This phrase was accompanied by glowing smiles on giddy physiotherapists at Leading Edge Physiotherapy, as our clinic's Christmas presents arrived on #TGIPBD (Thank Goodness It’s Poppy Barley Day). Our custom boots were beautiful (pictures above and below). It got me thinking about what it means to be “Leading Edge physio–approved”. It can sometimes be difficult to discuss the right kind of footwear with our clients when they are having foot problems, especially when you are talking about comfortable footwear to a fashionista! The questions are: what are we looking for in comfortable footwear? How can that fit in with a day at work where running shoes are not permitted, or when, frankly, those comfortable shoes just don’t work with my sense of style?
“Oh my goodness, they are physio-approved boots!”
Comfortable footwear means a lot of things. We often talk about how your shoes should support your feet. First of all, the sole of the foot shouldn’t be completely flat. If you take a look at your foot, there are lots of curvatures and changes throughout. If your shoes are completely flat, there is no support to all those curves or arches that are necessary in maintaining foot health. A shoe should fit your foot properly from the heel cup to the toes. Too loose, and your foot will be sliding around inside. Too tight, and you run the risk of compression issues. These can be as simple as irritation or blisters, or a more complicated list of issues that would require some form of treatment. I, myself, do not have perfect feet. These athletic-girl calves and chubby little toes get frustrated trying to fit into shoes that are too narrow for my perfectly imperfect, differently-sized feet, or having to buy shoes that are too wide to accommodate them. I have spent far too much money on shoes I don’t or can’t wear. Imagine my delight when I found shoes that could be measured to my feet and calves! (Above, I'm wearing The Classic Point in Black Python with Heel Studs, made just for me.) I was beyond excited the day my first pair of Poppy Barley boots arrived. They smelt beautiful; it was that fresh new leather smell. I can imagine the excitement one must feel when they buy their first new car and its accompanying "new-car smell". In this gal’s world, that fresh new boot smell ranks right up there. I could feel the support in the boots right away, as the sole of the boot provided a cushioning to my foot in all the right places. They were built to greet the curves and arches of my feet appropriately. The moment of truth, however, was when I zipped the back right up to the top and there was no hesitation or struggle to fit them around my calves, like I typically experience with off-the-rack boots. Is it weird that I think of my Poppy Barley boots and the word "bliss" at the same time? I wore these boots for the remainder of the weekend, shopping, down Whyte Ave. and at meals out, until, reluctantly, removing them at the end of a long day. I half expected to be sore or to have blisters like I do in almost every other pair of boots I have ever owned. That happy little grin came back and remains every time I look at the new addition to my closet. My patients regularly ask me, "So, what am I supposed to wear if my feet are <INSERT PROBLEM HERE>?”. Now the answer is simple: custom footwear that is specifically made to your feet brings innate cushioning and support and new meaning to comfortable, supportive footwear. This Poppy Barley review has got my physiotherapist stamp of approval.