this is a story about my first week of medical school, but really, it's a story about shoes.
medical school began for me this week on monday, the first of three days of orientation. since the dress was business casual, i wore the nicest shoes i have with me, which were sandals. however, since my feet are my temperature regulators and they were exposed all day in the actually-rather-chilly bay area climate, i was freezing. unacceptable.
i got a cheap-o pair of closed toe shoes at target for the other two business casual days. these have absolutely nothing to them, structure-wise, and we were doing a lot more walking up and down the campus hills these two days. at the end of day one, my feet were aching; day two made me want to cry. also unacceptable.
thursday was our first day of actual medical school classes (!) and my first class was a multi-hour anatomy cadaver dissection lab, dress code: scrubs. i wore my running shoes with custom orthotics, which i haven't used that much before. bad idea--half an hour into lab my feet were screaming, and there was still a full day to go. absolutely miserable, and completely unacceptable.
(i have a sinking feeling that i threw out the original inserts for these running shoes, figuring i would only wear the orthotics going forward. i sincerely hope not, because the shoes are new and nice and i liked their original inserts worlds better than my current ones.)
i came home yesterday and really did cry. it's been a long, lonely week. i got some majorly disappointing news right as i was leaving school. i haven't had a good, home-cooked meal in who-knows-how-long. and, my feet hurt. making-me-miserable, completely-destroying-my-ability-to-concentrate hurt. i threw on my chacos and went out to run errands.
i stopped in to rei to check out some shoe inserts i'd tried there before and liked. i never made it to the inserts, because before i got to them i saw this:
do you know what that is? that's a chaco.
chacos now makes clogs. closed-toe, leather, professional-looking shoes (or, slightly less-professional, if you get the open-back clog) with the awesome, anatomically-beneficial footbed that makes me love my sandals so very much. i put them on and started leaking tears of joy. solid plastic-rubber doesn't seem like it would be the source of blissed-out foot nirvana, but believe me, it was. i like this footbed even better than my sandals (the arch seem slightly higher), wearing them made the aches and sores the week had inflicted on my poor feet go away, and their solid shoe nature meant that i could appropriately wear them to anatomy lab, clinical rotations, or even interviews. and you know i'm going to. they got me through today--with all the same scheduled stressors as yesterday--with no aching feet. incredibly wonderful!
this was in no way a solicited endorsement; i paid every cent of the rei retail price for these shoes. this is just my way to express supreme satisfaction with my discovery of a new product, declare my brand loyalty, and share my frustration at finally having years of abusing my feet catch up with me.