Everybody has that one pair of shoes that is the “Ugly Duckling” of the group. Whether it’s your yard shoes, your shoes from five years ago that you just can’t let go, or the ones that got given to you and you would hurt your grandmother’s feelings if you didn’t wear them to Easter dinner, they do have their place.

I have some ugly shoes. It’s actually kind of a funny story. My last summer in Gunnison, Colo. found me mowing park lawns for the city. As I’m bumping along this huge park, I notice a pair of shoes sitting on a picnic table. So of course my natural sense to leave no shoe unturned kicked in, and I pulled over for a closer look.

Boy, were they ugly. I have no doubt they got left because they were old, dirty, and generally built to look like something your great-grandfather would wear. I checked the size and astonishingly they were nines…my size. I took that as a sign and kept the shoes despite their unappealing look.

A year later, I couldn’t be happier that I kept them. Why? Because they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. The soles are foam, the fit is a broken-in leather, and the breathe with the best light-weight running shoes. After long days of work, my feet are killing me from walking back and forth on pure concrete. But all I need to do is come home and pop the suckers on and voila! I am in bliss.

So before you discredit your ugly shoes that lie on your closet floor, take a minute to ponder why you have them in the first place. Is it comfort? Sentimentality? Work? Whatever your reason, usually the ugly one has a purpose, or trust me, you would have thrown them out.

I wear these instead of slippers!

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