Shoe Shopping 101


How many times have you impulsively picked up an adorable pair of heels only to find yourself limping and covered in Band-Aids after wearing them for a couple hours? Learning to place a gorgeous but ill-fitting or uncomfortable pair of shoes back on the shelf can be tough. However, wearing shoes that you don’t FEEL fabulous in will only make you look worse in the end.

First of all, you need to figure out which types of shoes you need. Those 6-inch sparkly gold stilettos might attract your attention, but how often will you actually wear them? If a pair of shoes doesn’t go with anything in your wardrobe – leave them behind! There are six pairs of shoes every girl should own: black pumps, strappy sandals, dressy flats, casual flats, casual sandals, and knee-high boots. These are the basics, and the ones you will wear the most. Therefore, they should be the most comfortable, flattering, and durable. Shoes aren’t the best area to skimp on quality-wise.
Here are some tips for picking shoes that fit you best:
  • Shop in the late afternoon or evening. Your feet swell up throughout the day, and you want to buy shoes that will fit them when they are at their biggest.
  • Try them on in several different sizes (and widths, if available). Just because you are a size 8 in one brand doesn’t mean you aren’t a size 7 or 9 in another. If “your” size doesn’t fit, don’t just give up!
  • Take them for a walk! If they feel uncomfortable or difficult to walk in after only a few minutes, imagine how those shoes are going to feel after a few hours! Make sure you walk on an uncarpeted surface to experience what walking through the streets will be like.
  • What will you be wearing with your new shoes? If you’re shopping for a pair of heels, wear a pair of pants/jeans or a skirt that you would like them to match. Unless you’re wearing skinny or cropped pants, the hem should skim the top of the shoe for the most flattering look.
  • Also think about what socks you will be wearing (bring a pair with you, if possible). If a pair of shoes are little tight without socks, they may be unbearable with them.
  • Check yourself out in a full-length mirror to make sure your new shoes complement your body type. For example, if you have short legs, wearing Mary Janes or t-straps can make them look even shorter.
These Cole Haan “Air Hana” Mid Pumps from Bloomingdale’s are a comfy, cute choice!
If comfort is your main goal, here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • The thicker the heel, the easier it will be to walk in.
  • If the heel is very stiff, it may cause blisters. Buy heel inserts or try on a new pair.
  • Look for shoes with padding on the bottom that will cushion your feet. Leather or polyurethane soles are the most flexible.
  • Synthetic materials will make your feet sweaty and more prone to blisters. The most comfortable materials are leather and suede.
  • They’re not going to “break in.” If they don’t fit today, they probably never will!

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