Everything was humming along smoothly. I woke up early and worked out. Got the perfect sugar-to-cream ratio in my coffee. Actually shaved my legs. Matching underwear. The whole enchilada. So as I scampered down my apartment steps and out into the street to begin my day, it was with a smile on my face and a bounce in my step—until this:
One thing I love about living in a historical downtown is the beauty that surrounds you at every turn. I’m a firm believer in setting yourself in beautiful surroundings, and the parks and gorgeous buildings I walk through every day can turn my mood right side up in an instant when I’m having a bad day. But if there’s one thing I hate (and I mean despise) about living downtown (and I know my friends are going to blast me for this one), it’s navigating cobblestone streets.
Normally, I am all about form over function (Spanx, minimalist décor, and owning a Miata when you have a baby come to mind), but as an avid shoe lover, cobblestone streets are my arch nemesis.
I appreciate that they are a beautifully preserved part of our history, but McFarland’s Shoe Repair is getting a quarter of my yearly salary due to cobblestone casualties alone. However, since railing against an important piece of my hometown’s history is likely to be as successful an endeavor as wearing precious jewelry at the beach, I have developed a three-part strategy for walking on cobblestone streets.
First, I look for awesome wedges as often as possible. Boots, pumps, sandals, and espadrilles—anytime I find a leg-flattering wedge (not as easy as one might think), I snatch it up, because I know it makes walking downtown that much easier.
Second, when I do wear stilettos, I walk on the outside perimeters of the street. The stones in this portion of the street haven’t borne as much weight as those in the center, so the edges aren’t as worn away, and you’re much less likely to accidentally get your heel stuck in a gap.
Third, as ridiculous as I feel, I walk on the balls of my feet to avoid putting any pressure on the heel. I like to think what I sacrifice in grace, I gain in calf workouts and less frequent trips to the shoe repair shop.
As far as this strategy has gone in preserving my heels, I still have an occasional mishap, which I consider to be one of the tradeoffs of living in a place that values its history. I guess McFarland’s won’t be dropping off my speed dial anytime soon.