I have two clients whose toenails are wrecked. We're talking some serious messed-up-ness here.
Every month I scrutinize the new damage and determine whether or not the nails are even safe to work on while I answer the same question over and over again, "Maggie, what's wrong with my toenails?"
And every month I say the same thing, "Your shoes don't fit."
"But Maggie! I have to wear boots for my job!" Or, in the case of Bad Toenail Client #2, "But Maggie! I'm a fat cow. I have to walk nine miles every day or I'll be as big as a house!"
To which I say, "That's fine, just get bigger shoes."
"But Maggie! They're Danner boots! Those are good boots!" Or, "I bought Sketchers ... those are good shoes, right? They're supposed to be made for walking."
And the surprisingly patient Maggie replies, "Yes, Danner makes an excellent boot and I know they're expensive — but it doesn't matter how good the boot is if it doesn't fit." Or, "Yes Sketchers are good shoes and I don't care if they're walking shoes, they don't fit your feet properly."
The thing is, I have what I have termed as "Delicate Princess Syndrome" — my skin is just super tender... total Princess and the Pea material. And my feet are the worst, which means that this backpacking hiker-chick has a lot of personal shoe-fitting experience. Licensed pedicurist-ness aside, when I tell you your shoes don't fit, it's because I know first hand (first foot?) what poorly fitted shoes do to your feet. And symptom #1 is that your toenails suffer some serious damage and your pedicurist will eventually tell you that she just can't work on them until they're better.
Suffice it to say that both of these clients have been hearing me tell them to get new shoes for over a year now. So far no one's lost a nail yet and no sign of open wounds or infection means I can still keep polishing over bruised nailbeds while telling horrifying (I hope) tales of the bunions and surgeries that I see in their futures.
Seriously, who cares if your work shoes make your feet look big as long as they protect them from looking like Wile E. Coyote dropped an anvil on them when you're wearing flips flops or heels?