I have found that many women find it difficult to shop for shoes that are comfortable yet stylish. Buying shoes is an area that is a little complex so this post offers you some tips to get you thinking so that next time you will hopefully make the right shoe choice so that you’ll be walking with confidence as opposed to limping.
1. Get your feet professionally measured
Feet change. Ask the shoe store sales assistant to do a proper foot measurement. Make notes and just be a lot more aware about where your problem areas are. Do you have wide feet? Do you have problems with the arches? Do you have sore balls of the feet etc.. being aware is the first crucial step to making the right shoe choice.
2. Be height aware
By this I mean, just be a little more focused on what types of heels are going to be more comfortable and those that are not. If you are going to be standing a lot, there is no point in getting those killer stilettos you have had your eye on! Instead, a thicker heel like a wedge will give you more stability but can still look really stylish too. If you really are keen on getting heels ,low or kitten heels will be your best choice. However, make sure the heels are not too thin as this will not be good for your balance and as a result, could result in very sore feet and is not a stylish look!
3. Be open to your shoe size
Don’t assume you’ll always be a size 8, for example. Try on a range of sizes as they can really vary a lot from brand to brand and depending on shoe type.
4. Be body-shape aware
Generally speaking , a good rule to follow is that your heel should match your body shape eg, if you have big ankles and calves, a thicker heel will look better on you, and you’ll walk more comfortably too. If you are very short, try to avoid really high heels as there will be an imbalance here,which could affect the comfort factor. FYI, I’ll be coming back to this area in a later blog so watch this space carefully
5. Be totally ‘toe aware’
By this I mean really look carefully at the front of the shoe. A lot of discomfort from shoes comes from buying very pointy or toe-box types, which leave no space for the toes to move. Instead, shop for round, oval or square toed shoes. Really spend time moving your toes around when buying shoes- if you can’t do that, don’t buy them!
6.Examine the inside of the shoe
Very often it is loose seams inside the shoe that rub your feet so do a good examination of the shoe to make sure it is ok on the inside as well as the outside. Also check for cushioning. Is there any padding? If not, consider buying insert cushions (if other factors tick all of the boxes) or put them back on the shelves- An uncomfortable shoe is not a stylish shoe!
7. Open your mind
So maybe you’ve always worn heels but recently your feet have been hurting a lot when wearing them. What do you do-continue to suffer or opt for a more ‘foot friendly’ option? Why not shop for flats instead? There are some great little flats out there that definitely tick the ‘stylish’ box. Another good alternative is peep toe shoes, which tend to have mid-heels so they have a good comfort factor and are quite flattering due to their lengthening line. You could also create a fashion statement by wearing plimsolls with a floral dress perhaps or ankle boots with a short style skirt depending on your age and lifestyle. Also consider that there are many heeled shoes out there- you don’t necessary have to shop for stilettos!
8.Shop for shoes late in the day
You know what it’s like- by the end of the working day, you’re physically tired and so too are your feet. As a result, it’s quite likely your feet will have swelled a bit by late afternoon. But actually, this is a better time to shop because you’ll be trying shoes on when your feet are actually at their worst. So, as a result, if they are comfortable then , the chances are they’ll definitely be comfortable earlier in the day too!
9. Consider shopping online
I don’t know about you, but I always feel a bit awkward in a shoe shop. You can’t possibly know in 5 mins if the shoes are really comfortable or not ( although the aforementioned guidelines will help!). So, alternatively you could shop online. In this way, you’ll have time to browse styles you like, you’ll then be able to try them on at leisure at home and as a result, you’ll have a clearer idea if they are the shoe for you or not. Plus, very often online is cheaper!
10. Consider your shoe history
Keep track on what styles work for you and which don’t just to make the shoe shopping experience easier for you. Why not take a photo to remind you? Take notes too-it could save you time , money and pain!
Ok, that’s it for now. Like I said, I’ll be re-visiting this topic to cover other aspects of shoe shopping soon as I know it’s a huge area. Do you have any comments or questions? Need help shopping for the right shoe? Then why not book a shopping consultation with me- I’d be more than happy to help out!
In the meantime-happy styling!