Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ugly Shoes Save the Day

I'm not a shoe person.

Unlike "normal" women, I care nothing for shoe fashions. I'd go barefoot all the time if I could. In my mind, the best qualities a shoe can have are to be so comfortable and inconspicuous that I never have to think about them. (For the record, I feel the same way about cars: I want only a vehicle that will carry me and my stuff to my destination with zero fuss, so I don't have to think about the car at all.)

Because of this indifferent attitude toward shoes, most of my footwear is either simple black or simple white, because those colors go with everything.

But uncharacteristically, this past summer, while shopping for sheep feed at Tractor Supply, on a whim I bought a pair of bright lime green rubber clogs.

They are really, REALLY ugly shoes. They are lumpy in shape. They are garishly colored. And for weeks after I bought them, they made obnoxious farting sounds every time I took a step.

You'd think these loud, bright, rude shoes would be exactly the kind of thing I would hate, but instead I LOVE them, and wear them every day, even during the winter!

Because they are clogs, they are easy to slip on and off. I can pop my feet in them quickly to run outside to do a chore, and kick them off just as easily when I come back inside. They are lightweight, soft, and flexible, so my feet don't feel confined. Because they are rubber, they are waterproof, so as long as I don't step in any deep puddles, I can walk through muddy horse paddocks or accidentally splash myself with the hose while filling water troughs, without my feet getting wet.

And best of all, because the shoes are so incredibly ugly, I don't care what happens to them. They can get grungy and manure-stained. The cats can sharpen their claws on them. Whatever. It doesn't matter, because they are already as ugly as they can be.

They are the ultimate shoe for me!

Yesterday, they also saved me from what could have been a very painful injury. I was walking across the sheep paddock, tending the sheep, when all of a sudden my shoe felt funny. I looked down and saw that there was a large twig stuck to the sole. I tried to brush it off, but the twig wouldn't budge. Then I realized it was a locust twig.

Our driveway, next to the sheep paddock, is lined with large honey locust trees. The sheep love to eat the seed pods that fall from these trees all fall and winter. But the trees have huge thorns. If you've never seen them, you have no idea what I mean by huge.

Think of what you would consider a large thorn. Double the size of that. Got it? That's the size of the small thorns that stick out of the sides of the big thorns on these trees. Yes, that's right. Honey locust thorns have thorns of their own. The longest ones are longer than my hand! Here's an example of what they look like.

Anyway, whenever it's really windy here, the trees tend to drop a few small twigs and branches. I had stepped on one, and one of the thorns drove itself diagonally into the thick rubber sole of the clog. When I pulled it out, the thorn was nearly 2 inches long. OUCH! That sure could have hurt.

I know, I know, if I'd been wearing something with harder soles, the thorn would have been deflected and wouldn't have poked into the shoe at all. But my feet hate the constrictive feeling of hard soles. So I'm just happy that my ugly clogs saved the day (and my feet).


Andy said...

My small church used honey locust branches to make a crown of thorns for their annual Easter play. Very realistic!

Nancy Chase said...

I would think so! Those things are really sharp!

Anonymous said...

Those aren't thorns, they're spears!!!! Gosh I took a look at the link and was stunned.