zapposI’ve been focused on “fixing” my knee pain. It’s been holding me back from walking and hiking which, obviously, makes walking and hiking even a bigger issue because I was avoiding it. And it made me feel old.

A vicious circle.

Anyway, I’m seeing a chiropractor who specializes in sports medicine, running (and walking) injuries and custom insoles. He’s out of network, so I’m paying 70% of the cost. But he came very highly recommended by a friend who said he saved his life (back pain). And his office is close by. This is important enough to me that I’m willing to spend a little more out-of-pocket than necessary. Besides, after I get reimbursed from United Healthcare, a visit only costs me $22.50 vs. the regular $15 copay. Luckily, I started this before we found out about our insurance going HDHP. I’m so glad I already had a head start on it! I should be finished with my visits before the end of the year.

The doctor confirmed what I thought – that my knee pain is bio-mechanical. It’s not that I need a knee replacement or anything. But my gait and build, etc. all contribute to the issue. He’s given me some simple exercises to do 4x a day, made me some custom orthotics, told me to never cross my legs (so hard), to sit at my desk with good posture (as opposed to pouring myself into my chair, looking like Steven Hawking), and how to tape my knee for longer walks. I’ve started walking 2-3 times/week and was even able to do a 13 mile walk with my friends a few weeks ago. I was stoked!

Now for the Zappos part. It turns out I have really high arches. So high, that even my beloved Birkenstocks don’t support them. I’m determined to wear shoes/sandals that give me the most support as possible. I’m giving away all my cute, but non-supporting, sandals. 🙁 I found a nearby specialty shoe store and bought a couple pair of Vionic sandals, which have pretty darn high arches. They are cute and give me enough support to wear for parties and going out to dinner. But they aren’t supportive enough for everyday wear (ie. walking around the house or going shopping). The doctor suggested getting a sandal with a removable footbed so I could put my custom orthotics in. I decided on a pair of Naots.

I wanted to support the local specialty store but here were the issues:

  • the owner never recognized me, even I was there four times in two weeks and bought two pairs of sandals
  • they didn’t carry all the Naot styles, although she would order them for me
  • if I decided against the sandal, once it arrived, they charge a 10% restocking fee

With Zappos:

  • they had all the styles
  • free shipping
  • no sales tax
  • easy returns, no questions asked
  • the Naots were $20 cheaper than the specialty shoe store

It was a no brainer.

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