A life lesson from shoes?

This is about how ordinary daily experiences can be life lessons.

Years ago, I accidentally found a brand of hiking shoe that seemed perfect in every way. Comfort. Fit. Waterproof, and a safe tread for icy weather as well as mud, especially in Toronto.

I wore these shoes daily to walk my dog. When they wore out (thanks to planned obsolescence) I bought another pair of the same make and model. And another. And another. Until I couldn’t find them anymore. Not anywhere.

Distress followed. During the pandemic, I found a similar pair with a similar tread from the same manufacturer, and ordered them online. These were uncomfortable. So I returned them and tried again online. No luck the second time.

For my third effort I found a store in the north of Toronto that sold the same brand. This time I was going to try the shoes on before buying. I spent most of a Saturday afternoon in that store, trying on many hiking and walking shoes. Finally I found a somewhat expensive pair that seemed to do the trick. I cared little about color or looks, just how they fit and felt when I walked in them.

Thank goodness the company offered 30-day refunds, no questions asked. I wore these new shoes two or three times, and they rubbed part of my foot the wrong way. So very reluctantly I decided to return them. Another Saturday afternoon wasted driving to the north of the city.

Hanging on to the old doesn’t work

Now I didn’t have proper walking shoes. So on one of my errand days, I spontaneously decided to check out a store closer to home. And I even decided to try a different brand. Yup! I felt guilty and disloyal even trying.

And lo and behold I found the perfect shoes for me. Amazingly comfortable. Roomy. Waterproof. Even looked good and cost a lot less than my original brand.

Now, I wear these new shoes every day and marvel at how comfortable my feet feel. And how great the tread is on snow and muddy ground.

Every day, when I put my walking shoes on, I think about how long it took me to make a change. How much I resisted trying something new.  How tenacious I was in holding on to something that no longer worked.

Letting go isn’t easy. Nor is change.

But it happens.