Bye Bye, Birkies

I have lumbar scoliosis,  which wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my late 50’s. It results in frequent sciatica and lower back pain, and I have had increasing troubles with it this summer. I initially attributed my increased pain to the stress and physical activity associated with my agency move to a new building. I spent the last month hauling, dragging, disassembling,  and rearranging things, but got no relief once that activity  stopped. Then I thought, maybe it is my Birkenstocks.

I love wearing Birkenstock sandals, and wear them with socks in the winter and without socks with Capri pants and most everything else in the summer. This week I experimented and wore my lace up Keenes, which look like bowling shoes, and found that my back pain went away.  Darn it! The Birkies went in the trash.

You can’t really wear bowling shoes with shorts and Capri pants.  I hate having to stop and lace up my shoes every time I leave the house. I like having less pain, though.

What adjustments have you had to make to your clothing as you got older? How would you describe your fashion style? What are your favorite shoes?

35 thoughts on “Bye Bye, Birkies”

  1. It’s not as if those are your only two footwear choices. If your Keene shoes give you proper support, it’s reasonable to assume that Keene sandals would as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My doctor was pretty surprised, too, after he did an X-ray. I never had an x-ray of my spine before, and I had never had back pain before. I found out that my maternal grandmother and one of my cousins had it as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As a Senior in high school, I wore waistline 32 inch pants. As a senior, I hit 42 inch pants. Now down to 40’s.
    Work clothing and work boots. I hate the round shoelaces that come with my RedWings. They just don’t stay tied and are far too long. I replace them with pink sheet vinyl welding cord. And yes, I love that song by Dodie Stevens.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. yesterday I wax playing a therapuetic board game with a young client and I landed on the space that required me to skip around the room. Oh, my! Have any Baboons tried skipping lately!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I haven’t skipped in decades. I once developed a comic style of skipping, something in the style of old vaudeville physical stunts.. One day I dusted off the old skip to impress my daughter. She gave me strict orders to never do that again.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I am a corduroy pants and sweater sort of person. I like being comfortable. I hate feeling cold. I am able to continue my sartorial preferences even now in the summer since the air conditioning in our new building is set to frosty. Yesterday I needed to wear a wool Norwegian cardigan because I was so cold.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not quite the opposite because I also love comfort over everything else. But I would rather be cold than be hot any day.


  5. Most of my life I wore ordinary clothing that was sporty and comfortable: slacks and a sweater, for example. Now I take pills each day that send me to the bathroom repeatedly, sometimes urgently. If that is your life, snaps, buttons, zippers and belts are not your friend. I now wear pants with elastic waistbands except for rare trips in public.If I want to “dress up” now I pull on jeans and a soft shirt.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Renee, you have very hairy legs in that header photo…

    I miss wearing cowboy boots. I love the look of them, and the way they make you walk. To me anyway, i always felt like wearing them made me walk with a certain strut in my step.
    Now bad feet make it hard to find any shoe comfortable. And now wearing the brace on my right foot, I can’t slip into cowboy boots and my choice of shoes is based on how much it opens up in order to get my foot into it.
    So I have worn the same model of work boots for many years, and the same model of black steel toed oxfords just the same. I wear them out (meaning they deform) so I get a new pair every year.
    My goal every fall with the soybean crop is to make enough money to buy new shoes. 😉

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Someday I hope to feel rich enough to have custom made cowboy boots that zip open or something in order to fit my foot in.
      Or enough time to have the multiple surgeries my doc things my foot would take to be ‘normal’.
      Goals to aspire too!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. To my mind, cowboys boots and cowboy hats are wonderful when worn by people who are comfortable and confident in them, when they’re not it screams: “All hat, but no cattle,” or “All boots, but no ranch.”

        My late friend, Mike, had his lower left leg almost severed in a motorcycle accident. The only footwear he could wear for the rest of his life were custom made sneakers and cowboy boots. He lived a large part of his youth on a ranch in Montana, so his naturally grizzled look complemented the cowboy boots. Incidentally, one of Mike’s sons, Randy, was a White House correspondent for Reuters during the Bush and Clinton administrations, and invited his dad to attend a couple of the annual White House dinners for their correspondents. I’m pretty sure Mike was the only person who attended any of those dinners in sneakers. I’ve seen photos from them, and they’re great.

        Liked by 3 people

  7. My favorite shoes are sandals. To be more specific, Mephisto Helen sandals. I’m on my third pair. I get about three or four years’ wear out of them, so these have been favorites for quite some time. They’re pricey, but worth every penny. This year I made the mistake of buying another pair of really nice sandals on line, but they’re just not comfortable; don’t have sufficient cushioning in the sole. So I have a perfectly good, unused pair of sandals, size 8, to give away if anyone is interested.

    As for clothes, loose fitting, comfortable, and if possible stylish, though I’ll admit that stylish is very much in the eye of the beholder.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m so glad you found something to make your back stop hurting, Renee.

    Like Steve I really prefer elastic waists for comfort, unless I’ve just lost some weight and things are roomier than usual. I find t-shirts too close around the neck, so I frequently cut a larger neck hole, make them très décontracté (very casual). My favorite shoes are some red Born slip-ons I found 2nd hand (near new), and my Croc sandals – a take off on Birkies, with narrower straps… I can no longer wear a tight strap across my arch, or thongs, and I need a wider shoe because the shape of my foot has changed with hammer-toe issues. Sigh.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I, too, have scoliosis, though mine is much higher up in the spine. It, too, wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my fifties. Mine is most likely attributable to physical abuse early in my life. X-rays of my spine reveal so many small fractures that happened early on. During a recent ER visit, a CT scan revealed a pretty messy pelvic fracture, which I had forgotten all about. Of course, when I stopped to think, that happened during my fall in February of 2012. It’s a small miracle that I’m still hanging together.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Yes, my client and testing chairs arrived today. We are all now required to wear plastic face shields and masks whenever we leave our offices. I understand the reasoning, as double protection means that if we are exposed we don’t have to quarentine. It makes me feel like a welder.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. My feet have gotten wider and harder to fit, and I have a bunion forming on one of them, so I appreciate it when I find a comfortable pair of shoes. Minnetonka moccasins are my favorite.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. The other thing that has changed is that my right arm is bigger than my left, so if I wear a long sleeved shirt or sweater with sleeves that are on the tight side, the neck will pull to the right. I have to look for clothes with loose blousy sleeves.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Tonight’s free opera from the Met is Turandot, and I’m having a hard time with the story line. Glorious staging, costuming, and voices, but man, the whole idea of a bunch of men in contest to win the heart of the princess, and if they fail, they’re beheaded, that’s over the top for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I know I’m late to the party, it’s been a busy couple of days. I had the opposite experience with Birkenstocks. About 20-25 years ago I had a lot of pain in my heels and was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. Nothing seemedto work. I had boots that I had to wear at night that kept my foot at a 45° angle, at one point they made a custom orthodic for me. That was a disaster. After three days my feet hurt so badly I couldn’t walk at all and I did actually convince them to take the orthotics back and credit me. Looking back I’m not sure how I did that.

    Anyway I had heard people say that Birkenstocks were really comfortable so I went out and bought myself a pair right before a trip to Greece. Literally the day before I left. I didn’t break them in or anything, I just put them on as soon as I got to Greece. After three or four days my feet weren’t hurting at all anymore and the heel pain has never returned after all these years. That’s why I own eight pairs of Birkenstocks now.


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