I have been so VERY annoyed at all of the shoes I've bought since I've been to Australia. These are shoes I've had to buy specifically for work.
Gone are the days of wearing scrubs and tennis shoes to work. Here, one wears a uniform that looks more like a flight attendant and shoes that are dressy...which, to me, means damned uncomfortable. They're DRESS shoes for crying out loud. No one makes a dress shoe that's meant to be worn all day every day and not only be comfortable ALL day but also keep back problems at bay.
At the heart of this is workplace health and safety which maintains that shoes must be leather, fully enclosed, the heel should be covered, and the tops should come within 2 inches (or thereabouts) of the ankle. Also, the heels should be no more than 6 centimetres high. The height is generally ignored by most women and they wear high heels and get away with it....but I can't wear shoes that slip on with no backs, ie "mules".
Now that I'm going to be starting massage therapy school, I must buy new shoes. Firstly, the shoes I wear to classes must be the same as above, though I can get away with regular tennis shoes until clinics start and then I've got to wear the same as above. It's disgusting!! Come ON! As someone who will be on my feet all day, I need shoes that will keep me comfortable and keep my back from hurting.
Not only have I had back surgery but I also have congenital bunions. I had surgery on my left foot when I was 15 in an attempt to correct the worst of the two, but it's now the same as the right foot, which has never gotten any worse.
So, the hunt is on...AND I fully intend to challenge those workplace health and safety rules, too. It seems that the laws are open to interpretation and it depends on who one works for as to what is appropriate for that particular clinic or office.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do just yet, but for now I'm busily trying to find a Dansko dealer here in Oz.
Wish me luck!!!!