I am in love with these shoes!!! For the sake of reference, I have to tell you that I hate shopping for shoes about as much as I hate anything. Give me a choice between sharp stick in the eye and shopping for shoes and I might choose the stick. My feet are small (size 5.5) with extremely high arches. They are wide at the front and very narrow at the heal. This means that it is danm near impossible to find shoes that are wide enough at the front and that don't flop up and down on my heal while not coming up too high on the top of my foot and rubbing a blister on it . I have never had a pair of athletic type shoes that fit. I wear sandals from the time it is warm enough that my toes don't turn to ice cubes until it is cold enough that my toes turn into ice cubes. Then I usually wear boots of some kind that I can lace up. I also have a couple of pairs of athletic type shoes that are mules...no heals. These are good for supporting my feet. Sandals, however, usually have no support whatever.
Then I found Chaco sandals. They were designed by a river guide in Colorado and are made for rivers and trails. The straps are fully adjustable and they can be resoled. The foot bed is designed to fit and support your foot so, for the first time that I can recall, I can walk with my weight evenly distributed on my whole foot.
A bonus is that they are made in Colorado. I like this because it is getting harder and harder to find anything made in this country. They come in a variety of styles,some of which are dressy enough to wear almost anywhere. I love mine for the trails at the park where I take Her Doggness for walks. The trails are rough and you have to have a shoe that grips the ground in a couple of places.
They are quite pricey. This pair retails for around $90. However, I have found some really good deals online. I do suggest trying on a pair before you order and checking the companies return policy carefully. I have a pair in size 6 because that is what I found in the store and thought they were a good fit. After I wore them a few weeks, I felt that they were way too long so I found a good deal on a pair in size 5 which fit me better. (remember I said that I usually wear 5.5 but I have a few pair of 6's. It depends on the brand and style of the shoe.)
In Austin, Chacos are available at REI and Whole Earth Provision Company. I have now found out that Chaco makes hike boots. I can't wait to try them.
Soundtrack for this post: Walkin' Shoes by Yonder Mountain String Band