Foot spa

26 Sep

I heard my feet sigh with pleasure the other day. A deep, heaving, joyful sigh, borne of years of frustration and discomfort.  It was the first time. They were thanking me.

Besides my happy feet, I came to another realization: I am a Birkenstock girl, and I will never change.

The epiphany occurred last Tuesday at a fashionable shoe shop in Kolonaki, near where we live. The Naot sandals I have had for more than a year were all stretched and killing my feet.  It was really heard for me to walk up the steep hills of our new neighborhood, with its poorly paved (at best) to non-existing sidewalks with Amitai’s stroller. I dragged my feet because the sandals didn’t keep them in. Arrgghh. That didn’t make me happy.

So, I decided to go back to my roots, as Aharon likes to say. I have long been a dedicated Birk wearer. They cuddle my wide, flat feet just so, like no other sandle. They’ve taken me around the world, and my feet have always been happy in them. Four years ago, I decided to take a chance on the local, Israeli brand, Naot.

I bought two consecutive pairs and they both withered beneath my feet after a year. So disappointing. I always try to buy local but come on. Naot just suck.

So when I found myself in Athens with aching feet, I knew I had to go back to the originals. Plus, I have a family history with Birkenstocks. My father, from whom I inherited my flat, wide feet, also wore them. In fact I bought him a pair in Germany 11 years ago (in addition to my own) and he never got to wear them. So my brother started to wear them and also got hooked.

Until the other day, I thought I could play with my allegiance to Birkenstocks. I could at least get a pair that look nice this time. That was one of my considerations when I switched to Naot.

I tried on a stylish pink pair with a strappy big toe holder (I hate those). No. What was I thinking. I needed the big, plain, ugly, brown leather pair. The kind that people stereotype other people like me for. I even tried to go for the faux leather pair as a nod to my vegetarian husband, but my feet started to sweat in them. In an air-conditioned store. In September. Foot sweat in the hot Israeli summer sun? Not for me. This ain’t the Black Forest, honey.

I didn’t think of putting back on the shoes I had walked in with. And my feet have been tightly nestled in the Birks ever since.


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