The Old Coot’s shoes don’t fit

My shoes don’t fit, my socks either. It’s not just me. Not an old coot thing! It affects a lot of people. The companies that make shoes and socks use a “close enough” standard. They’re not very precise. 

Take the shoes; if your foot is an exact size, you’re all set. If it’s a little too long, you have to buy the next larger size and walk around with your foot slopping back and forth. They don’t make 1/2 size anymore. It’s even worse if you have a narrow foot. All you can get is medium, wide, and extra wide. Those of us with narrow feet wobble side to side in our shoes. 

It’s a double whammy when you’re in a shoe too long and too wide. It’s why people (me) are so cranky – our foot bones bend and twist all day in ways they were not designed to move. And, to make it worse, modern day shoelaces are made from a synthetic material that won’t stay tied.  

Now on to the sock problem. Buy socks to fit your feet? Not on your life. The major sock companies only offer 2 sizes (for men anyhow) – Size 10 /13 (for shoe sizes 6 to 12) and Size 13/15 (for shoe sizes 12 – 16). Socks are either too big and wad up in your shoe, or too tight and make your toes curl. 

Then there’s tube socks, a knit bag that slips on your foot and you hope for the best. It all started back in the 1960’s when a cheapskate sock maker eliminated the toe and heel and came up with them. A friend of mine, John in Canada, loves them. He buys the longest ones. When the toe wears out he sews a straight line across the foot section, just above the hole, and moves on. He starts with a mid-calf sock and ends up with an ankle sock.   

Hippies solved the problem in the 1960’s; they went barefoot. But stores and restaurants retaliated; they put up signs that said, “No Shirt – No Shoes – No Service!” 

The young people of today have started a second shoe / sock revolt. They don’t wear shoes or socks; they wear flip-flops. No matter what the weather. No matter what the occasion. Soon there will be new signs appearing in stores and restaurants. “If you have flip-flops on your feet, keep walking down the street!” Right next to the “Old Coots not allowed” sign.

P.S. If you want a good fit for your shoes, go to Power & Paddle on Route 96 in Catatonk, N.Y. They solved my “fit” problem.

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