Even more shoes to choose from


So now I have a new activity that I love. It didn’t interfere with pickleball, which I play almost every morning. Our community has an amazing class a few afternoons a week: water aerobics. The first time I went with a group of my pickleball buddies I had the most fun of my life. The instructor is the best – always smiling, passionate, interesting and the best taste in music. I remember taking this type of class sporadically over the years, but I don’t remember it being that fun.

The only issue was that after taking the first class, I found that my insteps, ankles and shins hurt a little. I think it’s because of all the pounding and jogging and grabbing we do, even with the buoyancy of water as a buffer. And so I started looking for the problem. And wouldn’t you know it? Suggestions have been made online to wear special water aerobics shoes for classes. So I guess I needed a new pair of shoes. Back to the internet, which instructed me to buy not just water shoes that one would wear on a rocky beach, but a pair that actually had an arch, padding, and support around the instep-of -foot and ankle.

But where to buy them? Amazon is always a good start. Then there was DSW and a bunch of other sites. But I wasn’t ready to pull the trigger yet. Then one day I was at Target buying lemons for my morning tea and greens for my smoothies. And after checking, it occurred to me that they had a shoe department. On a lark I went to the flip flops section and found an associate who pointed me to the prettiest pair of lavender water aerobics shoes with good soles, great arches and cushioning that was exactly in my size.

Excited about my purchase, I took them home, tried them on again, and put them in my closet next to my other sneakers. And my other shoes. And my other shoes. There on the floor, all lined up, were a few pairs of pickleball shoes that I alternated, one pair expressly for aerobics class, another pair for brisk walking, and yet another pair for travelling. Not to mention I still have two unworn pickleball shoes in boxes waiting for my older shoes to wear out. And, of course, my golf and bowling shoes. I understood that I had become the Imelda Marcos of sports shoes.

Not to mention how many pairs of regular shoes I own too – sandals, flats, heels, slip-on Keds and boots. Why so much? I blame DSW for constantly sending me these irresistible coupons offering discounts of at least $10 each. Not to mention the assortment of free bags I hoarded because they offered them on sale – yoga bags, gym bags, overnight bags, coolers. Enough shoes and bags to choke a horse.

So I decided to do a summer cleaning, donating older shoes and bags. But I still have a ridiculous variety of sneakers. I remember as a kid having a pair of sneakers that allowed me to do punch ball, dive ball, handball and volleyball, tennis, basketball and soccer lessons. gym and even simple walking. What changed? Have we all been tricked by shoe companies into believing that we need different types of shoes for different types of activities? I suppose. Still, I don’t want to risk falling on the pickleball court or during aerobics class or a brisk walking trip.

But I thought I was really done with my shoe shopping for now, feeling like I was the best-shod kid on the block. Until I came home from the community center gym this morning, where I was told that indoor pickleball would resume in the gym within a few weeks. So when I broke the news to Jeff, he said, “Now you’ll need a pair of indoor pickleball shoes.” They say court shoes like those used for basketball or volleyball are best for a gym floor. I wonder where I can buy closet stretchers?

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