Author – GS42
So, I’ve got an interesting story about me and how my life changed forever.
It all starts a few years ago, when, whilst walking home, I somehow fell down some stairs, shattering my leg in the process.
Having gotten to the hospital to hear the diagnosis, I found out I’d done the job properly, and was going to require extensive surgery to get any use of it again. For the next year, I was stuck in an Ilizarov frame from hip to toe, being able to wear nothing more than a sock on the end of my foot due to the frame holding my leg together. Eventually, I managed to progress out of the cage, and into a full leg cast instead, which, was honestly a relief, as at least I could get back to wearing normal trousers. I spent a further 3 months in the long leg casts, before eventually getting into a short cast, as the doctor said the top of my leg was now strong enough to use again. My ankle, however, was still a different story…
A further 4 months down the line, and 3 more surgeries later, my ankle had still not quite healed, however we realised I needed to start getting some proper use back into my leg otherwise it’d be forever unusable. I then began trying to walk, whilst still in the short cast, purely to get back into the habit of walking again seeing as I still had the extra protection and strength needed to help the ankle fully heal. Throughout all this time, my right foot had never seen anything more than a sock to cover it (ignoring the casts).
After what seemed like a lifetime, I was eventually told my ankle had healed as well as it ever would, and, as such, I was now able to walk “normally” (as normally as you can after such a disaster). This is where things get interesting.
Having gone to the hospital to get the final cast removed, I suddenly thought “Oh, you know what, I don’t even have anything more than a sock on me to cover my foot with when I leave here! Wait a second! I don’t actually have any right shoes anymore.” (This was because, knowing I was going to spend at least a year without use of my right foot, I’d decided to help a local charity who help amputees and people with odd sized feet out by selling single shoes. I had completely forgotten about this generous moment until I was sat, waiting for the doctor to return just after I’d had the cast removed.) Anyway, having talked to the doc some more, and been given the all clear, I got up and hobbled back to my car, wearing my favourite Red Nike Janoski on my left foot, and a plush, white cushioned Converse trainer sock with grey and green accenting on my right foot. Having not been able to properly move my ankle in years, driving home without a shoe and being able to flex my ankle was a really weird experience, but I enjoyed every second of it.
Now, there’s one little bit of info I haven’t yet mentioned. As it happens, I’ve always wanted to break my leg, just to see how it feels. I’ll be honest, I hadn’t quite wanted to do it to that level, although it was a really interesting experience.
Having got home, I relaxed and enjoyed a good bath, seeing as that was something I hadn’t been able to do properly in a long while. It was whilst I was in the bath that I really began to think about my new predicament of having no right shoes to wear. I realised there was no way I could leave the house again without having to go out in just my left shoe, with only a sock covering my right foot, at least if I wanted to look “normal”. I then remembered I hadn’t taken my crutches with me to the hospital, which meant I still had access to them, so I decided I’d go out with my one shoe, but take my crutches to make it seem more reasonable that I wasn’t wearing a right shoe.
The next day came around, and off shopping I went, wearing a light blue Osiris High Top and a cushioned red DC ankle sock, to at least give my right foot a modicum of comfort whilst I looked for a new pair of shoes.
6 hours, umpteen shops, and I don’t even know how many pairs of shoes later, my right ankle was throbbing and swollen like a balloon, and I had completely failed to find a single pair of shoes that were even remotely comfortable for the newly freed right foot. I thought that, maybe, it was just because I had only recently got the cast off, and because I’d been wandering around for hours, it was swollen, and therefore I maybe just needed a couple of days more without a shoe on it for it to better recover and be compatible with wearing a shoe once more. In the meanwhile, I realised I needed to find a better solution to cover my right foot, and make it more comfortable whilst I was walking around, seeing as I couldn’t find shoes, and I’d learned the hard way that just wearing one sock on your foot whilst walking around caused quite a bit of discomfort. This was when I struck upon the idea of wearing the other half of whatever pair of socks I was wearing on my left foot as normal over on my right foot, just as I’d already been doing, along with another sock of some form as a kind of “cover sock” (I guess that’s what you’d call it.)
I tried the idea out whilst wandering around the house the next day, after the swelling in my right ankle had subsided somewhat, and realised that the normal sock, along with a single cover sock still didn’t quite seem to cut it for me, so instead I tried 2 cover socks, and that was very comfortable. The next day I thought I’d try 3 to see whether that was more comfortable again, however I realised quite soon on that, although 3 cover socks was extremely comfortable, the best of all the tests, it also happened that 3 cover socks was just a little too tight for my foot to really cope without beginning to cramp up a little. So, back to 2 cover socks I went. For the next week, I went around with whatever left shoe took my choice that day, along with my socked right foot, and one crutch just to make it seem fairly “normal”.
This was the point where I began to realise something was perhaps off. I suddenly realised that, for the entire time I’d been walking around with my socked right foot, I hadn’t really once missed wearing my right shoe all that much. This, I now realise, was clearly the biggest revelation, and turning point, of my entire life.
After the week or so of walking around with my left foot in its normal shoes, and my right foot all nice and cosily socked up, I thought I’d best try the shoe shopping again, as, after all, I really couldn’t spend the rest of my life wearing only a left shoe, and leaving my right foot just socked up instead. Could I??
Well, after trying the shoe shopping farce once more, I again came to the decision that actually, I still couldn’t find a shoe that was even remotely comfortable for my right foot, even though there must have been hundreds of them that were immensely comfortable on my left foot. This was the biggest, most heart stopping moment I think I’ve ever had. All of a sudden, I realised that maybe, just maybe, the incident had caused irreparable damage I hadn’t even realised existed, and that maybe, I wasn’t ever going to be able to find a right shoe that would ever be truly comfortable again. Then, like a big flashing neon sign, it hit me. Maybe, just maybe, the solution to all my problems had been staring right up at me from its little cosy palace on the ground all along.
By now, I was able to walk entirely normally, excluding the limp caused both by the damage to my leg which had been left a few millimetres shorter than it once was, along with my left foot now being higher up, due to it being in a shoe, whilst my right foot sat exposed in its socked glory on the floor alongside it.
I realised I had quite possibly the hardest decision of my life to date, that needed clearing up and deciding very promptly. I could just buy shoes that at least fit my right foot, even if they weren’t comfortable on it, just so long as at least my left foot was nice and comfy. Or, and this seemed like an idea only a total loon would ever think of, I could actually just continue as I had been doing ever since that fateful day when I destroyed my leg, not actually wearing a shoe, and only ever wearing socks on my right foot.
I knew I needed to make the decision, but I really couldn’t think straight with this wacky idea coursing through my head, almost shouting at me that it was in fact the right choice. So, instead of forgetting about it and ignoring the fact a little longer, I called my best mate, and asked whether he happened to be somewhere around town, and did he fancy going to the pub for a couple of drinks. My plan was to get him somewhere where we could just sit and talk about my 2 options, and see whether perhaps he could shed some clarity on what he thought might be the best idea for me.
He turned up in some beat up green puma trainers, with his white Nike socks poking out over there top, whilst I was stood there in my left black Vans shoe and orange Polo Ralph Lauren trainer sock along with grey cushioned DC trainer socks as cover socks for my right foot, as well as my crutch to cover the odd appearance. We then headed over to our favourite gaffe, sat down and after a couple of drinks, we got down to brass tacks. I slowly explained my current predicament, and why I was still wandering around looking “like a chuffing tramp” as he so delicately described me. I told him my option A (the uncomfortable right shoe but look normal), and then got onto the wacky option B (sticking sock footed) that I still couldn’t shift from my head. When I finished covering the options, he sat and thought for a good long while, then asked me “Well, there’s 2 things here. Could you actually cope with the constant discomfort of wearing that right shoe if it’s actually as bad as you say it is, and, do you actually seriously believe that option B might even seem like the better plan.” I just said I really didn’t know, and that’s why I’d come and asked him.
Throughout all this, I was realising more and more by the second, that, actually, I was really quite enjoying the whole shoe covered left foot, socked right foot combo thing, and that maybe, even though I’d never known before, this was actually something I really wanted to do forever more. I refused to let my mate know this critical piece of information though, because I didn’t want to seem like a complete nutcase in front of him, even though he knew full well I was a little crackers at the best of times.
After a couple more drinks, and some more discussion on the matter, we mostly concluded that maybe option B was the right idea all along, and that my right foot would forever remain sock footed, never to see a shoe again. As we left to head our separate ways, I said I’d sleep on it. In reality, I think my mind was made up a while back, after the first shoe shopping saga, but I’d refused to admit to myself that I had wanted just that and nothing else.
A couple of days later, I phoned my mate again, and asked whether he fancied another trip to the pub, to which he obliged as usual. He showed up in his beat old purple Nike SB High tops he loved so much, and I turned up ironically also wearing my left purple Nike SB High top trainer, paired with the most comfortable pair of grey, blue and green Adidas cushioned trainer socks as my cover socks for my right foot. This time, however, I’d left the crutch at home, because quite frankly it was driving me insane by this point, as I had literally no use for it other than as a prop to try and hide from both myself and everyone else that I was walking around with one shoe and a socked foot for practically no real reason.
As soon as he saw me, he just rolled his eyes and subtly shook his head. I already knew his opinion. He greeted me with a sarcastic, yet caring “Alright Hoppy McTramp”, to which I replied, “Yeah, I’m good you scruffy git. It’s not like you can talk after all, I mean, look at you…” (To be fair to him, he’d been decorating somewhere else all day and just rushed out to meet me). He quickly snapped back “Well, at least I have 2 shoes on, muppet!” We then nattered as we wandered down to our favourite bar, and after we’d grabbed a drink, we sat down and he immediately said “Well, I guess I know what you chose then eh? I guess, so long as it makes you happy, and you’re comfortable to boot, then it doesn’t really matter does it.” I just gave him ‘that look’, and we laughed.
Anyway, 5 years on, and here I sit, with my now exceptionally battered favourite red Nike Janoski on my left foot, along with my old faithful Nike cushioned trainer sock against the skin of my right foot, along with the comfiest pair of black, grey and orange Bombas cushioned trainer socks covering my foot in lieu of where a shoe (now affectionately known as a disgusting foot prison) once sat, now feeling confident to share my story with the world. I guess the moral of the story is listen to your heart, no matter how weird it may at first seem! Also, sometimes, dreams really do come true, even if you never quite knew that was your dream to start with!
Instagram – Castsocks