Before I start therapy, I always introduce myself like this: “Hi. I’m Shireen Sandoval and I’m a shoe-a-holic.” I get a good laugh out of my shrink, but the introduction, as well as the admission, isn’t exactly a big secret. The secret (and it’s not something I talk about in therapy) is that for a well-heeled fashionista, I actually take really good care of my feet.

I mean, like, crazy good care of them. I’m not talking about pedicures here; that goes without saying. I’m talking about death-and-taxes good care of them. Let me explain…

When I was younger, my motto used to be: “Pretty hurts.” I’d galavant about town in  my sky-high heels and believe me, no errand was off limits. I’d hit the post office, the grocery store, my hair dresser, even my nail guru, all in my fabulous footwear.

And yes, I dealt with all those snarky remarks from older women, like: “Why do you look like a hooker at the grocery store?” Or better yet: “You look beautiful now, but you’ll have big bunions later.” Naturally, I’d roll my eyes, click my heels and sway my way to life’s next destination.

I was living in the moment and at the time, my feet WERE fabulous. With chubby, perfectly polished, french-pedicured toes, long soles and strong heels, my paws were practically made to be perched up in precious leather. Then, well, that whole death-and-taxes thing happened.

More specifically: death. If you follow my blogs, you’ve heard me drone on about my Guillain-Barre Syndrome for two years. If you’re a new reader, I’ll make a long story short. I got a random flu virus that sparked a neurological disorder in my body. It almost killed me. I got a series of (IVIG) treatments and recovered.

By the way, a neurological disorder and a pair of four-inch designer stilettos have nothing in common. So, I closed the “Pretty hurts” chapter of my life, along with my shoe closet, and let the sweet smell of expensive leather dissipate from my memory.

Luckily, life went on and so did my love of shoes. Albeit with caution. I didn’t have the same reckless abandon I’d had before. I’d wear a pair of sky-high heels on TV (while sitting down) or for an evening out on the town, then quickly retreat my feet to something more “sensible”.

Being sick taught me to give my body the love and respect it deserves and getting well taught me to give it the TLC it desires. Sure, the saying goes: “You only live once,” but personally, I don’t wanna be a broken down old hag during my one chance at a kick-ass life.

Okay, enough Deepak Chopra-ness. The point being, while I missed my days and nights being jacked-up a little closer to God because of my high heels, I didn’t miss sacrificing my well-being to look wonderful. I often wondered was it possible to have both? You know, a healthy high heel? I thought I was crazy until I met the founder of Floggs.

About a year ago, Carol de Leon created a shoe line combining the comfort of flip-flop technology with the coolness of a California girl clog. Hence the title Floggs. The shoe isn’t just creatively comfy, it’s made to support your back, align your spine and absorb the shock your knees experience when you walk with your toes down and your heels up.   

The first time I snuggled my feet into a pair, I was surprisingly smitten (after all, I’m a self-admitted shoe snob.) I even gave the new line a brief shout-out (last April) in my “Rosebuds, Mr. Herrick, Clover Canyon & Floggs,” blog.

What’s more, all my friends started wearing them and I started wearing them, too. It was the first heel (since I’d been ill) that I could pump out an eight-hour day in. I didn’t need to be practically barefoot to be in bliss anymore.

Floggs come in low, medium and high heels, but they never stray away from that classic, cool, wooden clog look. I’m convinced that’s what makes them so comfortable.

Right now, I’m really into the Dana suede slide-on. They’re perfect for the Florida fashionista looking to change-up her winter wardrobe during our brief stretch of cooler temperatures. I love pairing my Dana’s with a textured corduroy suit. The look is hip, funky and chic. My other fave is the Davina bootie. It’s a sultry, suede moccasin, detailed with fun fringe.

I don’t always need to wear my Floggs now, but I still do because they’re fabulous. Plus, it makes me feel good to know that I’m taking care of my feet in a fashionable way. In the meantime, my life and the new shoe line are “Flogging Along Just Fine.” You might say, we’re both footloose and fancy free. Here’s to happy feet!

P.S. – I may have narrowly escaped death, but I still pay taxes. 

Most Floggs are around $100. I got mine at Koko & Palenki in the Aventura Mall.

Twitter @KokoPalenki 
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Twitter @WearFloggs
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Twitter @ShireenSandoval
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