As is well established on this blog, I am a huge fan of Converse. However, after developing arthritis, I also find them uncomfortable to wear. I’ve talked about the Chuck Taylor All Star II before, which are a step up in comfort from the original Chuck Taylors, but another option is the Chuck Taylor All Star Dainty.
The Dainty has a thinner sole than the original, giving a daintier look, and it means the soles are more flexible. This can be good when you have arthritis, as there are days when you don’t need support as much as unrestricted movement — I haven’t worked out what causes me to have days like this, but it may have something to do with my feet and legs being tired.
The soles of the Dainty are really flexible, and I like wearing them; however, the thin soles also mean that you don’t have a lot of insulation from the floor and, when it’s cold, my joints really feel it, making these shoes unwearable. The metal-work in my leg is the first to complain when the temperatures drop, and in these shoes it feels like the metal is in direct contact with the floor: very unpleasant.
But there is something you can do to prevent the cold getting to your joints, and this isn’t only for Converse shoes, but any shoes that aren’t great at keeping your feet warm, and that’s lambswool insoles.
Lambswool insoles are usually bought for refreshing sheepskin boots (like Ugg boots), but I figured that this could be a great way to wear my Converse Dainty in colder temperatures (and by that, I mean anything below 16°C, such is my low tolerance, but you may well be made of sterner stuff). The insoles really make a difference and keeps my feet warm, and I have heard it said that wool stops you sweating and smelling (I’m not sure how true that is but my feet never feel too hot with them either, and I’ve just done a sniff test on the white ones, which I’ve been wearing all day, and they’re still fresh). In any case, it also means I don’t have to wear socks, and I appreciate a bit of freedom. I get my insoles from Amazon, and there are lots of stockists so I can’t remember which I’ve tried, but I’ve found that you get what you pay for.
The Dainty only comes in black and white, in both canvas and leather, so you don’t get any of the exciting colours that Converse do, but I think most people want the classics as well as the colourful options, so they’re worth checking out if you prefer a flexible sole.