Free Your Toes Sis!

free your toes

One fine Sunday morning, I visited the Inland Empire Mall in San Bernardino, California, with a friend and bought a pair of flat shoes. On first glance, they looked pretty comfy and I immediately slipped my feet in; I remembered thinking “these feel pretty snug- probably because they are right off the rack”. 

I was extra motivated to buy these shoes because they were also discounted that day, “what a steal!” I thought to myself as I swiped my card to purchase and hurried out to store before they could change their mind about the discount. 

The next day was a Monday, a school day for me at the time, so I carefully selected the right skirt and blouse to matched my “new shoes”, and off to classes I went.


The 5-minute walk to class wasn’t exactly the greatest. I thought I just needed to ‘break into the new shoes’ as the flats felt rather stiff. As I crossed the intersection, I said to myself  “maybe I should have just worn my old pair”.


Sade Ankara Slippers (Blue)

By this time I had caught up with two friends who were also on their way to class. They both complimented my “new shoes”- that immediately made me feel a little better,  “maybe it will be worth the pain”. I’ll be brave, I can do this!” I thought to myself, trying to hide the pain.

Tade Ankara Slippers
Sade Ankara Slippers

Lucky for me, the class was 4 hours long; I walked into the hall, grabbed the first available seat, slipped my feet out of the shoes and breathed a much needed sigh of relief! 

I soon forgot about the pain of walking to class and continued to enjoy the rest of the lecture. Alas, the end of the class came and as I stood up and slipped my feet into those shoes, I instantly REMEMBERED! 

I immediately started all sorts of calculations and permutations in my head- I was thinking about the distance from my class to my dorm room and if that was inversely proportional to the measure of my pain. I wondered how many steps it is take to walk from this class to my room. What I would have given to have a pair of wings!


The walk back to the dorm felt like the LONGEST walk I had ever done. Each step was HELL. I could see my dorm building but each step seemed like I was getting farther away from it.

PAIN!!! I wanted to take off the flats and walk barefoot; pride or shame prevented me from doing so. I felt like I had a reputation to protect. Like someone was watching me. A DAMN SHAME. 

At the dorm where I lived, there was a table tagged “free table”.  Everything on that table was up for grabs (free of charge). I remember removing the shoes as I walked past the free table and  dropping them there. Good riddance! 

Sadly, this was not the first time I had found myself in such situation. So many times I have sworn NEVER again to wear painful shoes, but somehow it always comes to this. Don’t be like me.

Chi Ankara Slippers
Sisi Ankara Slippers

Comfort is key and that is a lesson I learned the hard way.  Remove those stilettos and FREE YOUR TOES. You see, many women I know choose style over comfort over and over again. We often voluntarily go with the pain. Oh what needless pain we bear!


 I am in no way suggesting that you ditch your high heeled shoes for flats or slippers, but at least have a backup plan. The next time you feel that pinch, ache or pain, go ahead and change into comfortable shoes.

Tobi Ankara Slippers

We now have MERCHANDISE on our online store!! Comfortable, stylish and unique slippers that are handcrafted from Nigeria. They are made from the ANKARA fabric; a colorful cotton fabric worn with pride by West African women. I am very happy to share this bit of my  culture with you. To get you started, here’s 30% discount on all our slippers. Just use the code: TAPA30. Offer lasts till Thursday August 15, 2019. 

Adaobi Ankara Slippers
Sade Ankara Slippers

Have you ever had an experience with uncomfortable shoes? please share your experience in the comment section.

Dr. Ozi

Dr. Ozi

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Tales of an African Princess in America podcast (#TAPApodcast) was created to share the unique stories of African immigrants abroad.

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