Beauty and blisters: The great shoe debate at RBC Heritage
Growing up, my older sister used to constantly preach to me that “you should treat every day like it's a fashion show.”
But, like any typical younger sibling who hated walking in the older ones overshadowing footsteps, I usually chose to ignore that advice.
You see, she was Team Style over Team Comfort. I was Team Comfort over everything.
The two camps are alive and well-represented at the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing golf tournament on Hilton Head Island every year.
Go the heels route and you might risk any chance you had at not complaining all day and maintaining your blister-free feet.
Or, go with tennis shoes and you risk taking a few additional inches off your height and possibly getting on any best-dressed lists.
So how does one choose?
Talking to women on the course, I found that most women “learned from previous mistakes.”
A few blisters later, the women who decided to wear stylish heels or sandals one day, were sporting tennis shoes the next.
“I came yesterday and it was pretty uncomfortable,” said Christa Stutts, 26, of Hilton Head, who said she walked around for nearly seven hours. “I was wearing sandals and ended up having blisters.”
Wearing tennis shoes the following day was an easy choice then, Stutts said.
After making my way around the back area of the course for nearly an hour, I noticed a trend — no one was wearing heels.
Surely I hadn’t imagined spotting this footwear choice earlier in the day, so where were they?
That is when I made my way to the Heritage Lawn area ... and voila, heels galore!
Maegan Kline, 21, said she made the mistake of listening to her friend Ellen who was also wearing heels and encouraged Maegan to do the same.
(You just had to drag her down with you in podiatric misery, didn’t you, Ellen?)
“I thought, ‘Why not? It’ll be a great idea.’ I would look cute, it would be fine and I’d sit down most of the day,” Kline said. “I fully regret it ... No girl should ever take fashion over comfort in their life.”
Agreed, Maegan, you are wise beyond your years.
But Maegan and many other women around Heritage should take comfort in knowing that they are not alone.
According to Ryer Baldridge, an employee at the Olukai sandals tent on Heritage Lawn, at least 10 women in a single day ditched their uncomfortable footwear of choice and bought a pair of sandals in a plea of desperation.
“Twenty minutes after we opened, a woman pulls off her three-inch heels and bought a pair of sandals as quickly as possible,” Baldridge said. “She said she knew she couldn’t wear her heels all day, so she put them in her bag and walked away.”
If you’re not trying to buy a new pair of sandals, but are finding that desperate times might call for desperate measures, you can always go with Jennifer Becker’s plan.
“I may take my daughter’s approach very soon,” she said.
What approach was that?
Running around barefoot.