A two-part Cinderella story starring my sister, the Fairy Godmother of Shoes

There is no such thing as cheap shoes in my universe.

Which is what happens when a man with 9C feet makes babies with a woman who wears a7½ AAAA shoe.

My sister somehow managed to dodge the narrow-footed bullet. She wears a nice, common size in a nice, common width. She also has amazing taste in shoes.

My sister and my niece, with their lovely normal feet.

I wear a common size in AAA. My feet are widening as I approach my dotage, so I’m probably closer to a AA these days, although I do tend to walk out of most shoes because the heels are always too wide.

Too-narrow heels. Bad for shoes. Good for gripping.

It’s been decades since I tried going to a mainstream shoe store for anything more than accompanying Sweetheart (or a shoe-shopping friend). I only ask for my size if I want to a) get rid of a salesperson offering “help,” or b) make the sales staff laugh.

In my flat-broke single mother days, I owned three pair of shoes. One black and work-worthy. One brown and work-worthy. And, for days when I wasn’t working or looking for work, a pair of sneakers.

Brown, work-worthy shoes. (These Naot Mambos are still in rotation. I got them in 2012 after my sister arrived for a visit wearing an identical pair.  I promptly ordered a pair of my own, slightly smaller than the ones she owned.)

Successfully clawing my way back into the middle class has significantly expanded my shoe collection. Currently, I have two favorite brands, Superga and Tieks, both of which I was introduced to by my normal-footed sister.

Our feet are close enough in length that “just a little too short” for Debby means “they’ll fit Amy perfectly.” In length, at least. And, for my latest shoe brand obsessions, also in width.

Superga came first, so here’s that story. I will save the Tieks tale for my next post.

My Superga Intro

Superga’s slogan is the “People’s Shoes of Italy.”

It is 2012. Debby goes to Italy. She hits up a department store and buys a pair in bright teal.

A pair of  Superga sneakers, as depicted on the company website.

I had never heard of Superga, not a surprise for two reasons:

  1. I don’t spend a lot of time in Italy (read: any).
  2. I am way too busy with grad school, work and Mom to be cruising shoes on the Internet.

Debby, on the other hand, married a guy who travels for work. She earned her graduate degree in the 1980s and works from wherever she is.

So, Italy. She posts a photo of the shoes on her Facebook feed (this was back when I still had a FB feed) with a caption that read:

“I tried these on in two sizes and bought the smaller one and they’re just a little too short. I can’t return them because I’ve worn them outside. Darn! I should have bought the bigger ones.”

They looked adorable. They looked cheerful. They also looked ridiculously comfortable.

“Buy the bigger ones,” I wrote in the comment box. “These will fit me perfectly and I will pay you for them.”

Not long after her return from Italy, Debby came to town to visit Mom with two pair of blue shoes. I gave her money. That was six years ago.

They were adorable. They were cheerful. Best of all, they were ridiculously comfortable.

I wore the blue ones until they fell apart. I wore the pink sparkly ones until they fell apart. Same for the bright green and yellow ones. When I got my job at the library, I ordered three pair in different colors for work, and have subsequently added more to the rotation. I wear them almost every day.

My current Superga pile. Debby bought me both pair of gray ones.

At the moment, I’m down to lime, tan, a wildly happy graffiti’d pair and two gray flannels – one houndstooth and one solid. I branched out into a pair of high tops, but wouldn’t recommend them to someone with narrow feet unless, as I did, you end up buying an insert.

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