Spring! Spring! Ouch, Spring.

Yesterday Spring officially sprung in NYC. The dogwoods and magnolia trees opened, forscythia bloomed in blinding yellow, beds of early-rising crocuses had colorful company at last.

Walking around my Brooklyn neighborhood, spring fever was indeed here. But the truest sign of the season in these parts can be recognized in watching the women. And how they walk.

If you weren’t paying close attention, the gait seemed normal. But on closer inspection, the steady, determined New York pace is just a little bit slower, just a little more awkward. As if a toe is curled inward or an ankle twisted at an uncomfortable angle. Faces are contorted mildly, full grimaces suppressed as the ordinarily unstoppable forward march of The Busy Woman is hindered.

It’s like driving 35 with the emergency brake on.

For what you do not see underneath the trendy metallic flats, the raffia slingbacks, the open-toed kitten heels, the primary colored T-strap wedges that remained in shoe boxes and tissue until this fateful 72-degree day are the blisters.

Oh, the blisters.

It is break-in-the-new-shoes season in New York.

Unlike LA or most suburbs where we can hop contentedly from car to restaurant, from playgroup back to car, New Yorkers rely on our feet. They are our vehicles, our bikes, our chauffeurs. As such, we do our best to balance style and comfort of our footwear. But sometimes finding the comfort–without the help of summer callouses and the protection of woolly socks–is a slow, painful, uphill journey. Literally.

My own personal torture device yesterday were a pair of lovingly procured soft leather Cole Haan ballet flats with Nike Air Cushioning ™ – a sure recipe for comfort. Or so I thought. But one six block walk to the grocery store and back had me remembering the adage about NY women breaking in their feet to suit their shoes and cursing the fact that I had no extra Dora Band-Aids in my bag.

I know they’ll be my happy shoes in no time. I know they’ll be the go-to pair that I live in non-stop. By BlogHer in July they’ll be so worn and smelly and wonderful I won’t even want to change them from conference to cocktail party.

But until then, yeouch.

Cool Mom Picks Mother's Day GuideOne more cool thing about Spring? Mother’s Day! One month away! Kristen and I have kicked our own asses digging up such amazing stuff for the Cool Mom Picks Mother’s Day Gift Guide this year – we’d be beyond honored if you stopped by and checked out all the awesome suggestions from indie and women-run businesses we’re trying to support.

Although if you really want us so happy that we might considering tattooing your name on our butts (I have plenty of room there, trust me), just post the dandy button code on your blog sidebar and we’ll enter you in a drawing to win $400 worth of swanky mom merch like keepsake jewelry and yummy organic body butters. Find all the details on the guide.


22 thoughts on “Spring! Spring! Ouch, Spring.”

  1. Thanks for the heads up on the Cool Mom Picks button. I’ve added it into my site.And I hear you about the new shoes. I haven’t bought any for two seasons now (I know, what is WRONG with me?). I am afraid to put my feet in anything new now… but this may be the spring to break out the credit card. I think my foot fashion would make Carrie Bradshaw have nightmares.

  2. Handy dandy button added to my sidebar. I really want to wear fun new shoes out tomorrow night but will there be enough alcohol to dull the blister pain? That is the really important question.

  3. There is this cool new product out called Bandaid Blister Block. Looks like a tiny deoderant stick that you put on wherever your shoes will rub. Works wonders at keeping the blisters away! I got it in the bandaid aisle at Target.

  4. When I became an NYC SAHM (ugh, what a set of acronyms…), I threw away all my shoes and got a pair of sneakers.I never looked back. I do not one teensy tiny bit miss my fashionable shoes. My feet! My shins! My knees! They haven’t hurt in years.

  5. Sadly, my pair of Jessica Simpson flats did me quite well on my jaunt last December (by jaunt I mean a good solid 20 blocks or so) on first wearing.I call “FLUKE!” though.

  6. You’ve been tagged by Dirt & Noise. Check out http://www.dirtandnoise.com/ to play!After having had foot surgery, I don’t dare sacrifice looks for comfort anymore. Problem is…you don’t know what’s comfortable until after the agony of the breaking in period! So far my cowboy boots are the best shoes ever…not so great in the August temps of North Carolina.

  7. I second the blister block recommendation. There are several brands now, and they really work. I just put it on my feet anywhere the shoes might rub before I leave the house, but sometimes I need a reapplication in a few miles. It’s a little embarrassing to look like you’re putting deodorant on your feet at the bus stop, but SO worth it.

  8. There’s been a lot of talk about shoes as of late … hmmmm.Anywhoo, love Cool Mom Picks and am glad to support you guys with a button or two 🙂 It’s up on my blog with a bang.

  9. Two words I NEVER thought I’d say (and you know me so you know what I’m talking about) Birkenstocks. I know! What you failed to mention was that although it was 72 yesterday that wasn’t until late afternoon which required two outfit changes and an on again off again relationship with my jacket. The up side? First iced coffee of the season!

  10. It happens to my delicate feet going from door to car to mall to car to door! I can’t imagine having to walk blocks and blocks.

  11. Were it not for calluses, I’d wear no shoes at all. I thank the Lord above I was born without the ‘shoe gene’. I get way fewer blisters from my ‘book gene’. Way fewer – though I am becoming blind as a bat at a fairly early age. 🙂

  12. Updating my sidebar now and have you seen this little rubstick made by BandAid for blister prevention. You put it on at the first sign of blister and voila! it prevents further blistering. Seriously, it works. And it doesn’t involve sticking Dora on your feet.

  13. Love spring shoes. Hate blisters. I’m going to have to check out that blister stick, thing. Sidebar updated, too!

  14. We went out to lunch with some friends today, and weather in Istanbul was wonderful as well. As I was washing my hands in the bathroom, a girl of probably 10 limped in, muttering “ouch, ouch it hurts.” the mama instinct took over, so I asked whether I could help, and what was wrong. “these shoes,” she said, “they’re summer shoes, and it’s the first time I’m wearing them. I have blisters all over. but what’s a girl to do?” yes. that’s exactly what she said. aaahh. the wonders of womanhood.

  15. Oooch, yes. WE are a few weeks behind you, and so far I’ve only worn shoes I’ve broken in last year, but yeah, I know it’s coming. But I noticed a few people above mention the blister block stick (which I call foot lube, for the obvious reason) – and I second that. It isn’t perfect, but it sure helps.

  16. When I was packing for my visit to the city, I brought my New Spring Adorable Shoes. Un?Fortunately, it was too cold to wear them, and I wore my walkers every day. Thank God, because after that 42 block walk on Day 2, my NSAS were the furthest thing from my mind. In fact they looked painful.

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