Day 69 of the Shoe Challenge – Blisters, & Rebound Boots

Rebound Boots

A classic double bind.

Buy those boots” said my husband “but if you do, you have to promise not to buy any  more boots this year“.

Who could agree to such a condition? And yet, just look at the boots in question:

Front and Rear Laced Knee Boot with Zip - Suede

No zips. Easy peasy to put on boots.

They are reduced until 30 April 2010 from £210  to £169 which translates to over AUS$300.00 for the boots once you bung on postage.  I could buy a hell of a lot of vintage boots for that.

Now by vintage, I mean shoes that once belonged to someone else that have been rejected, boots that no-one loves. In other words, waif and stray boots. Orphan boots. The ones that someone bought in a sale or on eBay in a moment of mad frivolity.  After months of trying to zip them up by sticking their legs up in the air while drinking green tea, fennel tea and anything else that might reduce their calf circumference they gave up in disgust. By “they” I necessarily include myself.

My pirate boots are sadly missed, I have been scouring my favourite boot purchasing place for months looking for a replacement. Me and quite a few others. Everytime I come close to winning a brand new replacement pair on eBay, someone snatches them from under my nose in the last 30 seconds of the eBay auction. There must be an iPhone App for that. Alternatively the ecommerce site that I visit only has the boots that I want in sizes 8 and up (I am a UK 5, Euro 38, Australia/US 7 just like about 60% of the population it would seem).

So I have entered into an unhealthy rebound relationship with a few pairs of orphan boots over the last few months.  Every pair of orphans that I have bought have been worn once or twice (if that) – I can now read sole scratches like a pyschic can read palms and check the auction photos as if I was reading runes. When the orphans arrive I give them a good scrubbing down, skoosh the insides with anti-bacterial agents – eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil and lavender oil – and bung in newspaper over a period of days to draw out any residual nasties.  Only when my son says “Mummy, what’s that smell?” do I know that the fight-the-fungus process is complete.  Then the scary getting -to-know-you bit begins.

The thing about rebound boots is that they are never the same as the boots that you left behind. No boot will ever be the same, smell the same, hike your calves up quite the same. This I have learned. Also there is a logical reason why these boots have only been worn once or twice. The reason being –  blisters.

Throughout the Shoe Challenge, I have encountered very few shoe related blisters. Either shoes are getting better these days or I have enough keratin built up on pressure points on my feet to prevent them. Out of 68 separate footwear pairs, I have encountered four repeat blister inflicting offenders.

The blister culprits are:

Day 1 – the Russell & Bromley Cherry Heeled Mules – acrylic uppers and human skin on a warm spring day lead to blisters across all five toes and the bony bit at the top of my foot which is apparently called the intermediate cunieform according to this diagram that I found on

Day 14 Prada Open Toed Silver Mules Blisters infliced as described above to the area shown below.

An informative picture of a strange woman's foot

Day 37 – Caged Ankle Boots the calcaneal tendon on the back of both my right and left ankles was rubbed raw by the zips up the back of the boots.

Ankle Anatomy

Day 52 – Alan Pinkus Silk Sandals the clear acrylic threads that wrapped over the silk straps rubbed from my hallux (big toe bone) down and over the first cunieform bone to the third cunieform bones (according to Gray’s Anatomy anyway, the book not the TV program):

Gray's Anatomy - Human Foot Bones Plantar Surface

None of the blister culprits were orphans. I have had them in my possession since they were brand new.  Not that that has helped.

The rebound boots that I wore today are the first orphans to attack me, which is unusual in a low heeled conservatively styled boot.  These munched away the skin on the inside of my ankle at the origin of the abductor hallucis at the calcaneus bone at the back of the foot. The resulting blister looked kind of like this by the time I got to work:

IHaving worn so many new shoes (including trainers) blisters are a sure sign to me now that something has gone fundamentally wrong in the manufacturing process of the footwear causing it. In other words, the blisters are as likely as not to reappear the next time you wear the offending items.  I’ll be getting some of those blister prevention pads aka big, huge sticky plasters (aka adhesive bandages such as Elastoplast (R) brand sticky plasters or Band-Aid(R) brand sticky plasters) . Those work a lot better than cotton eye make up removal pads and sticky tape, I find.

Jane Debster Boots

My boot rebound relationships aren’t not working for me. So maybe it is time to eschew all others and go think about going steady with a pair of RoSa Shoes stiletto heeled boots…

16 thoughts on “Day 69 of the Shoe Challenge – Blisters, & Rebound Boots

  1. nothing quite like the pain of leather rubbing against red raw flesh. I suspect that even the french with their particular penchant for really seriously warped torture methods have not had the balls to introduce the walking heel “wish I was not in these bloody things” punishment. just think of an assemblage of poor buggars marching around in continuous circles to the sound of a hundred bagpipes. it never ever fails for me in that every new pair of shoes I buy always give me the exquisite relief of taking the things off when the pain becomes bloody and unbearable. there are other comparable shivers of painful pleasure but we will not go into such things at this time as children and pensioners may, by happen chance, stumble across my comments. simply cannot have the old dears getting carried away before their time. so, back to the shoe question and related pain. I remember well the advice given to me that if you have bought a new pair of shoes then put them on and stick your feet into a bucket of luke warm water. the shoes will be ruined, of course, but will, nonetheless, assume the gentle profiles and contours of your respective two feet. this brings me respectively to the ultimate mystery of the universe. why, in the name of all that is blessed do we have to have two different sized feet? who in the heavenly domain thought that one up? probably some bloody loser angel having a last laugh as his black smoking chariot descended into hell after lucifer lost the battle against the good angels. now, there is a question, do good angels have fashionista boots to match their wings. you know the cute kind with the little silvery wings at the heels gently whirring away to keep the heels cool. well, there we have it. it took a little while with too many bushes to circumnavigate but, to be sure, the answer to every complexity in life always has an answer hiding somewhere. we must ensure that all boots and shoes have little wings attached to cool down the raw red flesh wounds with the surrounding peel of skin. how is that for common sense? I rest my case and requiescant in pace to all angels good and bad.

  2. CC, as you know, i wear New Balance joggers 95% of the time. I don’t suffer from blisters period,and I don’t have corns or bunions. I rest my case, or at least my feet………..

    • So your feet honk & mine seep. Not the greatest two choices to have. Mostly my footwear causes me no distress at all. The heel bed of these boots is quite unyielding though – a bit like work boots. Serves me right.

  3. Your podiatrist will have you fixed up in a jiffy. You DO have one, don’t you? Those photos worry me. Just as well you won’t have to wear open sandals, until next summer. Have you tried wearing MR CC’s football socks as protection?…….. 😉

  4. Hmmm…is the theory that if shoes cause blisters once, as used shoes, they will again? If this is so then I shouldn’t wear lots of the shoes I have 😦 – I know my docs will cause blistering but they are new and stiff so I expect that – I don’t expect doc worthy blisters from some runners bought from Target :s – Thank you for the tips for cleaning second hand shoes btw, I was never sure how and also – I’d go for the new boots, wait a few months then start introducing things that aren’t exactly boots- just ‘long shoes’ perhaps?

    • In my experience mostly yes. Do you remember the plane pee shoes (Page 53)? They don’t blister me any more but they do threaten to. Adjusting my weight to the rear of the heel section helps a bit. If I didn’t I would blister. Not one single pair of Prada shoes has caused me blisters. M&S shoes back home were pretty foot friendly too (if deadly dull).

      With the Docs – two pairs of socks is the trick according to Mr CC. This is a common method for breaking in hiking boots & trainers too (although you’ll need to go fine weave cotton not towelling obviously).

      Eucalyptus oil is also good for lifting stains & grime from the surface of suede shoes & boots with the help of a stiff brush.

  5. I would definitely get those beautiful boots and forsake boot purchases for the rest of the year. They’re stunning. Mind you, this is from a lady that doesn’t really buy many shoes.


  6. Since I discovered a shared passion for red shoes, (thus the name of my blog) I keep coming back here for more. 🙂

    BUY THOSE BOOTS! Oh such beauty, in the daintiness of the toe, the delicate heel, the gently curving calves and the eclectic lace-ups. Surley, you’ll wear them for years with lots of outfits, which actually makes them good value, no matter what their cost!

    If I may add my humble opinion to Gem’s, GET THEM.

    • Gem & Miss Red

      Are you on commission with RoSa Shoes ladies? Those boots are my raison d’etre to complete my tax return with all due haste.

      Also, I wonder about your star signs – Leos, Arians & Sagittarians? If any of the foregoing remind me *never* to going shopping with either of you. Our combined credit card purchases would cancel the national debt.

  7. The RoSa Shoe ladies may bribe stylists to coerce women into wearing their shoes, but I was always taught that good taste can’t be bought.

    Mostly, my friends enjoy coming shopping with me, as I always give an honest opinion, I’m a bargain queen and never pay retail. My kitten-heeled winter boots- Diana Ferrari black leather knee high pointy toed beauties that I have just re-soled? Less than half price.

    When you’ve got it, you’ve just got it. 🙂

  8. Allow me to add my voice to the pro-RoSa camp.
    What I really love about them is the lace up front and back feature. A god-send for calves which don’t respond to fennel tea! If it weren’t for the killer heel, I’d be ordering a pair myself as an early birthday present. The pointy toe is pretty cool too. Also, being suede, they will be much softer around the ankle and (hopefully) not blister.
    By the way, I’d never heard of the fennel tea remedy for thick calves. I believe the only reliable way to thin one’s calves is to stop moving altogether and let the muscles atrophy.
    Lace-up boots are a far healthier alternative.

  9. Your husband needs to introduce you to the concept of Cost per Wear. If you aren’t going to wear it enough times to get a reasonable c/w then you shouldn’t buy it.

  10. Blah blah pain blah blisters blah blah blood…Oh my, those boots are divine!
    Forgive me while I drool all over the keyboard.
    I hope you bought them.

    I’ve always been lucky with boots & suffered far less blisters, ‘breaking in’ or discomfort than I have with shoes, with one exception, a pair of black suede cowboy boots that I love to distraction but just so happen to be a half size too small for me. Sheer determination & grit is required to wear them for more than half an hour & removing them becomes an almost surgical endeavour. Don’t care, them’s purdy 😀

  11. I am a bit late replying to this thread, but am definitely pro-RoSa, too. Those are sooo stunning. So did you buy them after all? Please share. I am considering getting them myself. I found your sight when trying to google around about them. I’m only worried that they are just a bit too pointy..I hope it doesnt reach a “theatrical” level and that they are still wearable. They look very haute couture, though!

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