I waited a few days and the box finally arrived – my new hiking boots, Merrell’s, ordered on-line from Zappos. They were attractive, lightweight low hikers as described. Cushy footbed, non-slip soles. I wore them around the house for a few days and at first they appeared to be a “fit.” Unfortunately, I found they had a fatal flaw. The eyelet (point where the laces threaded) just below the big toe bulged into the inside causing shooting pain after just an hour’s wear. Back they went. Sigh, I had such high hopes, but this is story of my life in shoes.
So what’s the big deal? Just go to a store and buy shoes. You are probably one of the lucky ones – size 7 or 8, regular width feet – the person for whom shoes apparently are designed. Unfortunately, I am not. In hikers or athletic shoes I often have to shop in the men’s department. That can be a problem because the heels are too wide or the foot bed is configured for a man’s foot.
This time I did not even try to find my elusive size locally. Even my favorite online shoe stores did not return much result. At Zappos, by the time I narrowed the choices by size and design, I was left with only 5 styles to choose from. Those choices further narrowed after reading reviews describing other purchasers experience with size, fit and weight. It came down to one pair of Merrell’s. Pricey, but if they lived up to the hype they would last for a couple of years at least and be worth it. Sadly, it was not to be.
I don’t blame Zappos. My shoes arrived very fast – Zappos does have great shipping and it is free both ways so if the shoes don’t fit you can return them at no extra cost. Most online shoe stores have this policy so it’s almost like trying on shoes in a store. I have even ordered multiple pairs knowing I would only be keeping one. But I digress – back to the shoes in hand. They didn’t fit so back they went.
My husband decided to look for his new hiking shoes at our local Gander Mountain. I went with him, for moral support you know, and ended up trying on a few pair myself. Miracle of miracles, I found a pair that fit like a glove. They were men’s North Face Tyndall mid-height hikers, waterproof, lightweight, great support and more affordable than the Merrell’s. Finally, a win in the shoe department! We both scored a couple of new pairs of shoes that were marked down and I even got a pair of Teva sandals, which I have coveted forever but never found a pair that fit. The shoe gods were smiling on me that day!
Why the sudden search for hiking boots? We just got back from a wonderful trip through the Hocking Hills area! I’ve got lots of photos to show you. Over the next few posts I’ll take you down into the gorges with me. Stay tuned…