Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Woo Hoo - Shopping in the Sales!

Woo Hoo - Shopping in the Sales!

What yummy footwear - they arrived today - but I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you the story of how I happened to buy all of these...

In December my knee was playing up - and I mean that literally - it hurt when I went up hill. Not every day, but often enough to be a problem - especially with a dog to walk.

Eventually I went to see Ian Willmot, the McTimoney Chiropractor who had helped me so much earlier last year (incidentally if you've only ever tried a standard Chiropractor do try a McTimoney one - I'd never go back to the brute force stuff - it hurt and didn't work - what's more they attempted to keep me seeing them week after week despite my lack of improvement, in contrast to Ian who sorted out the problem in a few sessions and leaves it up to me when I turn up for a check-up).

Hot Stones After UseOne of the things Ian does is recommend other people and treatments if he thinks they might help. It was through him that I went to see Sarah of Balance Holistics who gives wonderful hot stone massages and extremely perceptive and beneficial reflexology. (If you go to see either Ian or Sarah please tell them I sent you.)

Ian said he thought my knees might benefit from some sort of foot support and suggested I see a podiatrist. He didn't recommend anyone in particular but I rang one up and went to see her.

I've thought about blogging it before but haven't because it was an essentially very negative experience. She charged me £36 for what amounted to a sales pitch during which I mentioned that I mostly wore clogs and that this sort of insert wouldn't work in them.

She really got my goat with some of her comments too:
  • Part-way through she handed out a sheet with the costs involved though without an explicit indication of the full-cost which I later calculated is a minimum of £425, plus maybe a few additional £36 sessions.
  • When I came to paying I asked whether she took credit cards, she said she did, but then asked me to pay with a debit card... not the same thing at all... especially since I get half a percentage back on the credit card...
  • She was rude enough to assume I wouldn't be able to afford the inserts without "putting a little aside each week". It is a lot of money but I felt she was challenging me to prove I could afford it... not a sensible tactic with me!
  • She was surprised when I told her I was retired and it would have to come out of my savings - she hadn't taken a complete case history so she had no idea of my employment status or possible occupation.
  • She assumed none of my shoes fit me - despite my straight, uncrunched up toes - she seemed to think it would be news to me that there ought to be wiggle space at the toe end... I'd gone in wearing the most recent shoes I'd bought which were trainers from one of Bristol's excellent running shops - where they had specifically tested for sufficient toe space themselves and videoed me running on the treadmill in them to check for correct posture.
  • And worst of all, on explaining that my retired status was a result of Chronic Fatigue - she then told me that she got a bit tired herself and implied that the foot supports would cure me... (though her own supports obviously weren't stopping her getting tired... ) I wished I'd called it M.E. which would have been less likely to provoke such comments. She didn't even ask me what my energy levels were currently like - they happen to be the best they've been in years - and that was despite a knee that had been hurting before I saw Ian...
Well that's enough of all that complaining! I came home, got myself balanced and did some testing on the foot supports. The questions I asked myself were:
Was it appropriate to buy some of this sort of support? NO!

What about from a different podiatrist? No!

Some new shoes? Maybe....
Iko Clog and Uko SugarAnd so the hunt was on for what might suit me... I started off simply looking for some new clogs like the ones I already had... however the shop I'd bought them from no longer stocked them.

So I started to research supportive footwear on the web. I was amazed at all the different possibilities now available. But the ones I was most drawn to were the Earth ones.

They are only available, in the UK, from a few shops none of which were near me or from Love Those Shoes on-line. I was very wary of buying shoes without trying them on first but I looked at their return policy and decided it was worth it - they only make one delivery charge no matter how many pairs you buy and provide return labels in case you need to send them back. I was looking at their website whilst they were closed over Christmas but the benefit of that was that by the time they were back from their holidays their January sale had started!

I ordered a pair of clogs, a pair of sandals and a pair of boots - the boots were in clearance because they had, apparently, some sort of marks on them - I thought they'd probably do for dog walking - as it is now they've come they look perfect to me and I'm loath to get them all muddy in the park (again - I have already been out in the park in them once ;-).

I love all of these shoes! And each comes with its own cotton bags for storage - that's one per shoe. I need some hooks to hang them from.

I'm already thinking about my next order, whilst the sale is still on!

If you are interested in ordering from this site, and are not yet a customer, I can get you a £10 off voucher, which if you use it will entitle me to a £10 off voucher too - winners all round!

My knee is much better since seeing Ian and today wearing my new boots in the park I was running around very happily.


Tinker said...

The new shoes look lovely! Sorry you had to go through so much to get to the fun part of getting new shoes, though. Glad your knee is doing much better!

Caroline said...

Tinker - thank you - I love the boots best - thank goodness they were vastly reduced in clearance as I'd never have risked ordering them otherwise - even at the current sale price.

andrea said...

My knee hurt going DOWN stairs ratehr than up hoills! It's getting better, though. And buying shoes online scares me, too, as I have an odd foot shape, but what an amazing deal re. returns and the bags! ANd the shoes are really great, too. I would wear any of those. *sigh*

andrea said...

Wouldn't you rather go down hoills? :)

Caroline said...

Andrea - I find it really hard to get ordinary shoes that fit - its one of the reasons I took to wearing blogs... oops I mean clogs... I don't think I've actually got an odd foot shape just somewhat high arch and unscrunched toes - so feet that haven't been forced into badly fitting shoes for years on end - for which I have my mother to thank....

Andrea2 - Sometimes its easier to ascend than descend!

Tony LaRocca said...

Did you ever hear the original Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy episodes where all civilizations in the galaxy suffer from the "Shoe Event Horizon" where eventually shoe shops outnumber all other types of commerce, destroying the economy?

Caroline said...

Tony - and have you heard that mobile phones are being considered a serious cause of disease in British hospitals - call in the telephone sanitisers!