Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Big Foot

Running might slim your hips and trim your thighs—but does it make your feet fat?

None of my shoes fit. I’ve dropped two dress sizes, and even my new clothes have gotten baggier—to the point where my 6 year old recently asked me, “Mommy, why can I always see your underpants when you sit down?”

But my feet have turned into big, puffy bricks. I used to wear a size 8 or 8 ½ shoe. By the way my feet are busting the seams of my zip-up calf boots, I’m guessing I’m now at least a 9. [Can’t type this without cringing: if I’m honest with myself, I suspect I’m probably up to a 9 ½. Nooooo!]

Before I go score some big bargains at DSW (the “big girl” shoes are almost always on clearance), I have to consider the swelling factor. I don’t think running has actually elongated the bones in my feet or made the flesh of my foot fuller. I think my feet swell after a run, and that makes choosing footwear in the morning, after I’ve done a 5-mile loop, make me empathize with those mean ugly stepsisters who never could get their toes inside Cinderella’s slipper.

But by the end of the day, conceivably, a size 9 shoe that felt great when I first got dressed would become too big since I’d no longer be swollen from the run, causing the bane of any runner’s existence: blisters!

[I’m just trying to talk myself out of shopping for size 9+ shoes, of course. I’m 5’4 and have no business wearing shoes that big. I might as well strap a diving board to each foot—that would look just as fabulous.]

I really don’t have the luxury of being vain about my shoe size, though. Blisters from ill-fitting footwear have the potential to ruin quite a few future runs, so I think I just need to suck it up, pack away by 8s for the next few months, and start shopping in the section where the 5’11 supermodels—and drag queens—shop. With 90% of the female population needing a smaller size than me*, at least I should have plenty to choose from.

*Not a scientifically acquired statistic; made up out of thin air.


  1. I wear a size 10 shoe full-time, though I'm 5'9" so my boats are proportional. Big girl shoes: lousy selection, but good pricing.

    Good luck with the footwear -- and all the rest of it!

  2. you crack me up. supermodels and drag queens...I'll be giggling all afternoon picturing the three of you in the bargain shoes.

  3. I wear a 9.5 - 10, why cant I ever find good prices!?! lol

  4. My cousin, who wears an 11 (at 5'10") says the same as Jael: lousy selection, but good prices.

    I may or may not have cried when my foot refused to fit in my 6.5s anymore after having Abigail. Now they fit comfortably in 7.5s. I may or may not have prayed that my feet didn't go up another whole size after having Ava...

  5. Hey! I wear a size 8.5-9 and am 5'7." I definitely don't feel like I'm waterskiing. When I was in high school, maybe, but that's when most of my friends were around your height or smaller. Interesting thing is shoes always sell out in my sizes, so I am guessing they are popular :-) Maybe you have your stats backwards? Anyway, don't feel bad about it, perhaps when you go back to running "normal" distances your feet will shrink? Remember, you are in training, makes me think of that commercial "in the army now."