Insider secrets: How to find great looking COMFORTABLE shoes!

7 Jul

It’s not always easy to find that perfect pair of comfy shoes that don’t instantly morph you into your grandmother. So here are some tips to help ensure you don’t have to sacrifice comfort on the holy grail of looking hot!

Size does indeed matter!

'Fraid these are going to be a little on the snug side ;)

‘Fraid these are going to be a little on the snug side 😉

Obvious though this is,when it comes to shoes you need to start off with them being the right size. Of course that’s not quite as easy as it sounds, as quite apart from anything else, very few shoes these days come in different width fittings. And one thing ShoesieQ’s learnt from having her very own shoe shop is that every manufacturer, every style, every pair, of every shoe, AND every foot is different! And that’s before you factor in the fact that feet tend to get bigger as the day goes on – so try to buy shoes in the afternoon if possible, as feet are at their largest at the end of the day.

Pitch perfect

Even women who don’t think they can do heels will often find that a pair with a decent platform can work for them – simply because a lot of pain caused by heels isn’t down to their height – more to the pitch of the foot.  And the recent arrival of flatforms onto the fashion scene (ie flat shoes on a platform) means that just about anyone can wear them. But if flatforms/platforms aren’t your thing, there are more and more mid-heeled shoes around these days, so give them a go!

When it comes to heels – feel the width!

Funky demi Wedge by Fly London

Even if you get on well with high heels, you’ll know that some are more comfortable than others. A wide or chunky heel provides a larger base for your weight to be distributed upon, which means they almost always feel better on than a stiletto does. And a wedge is even better!

When it comes to soles – it IS possible to be too thin!

You don’t have to be the princess of pea-and-feather-mattresses fame to loathe the sensation of feeling every pebble on the pavement as you walk. Even worse, shoes with very thin soles tend to offer very little support to the foot, which will cause pain in the short term and potential foot/knee and back problems in years to come. On the other hand if you treat yourself to a pair with platform soles, not only will you benefit from the extra cushioning they provide,but you gain extra inches without extra discomfort.

Sock it to ’em!

When you’re buying shoes do try to make sure you try them on as you tend to wear them. So if you know you won’t be wearing socks or tights under a particular pair of shoes, try them on in bare feet, and vice versa.  You’d be amazed what difference this can make, and how many people don’t follow this simple rule.

Avoiding the point…………..

Round toed sexiness at its best

If comfort’s key, go for round, or oval, or even square shaped toes on your shoes,  and put anything for shoes with a pointy toe back in the box. Unsurprisingly that goes any shape of toebox that forces your feet into an unnatural position.

But if you’ve found a pair that gives your toes a little bit of wiggle room and doesn’t force them round corners, chances are you’re onto a winner.

It’s what’s inside that counts!

Often what makes a pair of shoes uncomfortable is on the inside. Exposed seams, knotted bits of thread, folds of leather that rub your heels, or fastenings that press against the top of your foot can all make shoes completely unbearable.

Flat broke?

As a general rule, flats are more comfortable than heels. But not all flats are created equal, with some being downright excruciating to wear for any length of time. And for many of us, even fans of flatties, a tiny heel is often better than none at all

Know Your Feet, Know Your Shoes

Do you have high arches? You probably already know that pull-on boots are likely to be a problem to even get on your feet. Flat feet? Then you’re likely to need a bit of support around the instep. So before you go shoe shopping, take a look in your wardrobe to see what works for you (and what doesn’t!).

If at first you don’t succeed…….

Ok, so you’ve found the almost perfect pair. But something’s not quite right about them. This may sound mad, but ask to try on another, identical pair. As sometimes, just sometimes, if it’s really meant to be, the second pair will fit beautifully.

And no, ShoesieQ has no idea why this is. Perhaps the Shoe Goddess smiles on those who persevere? But she’s seen it often enough in her shoe shop to know that even shoes from the biggest manufacturers have subtle variations that can make all the difference.

Not all shoe shops are created equal

Of the big chains the only one that seems to really cater for comfort with even a modicum of style is, in my opinion, Shoon – although Clarks can have the odd moment of genius.

But wherever you go shoe shopping it’s best to buy from shops with a good returns policy. For example at ShoesieQ’s shop we let everyone try the shoes at home for 14 days – and you get a full refund if they bring them back in a resaleable condition within the fortnight. So that’s plenty of time to make sure they really do fit and feel fabulous.

Now admittedly ShoesieQ’s a bit biased here, wot wiv her owning a shoe shop n’all: but before those happy days when she was an HR clone she pretty much always shopped in independent shoe shops. Because if you find a good ‘un ,they tend to have the most interesting ranges, employ staff who really care (and know their shoes) and will be more than happy to get what seems like every box out of the stockroom to make sure you get the perfect pair.

And if you find one where the owner’s a sample size 37, the chances are she’ll have tried every pair on herself just to make sure that they don’t crucify her customers. And you’ll have hit the jackpot!

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