Uh-Oh, How Did I Become So Fashionable? : The Bryant Park Project A fashion fix for a shoe-challenged editor
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Uh-Oh, How Did I Become So Fashionable?

Fashion fix: gladiator sandal hide caption

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I have foot problems. I'm pronate and have fallen arches. I've been wearing orthotics in my shoes since I was a teenager. If I don't wear them, I feel pain from the bottoms of my feet up through my hips. But while my orthotics solve the pain problems, they cause other problems. Namely, it's really hard to find shoes. The orthotics push my feet up about half an inch inside my shoes, meaning anything I put on my feet pretty much has to have laces or straps or some other device to keep my feet firmly encased.

And that means no sandals. Ever. My toes haven't seen the light of day since (fill in the year because I don't tell).

I've tried experiments with velcro, with a toupee tape called "Top Stick" (thanks Alison Stewart for the tip!), I've even pondered learning shoe-making to see if there's some way I could combine orthotics and sandals to relieve my sweaty summer feet. But nothing worked until this summer, when I accidentally discovered the gladiator sandal.

(more adventures in foot fashion after the jump)

I wasn't looking for it, but there it was, placed right at eye level as I slowly ascended the escalator at Lord and Taylor's. It was a little fancier than I'd like, buckly and strappy, but it had the exact thing I needed—a piece of leather enclosing the heel, which is just enough to keep the orthotic from shooting out the back of the sandal. By the time I'd reached the shoe floor I had to have them.

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I paid close to $90 and I wear them almost every day. Hello, toes!

Flash forward to today's cover story in the New York Observer. It turns out that gladiator sandals are the hot shoe of the summer. Which bums me out for a couple of reasons. 1: I look like I'm trying to be fashionable 2: there won't be any gladiator sandals around next year when I need another pair.