I had the afternoon off so I took advantage of the time to get myself to the orthopedic shoe store where I could get a pedorthist to help me find a new pair. After all, it has been a year since my last pair of shoes. This time, I had high hopes of at least getting something all one color.
I could tell that the pedorthists were skeptical that I needed any assistance from them. The senior one initially tried to get me to get help from one of the regular sales clerks, but I insisted it was pointless to look for shoes without specialized help because of my joint instability. When the junior, RC, came available, I explained again the general instability problem I have and showed the orthotics I had gotten along with the shoes last year, and mentioned that the pedorthist last year believed that my left leg had lost length. So, RC whipped out his trusty level and, sure enough, my left hip is sitting about 3/4 of an inch lower than my right. That's worse than last year, and I knew right away might be why I have been having so much pain throughout my leg. (You know, I told this same information to my regular GP and my orthopedist, who both promptly ignored it and thought I should have an MRI. I really do hate doctors.)
RC went off in search of shoes for me, coming back with, of course, New Balance, and, this time, a box of Drew mary janes. Oh, joy! Mary janes! Is it even a possibility? And also, of course, new orthotics--arch supports and a heel lift. Because, no matter what else, the old ones always turn out to be Not the Right Thing. Ka-ching! Oh well. When you have floppy feet, you get used to paying for the bones to be on the outside.
We started with the New Balance, with had the virtue of being all black, a definite improvement over last year's white and purple. And with the new orthotics, it was almost like walking normally. My heart sunk because I knew the Drews weren't likely to be as good. And they weren't. But they were almost as good! It was really tempting.
The drawback to the Drews was that they didn't stop my left ankle from pronating. Which then led to my knee buckling. Which drags my hip and spine down, too. Oh, one big house of cards, that leg is! I don't think RC had ever seen such instability, because he made a comment about me moving my knee around. I again pointed out to him that I all my joints are unstable, and that the only moving I was doing of my knee was trying to keep it from collapsing.
And that led to his suggestion that I need a build-up on the arch support. We discussed the shoes a bit more, because my vanity was pulling me toward the Drew. But I decided to get the NB. Sigh. They really are more supportive. If uglier. But the good part is that the build-up is on the orthotic, not the shoe, so if the opportunity presents itself to get the Drews (a second pair of shoes? for me? ones I could wear and stand in at nice events, not just sit? ooooh, I shouldn't get so crazy greedy!), I can just switch out the orthotics.
So, $235 later, at least, my shoes are all black and not driving me to my knees. Worth every penny.