Buying a new pair of shoes is an art. As a self-respecting woman, you’ve been perfecting yourself at it for years. Men sometimes think, it is just a matter of going to a shoeshop, picking a pair of shoes and taking them home. But let’s be honost, if it were that simple, they would be good at it too. No, finding a pair of perfect shoes that make your heart skip a beat, and then buy them to make them part of your precious family of beautiful shoes, is a mission. It is not as easy as it seems.
The proof is in the pudding. We all have some gorgeous shoes in our carefully curated collection that are too small, too big, too high, hurt like hell, give you blisters… We rarely wear them because of these little flaws, that make the shoes in question not suitable for their destiny – being worn. And that is a pitty. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’d toss them out of course. They can remain in your closet for a while, collecting dust for a few years. Until the point where your shoecloset is overflowing and you have to make space for some new ones. And even then, it always hurts to throw or give away a pair of beauties you barely put on, just because they weren’t what they were supposed to be. To become an absolute professional in shopping heels, thus avoiding any disappointments in the future, here some pro tips to buy shoes that you’ll be able to enjoy wearing.
1. Timing is everything
First, don’t go shoeshopping straight out of bed. Dreaming about shoes is fine, but it is not a good idea to buy them early in the day. Try on shoes when you already walked around for a while and your feet have their “natural” size. Throughout the day, your feet might swell or plump a little, when it is hot, cold, you’ve strolled around… Your feet are probably smaller when you hop out of bed, but that is only a fraction of your day and usually not the part of the day where your feet hurt. At the very end of your shopping spree, is not the best idea ever either, since tired feet that have been squeezed in shoes for 10 hours, will hurt in almost any shoe. So try to do the shoeshopping somewhere in between you hopped out of bed, and you came home after hours of shopping.
2. These boots are made for walking
When trying a new pair of shoes in the store, walk around in them. Take a few steps around the shopfloor (while politely staying on the carpet to keep the outsoles clean). It’ll give an immediate impression whether they’ll hurt, slip off, make your ankle twist…
3. I’ve got this feeling
They are more expensive, but natural materials like leather or silk are more pliable and comfortable for your feet than synthetic materials. They better mould to the shape of your foot and reduce chafing after a few wears. Genuine leather or silk shoes might be a bit harder to maintain, but they’ll definitely last longer than synthetic ones.
4. Be a stiletto in a world full of flip flops
Shoes with a lot of cut-outs or only straps, are usually more comfortable when you try them on in the shop, because your feet feel pretty free when there is not a lot of shoe around them. Flip flops usually don’t give you blisters. But that is also the downside of these shoes. They provide very little support for your feet. They might seem like a good idea, but research in the US showed that of all injuries caused by footwear, flip flops cause 10 times more severe and lasting injuries than high heels. So sandals are a good choice for an evening out (when you don’t expect too much rain or too many people stepping on their toes), but avoid walking around in flipflops and sandals too much.
5. The higher the heels, the closer to heaven
Walking in heels is to a certain extent “practice”. But there is also some natural aptitude involved. To test what the heel height is, you are naturally destined to wear, here is a quick trick. It is not the easiest to do yourself, so if you have a friend around to help you out, that might be useful. Draw a small circle at the bottom of a sheet of paper and put it on the ground in front of you. While you sit on a chair, stretch your knee and put your heel on the circle on the paper. Relax your foot. Now, from the ball of your foot, go perpendicularly down towards the piece of paper and draw a line or cross there. Now measure the perpendicular distance between the circle from your heel and the line/cross you drew. This is the heel height you are naturally able to manage. This doesn’t mean it is the most comfortable or best heel height for you to wear. It just means that buying heels that are higher, will probably cause cramps, hurt and never give you an elegant walk.
These 5 tricks are waiting to be put into practice. Time to schedule your next shoeshopping spree. Next month, I’ll give you some tips and tricks on how to walk in heels like a supermodel.