Life Out Here: If the shoe doesn't fit ...

Some people deal with their trauma through counseling.

Others deal with their turmoil through finding God.

Still others find their inner calm through yoga.

Me, I found my inner peace through changing my shoe size.

Yes, I recently discovered that for most of my adult life I’d been wearing shoes that were too tight. No wonder I was how I was. And I was, from what I read on this newspaper’s Web site, mean, wretched, angry, delusional.

I’ve determined that all was because I was wearing an 8 1/2 when I should have been wearing a 9, which meant my feet hurt all the time. And that made me miserable.

Now I wear a size that let’s my feet breathe. I have for a couple months.

Free at last, free at last, great God almighty my feet are free at last.

I now see life from a sunnier viewpoint. I love everybody … OK, not Glenn Beck.

I feel as if a straightjacket has been taken off my feet and my dogs are free to frolic in a half size more of shoe space. It’s a beautiful thing, really.

Now that I’ve found how happy my feet and my true me can truly be, I want redemption for years of pitiless podiatric pain. I want someone to pay. I want bipedal reparations.

So I’m going to sue. I’m inclined to go after a corporate giant in the shoe industry. I won’t name names, but I’m leaning toward the company that dresses employees in referee shirts (Sore Foot Locker?). Either that or I’m going to attack another chain that I also can’t name. Let’s just say when I am through with it the chain’s name will be Big One, and that big one will be Big Bret Kofford … in bigger shoes.

Not only do I want payback for all the painful days in overly snug sneakers, I want compensation for what I spent quickly wearing out socks after I kicked off my death-grip shoes the minute I walked into my house, a habit I haven’t been able to shake even though my shoes finally fit.

I also had to unduly deal with years of harassment from people looking at my unduly crowded feet and asking, “You know what they say about men with small feet?” to which I would respond, “Small socks?” Then they would correct me and tell me what “they” say.

“They” will be hearing from my lawyer, too.

Now some no doubt are saying: “How is it anyone else’s fault that you wore the wrong size of shoes for the last 35 years?”

My answer would be when you go to a doctor you don’t have to grab the stethoscope and check your own heart. Your sawbones does it as part of his medical service.

The same should be true of shoe-fitting professionals. If a customer blithely orders an 8 1/2 and the trained shoe-fitting professional concludes that sizing might be a bit snug, he or she should be obligated, by law, to suggest an appropriate-size K-Swiss. Is it too much to ask of shoe-fitting professionals to salvage the feet and lives of the innocently squeezed, tootsie-wise?

Yes, I indubitably will make a tremendous sum from my lawsuit against negligent shoe-fitters, but I really am doing this so others don’t go through the horrendous existence I did when my shoes were too tight.

I am a giver, basically.

And if there is one thing I’ve learned from this incident that I want to share, it is if the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it.

Bret Kofford teaches writing at San Diego State University-Imperial Valley campus. His opinions on shoe fit and other vital issues don’t necessarily reflect those of SDSU or its employees. Kofford can be reached at

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