I’m not exactly what one might call “tough.”
I’ve got sensitivities to cold, gluten, dairy, sugar, fabric, broccoli, caffeine, and ghost stories. My knees are bad, my stomach is weak. When I walk, my hip joints sound like poprocks. My feet have flimsy arches.
Thanks to modern technology and white privilege, I’ve managed to avoid extinction via natural selection, but I do spend every day alleviating my various physical needs. I’m tired. I’m cold. My head hurts. I’m hungry.
But I’m writing this today to share some exciting news: I’ve overcome the pain in my feet. And through my perseverance, I’ve managed to turn my struggle into a thing of beauty. One might even say a fashion phenomenon.
I’ve invented ComfCore.
Let me walk you through this. A few years ago, my mother took me to the Shoe Mill – the Costco of Birkenstocks – for a pair of good sandals. I was about to go away for a semester abroad and this seemed like a very, very important thing to buy.
“Just trust me,” she said.
I walked out that day with a pair of Kaylas by Naot, an Israeli shoe that looks like a slimmer, more ladylike version of the Birk.
It was a revelation. The leather molded perfectly to my feet. I walked everywhere. Uphill, downhill, through fields and jungles and deserts. I wore my sandals around my bedroom like slippers. I cuddled with them at night.
I’ve never turned back.
These days, when you look in my closet (although I’m not sure what kind of situation might lead to you looking in my closet) you won’t find any strappy gladiators. No boots, no pumps, no wedges. I don’t need them. I’m beyond all that.
The trendy comfort shoe is an emerging fashion category. And I’m on the verge of becoming the style icon of a generation.
So, I give you the Summer 2014 guide to ComfCore Footwear, based on what’s trending in my closet.
1. Born Clogs
Clogs are the little black dress of ComfCore.
These trusty companions never cause me pain. They comfort me when I’m down. They love going on walks.
When I meet another person wearing clogs we form an instant bond, like sports fans wearing the same team’s jersey. Anyone who stands on her feet all day knows what’s up. We are an army of waiters, bakers, chefs, and cashiers. We know each other. We’re clogging through life.
Best of all, clogs have a three-inch platform, converting even the stubbiest of legs into Cosmo-worthy stems.
The first day I wore clogs, someone approached me, took a look at my shoes, and asked, “Oh, are you European?”
I raised my eyebrow mysteriously and said nothing. I don’t have to. I’m a fashion queen.
But let me specify. Rainbow Croc Huaraches.
Imagine wearing a Tempurpedic mattress on your feet. A sweat-resistant Tempurpedic mattress. Made out of Jolly Ranchers. That’s what’s happening every time I slip into these little babies.
Incredibly, no one knows they’re Crocs.
Fashionable people – like artists and trust fund babies – tell me how cool they are all the time.
“They’re Crocs,” I say, and raise my eyebrow mysteriously.
Everyone gasps. It’s hard to take in all at once. I am so fashion-forward.
These sleek shoes are the most recent additions to my ComfCore collection. Just like their namesake (“Roshe” is a name for zen masters) my Nikes are simple, tranquil. They operate on a highly evolved plane of being.
The Roshes are made of mesh so light I sometimes forget I’m wearing shoes at all. The inside sole is lined with a ridged green pad which is – according to nike.com – meant to evoke a zen garden. But actually, it kind of feels like a ribbed condom for your foot.
And just like the zen concept of sunyata – emptiness – these shoes are whatever you want them to be. Wear them with socks or forgo socks entirely. Loaf around town or run around the track. Take them shopping or take them drinking.
They adapt, they evolve, they are unattached, free.
Plus, there’s a little rubber toe guard to protect my toes in case of stubbing. I find this deeply touching.
When people talk about how cool my Roshes are, I don’t say anything. I know that someday, these people too will be free from categories like “cool” and “not cool.” I simply raise a knowing eyebrow. I am not bound by earthly delusions.
This is what ComfCore is all about. It’s an identity. A way of being in the world. I traverse the ground with my own two feet. I run, jump, dance, and explore. I stand for hours on hard concrete serving coffee. I say fuck you to plantar fasciitis. Foot pain can’t stop me from living my life.
My bad knees totally can, though.