Good luck with the Birks. I find that they are not as ugly as I used to think, now that I have got used to them. One pair even seems cute, like kids shoes. The comfort and the pain relief are more important. I dress VERY casual anyway, most of my time in jeans, so the shoes look ok. For summer I like long-ish skirts, and they look ok with the sandals. A bit clumpy with the closed shoes though. And it's amazing about them being trendy - here in London nowadays people are wearing them everywhere, all the time! Fashion is funny, huh.
I've never been too keen on exercise, shameful, but I try to swim at least once every week, which I really enjoy, and I have always walked a lot, dammit. Born and bred townie, so walking has tended to be pavement pounding, who knows, maybe that's what caused the spur. I am just trying to accept that the old way of walking is out, going slow and trying to be patient is in, and trying not to overdo it.
My big passion is pottery, and I go to a community workshop once or, if poss, twice a week. If I am doing wheel work, that's sitting, and if I do any other stuff I try to remember to sit - easy to forget believe it or not, because working with clay is so involving and absorbing! Wonderful stuff.