Yesterday I ran into Beth on campus, and she wondered at my small feet, which I had stuffed into some strappy sandals. If she looked closely, she would see that those feet are marked with lots of corns, calluses, and scars. I've had enormous corns cut off of both my little toes, which are now misshapen and sit uncomfortably in most shoes. My second toes are a little longer than my first, which also causes problems with some shoes. And I tend to walk toward the left and put my weight on my right foot/leg. All of these things cause problems I deal with in yoga, but also in buying/wearing certain kinds of shoes. Add to this the size of my feet, a 5--it's really hard to get 5s, as I've said before in discussing my mom's shoe-buying forays.
It's a little easier buying for myself because at least I know whether they fit or not when I put them on and try them (she doesn't anymore), but finding shoes of the sort I can wear and like and can afford is not easy. I have bought them on Ebay in the past, but just last week I bought three pair, and all three were too big, despite being called either size 5 (American) or 35 (4 1/2 European). The 5 was more like a 6; the 35 was more like a 5.5. I might be able to get away with the 35s, though they are loose and could create abrasions and blisters; however, the 5 was way too big, so I gave them to my parents' caregiver for her birthday. She loved them! At least that saved me a trip to the store.
I am frustrated. I'm going to have to arrange a trip to the outlet mall in Oceanside sometime; there are lots of shoe outlets there, and I can generally find something. But it's a pain to get there for someone who doesn't drive on freeways.