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Bicycle safety for giraffes

August 16, 2012

This week I visited the orthopedist for my final check up on my stress fracture. Even though I had been back to barefooting for the past three weeks, I grabbed a pair of shoes as I walked out the door, thinking that if I showed up without them, I’d get a lecture from the doc. Well, I ended up getting a lecture, all right… For wearing shoes, or at least the wrong kind.

The stress fracture appears to be completely healed and I would have canceled the appointment and saved the $35 co-pay except that I am still feeling a little bit of tenderness in the joint at the base of my baby toe. (This is a pain I started feeling after moving from the boot to the orthopedic sandal. It is a pain that initially had me panicked, thinking that my stress fracture was not healing.) When I told the doctor about this tenderness, he looked at the shoes I was wearing—black, open-toe flats—and had me step barefooted on a piece of paper so he could trace my foot. Then he picked up my shoe and compared it to his outline. My bare foot was significantly wider than my shoe and thus began the proper footwear diatribe.

He may as well been lecturing a giraffe about the importance of bicycle helmets. His speech was totally irrelevant to my situation and there was only so much I could take. Finally, I interrupted him with my confession: I don’t wear shoes. I only put these ones on so you wouldn’t reprimand me. Apparently my plan backfired.

What do you mean you don’t wear shoes?

I mean just that. I don’t wear them.

Then, after a long pause and with an absolutely bewildered look on his face, he told me that I had a bit of inflammation in that joint, likely caused by my gait change while wearing that stiff-soled sandal.

While the pain is still present, it has steadily decreased since I ditched the sandal and returned to barefoot life. He said as soon as the tenderness is completely gone I can ease back into running. And with that, I dropped my no-good flats into my purse and walked out of his office in my bare feet, hoping never to have a reason to return.


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  1. barefootward permalink

    Congratulations on your commencement, back to going barefoot that is. 🙂

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