I’ve made many shopping mistakes in the past, but I learn from them and make fewer over time. When I do make one, it’s almost always with footwear. That held true in 2021 with a pair of sneaker oxford hybrids from Cole Haan. 

I got these metallic darlings with crisp white soles to wear with a dressy Hugo Boss pants suit, or with white jeans. When I tried them on, they looked and felt good, although a little wide. Adding an insole solved the width problem. I tried them on again, and they fit even better. I threw the box away and sprayed them with weatherproofing protectant. I was excited to wear them.

But when I put them through their paces walking the doggies and running errands on foot, they starting feeling too short. My long toes curled up, cramped up, and went a little numb. The shoes were not comfortable at all. I tried removing the insole to see if that would help, but it didn’t. I have no idea why these shoes suddenly feel too short. I’ve re-fitted them on several times at home since I got them in August last year, and the result is the same. Too short, and unhappy feet.

I paid full price and they weren’t inexpensive. I was pretty sure they would be a slam dunk for my high maintenance feet, so it’s disappointing and annoying. What a waste of money. Despite trying to make the best informed decision about a new pair of shoes before committing to them, they didn’t work out. Road-testing them is the ultimate test, and unfortunately you usually can’t return shoes after you’ve worn them outside.

I’m not in the habit of consigning wardrobe items, or selling them on eBay. So my choices are to keep them and wear them for short periods of time with discomfort (which I doubt I will do). Or to pass them on to someone who will wear them with joy. In the meantime, I’ve learned that my long toes need more room than I think they do, and especially in the length. I need to be even pickier about shoes that earn a place in my wardrobe because when you commute on foot like I do, shoes have to go the distance, and you expect more of them. Onward to a more comfortable pair of shoes with ample length for my long toes.