Okay, I’ll start with a confession.
To say I have mistreated my poor old feet over the years is an understatement. For years I committed the Number One Foot Crime – no, not high heels – flat heels. Totally flat, ballerina pumps which I jived in for hours on end, months on end, years on end, before getting chronic plantar fasciitis, coupled with dropped transverse arches. I now have to do strange stretching exercises every day and wear enormous insoles which is why, when I’m gardening, I look like I’m wearing ten-league boots.
What has all this got to do with the price of eggs? Well, one of the few times I don’t wear the monster insoles is when I trudge out to take the compost out to the bin/ nip up the path to the shed/ potter round the back garden with the watering can or, cough, nip to the supermarket for that forgotten dinner ingredient. Then I wear slip-on gardening clogs. Up to now I’ve made do with a pair of £5 Wilkinson’s specials. They’re okay. They’re faded, crumbling round the edges and they bash my big toe when I walk but hey, they were a fiver.
Then I was sent a pair of Backdoor Shoes to test.
The first thing you notice about Backdoor shoes is the sheer brightness of them – they come in all manner of quirky designs and colours, from tulips to roses, dogs to butterflies. I’m particularly taken by a pair of fake brogues in the men’s range, and the grass version makes me smile too. The ones I was sent have, appropriately, brightly-coloured veg on them.
They’re made of expanded foam, with machine-washable liners, which I like the sound of. They weigh practically nothing. They’re comfy, true to size and perfect for flapping down to the shed or taking the compost up to the allotment.
What staggered me, though, was that their insides are really rigid. Rigid enough to support my arches, force me to stand properly and thus relieve my plantar fasciitis. The soles are soft, providing padding for my metatarsals. I can walk in them. This, folks, is a Good Thing. They’ve got a slight heel (1″) which will help prevent any further foot damage.
Backdoor Shoes are not sold as orthopaedic. They make no claims whatsoever about their clogs as anything other than as stylish scuff-abouts. Hey, maybe as they grow a little older they may lose their firmness and become just that, but just at the moment they have enough ‘give’ in them to sooth my poor transverse arches and enough built-up support to ease my plantar fasciitis. Believe me, that’s a win. Not sure I’m about to start jiving in ’em though…