I have terrible, horrible, disgusting feet. You don’t believe me? Think I’m exaggerating? Take a look at Exhibit A, my left foot. (The weak of stomach may want to avert their eyes here.) Had enough? I’ve got another one just like it.
My feet are a horrible confluence of genetics and poor childhood shoe replacement patterns. Genetics I cannot control — all the women in my family have these broken, Russian peasants’ feet, complete with bunions, hammertoes, corns and assorted other atrocities, in one form or another. With me they are all so pronounced that when I went for a consultation with New York’s premier foot surgeon he exclaimed, upon first seeing them (and very unprofessionally, he later admitted) “Oh, dear God in Heaven, Joan!” Then he sat down and wrote a letter to my internist telling him in detail what he would have to do to make them better. It was over three pages long.
Finally I determined that having lived this long with my deformed dainties, I might as well keep them until the end. But because the Lord is supposedly Perfect, and my feet are extreme evidence to the contrary, I decided it was my duty to spare Him the shame. I don’t want Him to look bad, so I have taken it upon myself to cover these monstrosities with only the prettiest of shoes. No sandals, though, for obvious reasons.
The only trouble with my little plan is that, sooner or later, shoes will pinch, bind, rub or otherwise hurt. It’s inevitable, even though cute shoes now come in wider widths. To deal with this sad truth I have had to resort to many clever aids and inventions. So many, in fact, that I keep Dr. Scholl on retainer. There is the moleskin. And the gel cushions. And the bunion cushions. And the massaging insoles. The list is long, and grows longer. I ache, I buy, and then I buy some more.
Today, at the brand new CVS pharmacy that opened one block (or 329 agonizing steps) from my apartment building, I discovered on my way to work a new wrinkle on My Big Fat Foot Problem. It’s early days yet, but I am giving a cautious Big Toe Up for a new line called Heaven4Toes, and especially for their Toe Cushion For Women. Here is their story:
“Heaven4Toes™ was born out of necessity. Proprietor Souhayla Denha had suffered painful discomfort while wearing her favorite shoes. The abrasive friction between the shoe and skin had irritated her toes, causing malformations in her toes. After many visits to the podiatrist, she could not find relief. She had tried to find a cushioned product to provide the comfort she needed for her feet, but none existed on the market. Through laser surgery, the excessive rubbing ultimately resulted in the removal of her toe nail. Determined to never experience that pain again, she began to search for comfortable padding and fabric. She discovered a soft, polyurethane fabric which she inserted inside of her shoe. Thus Heaven4Toes™ was born! Souhayla Denha had created the relief she was looking for. She could now wear her favorite shoes without discomfort or irritating the skin. With Heaven4Toes™, she desires to help countless men and women prevent painful skin conditions, and wear their favorite shoes in heavenly comfort.”
Unlike so many pedi-aids that focus on the underside, side or heel of the foot, the toe cushion is an adhesive-backed smooth, cushiony layer that is placed on the top inside of the shoe. Once trimmed to size and so situated, it prevents friction between foot and shoe, and is thin enough not to cause pain by tightening the space it occupies. The toe cushion adheres to the shoe, but can be easily removed and replaced with a fresh one in about 2-3 months. I like the concept, and so far, after wearing it for five hours, I report no discomfort. Me likey. Heaven4Toes has several similar products, some which will be familiar to the Dr. Scholls addict, but some unique to them. They have a boot cushion for instance that is designed to prevent chafing at the boot top, an area that is not often given its due. And they have products for men as well.
For someone whose daily round is accomplished by hopping in and out of cars the travails of a city pedestrian can perhaps seem small, but as anyone who walks at least four miles a day on concrete can tell you, anything that will bring relief to hot, tired feet is worthy of praise. Heaven4Toes, I salute you!
Who else needs inserts and paddings and what ones do you love?