Mar 11, 2012

Painless Shoes

Heels should never be painful simply because they are heels. Never. Ever.

If you are standing on your feet for long periods of time or walking around all day, all shoes will eventually become uncomfortable; heels are no different. On the same token, shoes should generally be comfortable enough to take you through your average day, even if that includes a bit of walking and standing around. Again, heels are no different.

The secret is simple. Buy shoes that won't hurt. Easy!

So let's start right at the beginning.
  1. You've spotted a pair of gorgeous shoes. Try them on. Both shoes. If it's a store where they only have the left or right shoe out, ask for the other one. And don't let the sale person give you attitude about wanting both - it doesn't matter if the right one fits fine!  
  2. Now that you have both shoes on - wearing the type of stocking you'd normally wear with them, or bare foot - walk up and down the store. Walk slow, walk fast, do a quick turn, a little dance step. Check for the following:
    • No pinching
    • No rubbing
    • No scrunched up toes
    • NO other noticeable discomfort
  3. Also, and trust me on this, wearing both shoes, do a very slow squat. Right down to the floor. Now rock back and forth and you'll notice how it feels across the top of your foot, or if it pulls or strains anywhere. If it does, maybe try another size.
  4. Take the shoes off and carefully examine them. Run your fingers along the seam lines to check for hard seams and stitches sticking out. Look for uneven material or anything else that might rub and cause blisters.

The most important thing to remember is that anything that pinches, rubs or makes you wince a little bit now will become extremely painful after only minutes of walking or standing around - forget a night of mingling at a party or dancing!

And please, please don't listen to the sales people telling you that you can wear them in! If you are buying dress shoes, then chances are you will not be wearing them several times a week, much less day after day, which is what it takes to wear shoes in. And really, have you seen a real shoe stretcher? It's made of solid wood! Your feet are not solid wood! So don't treat them like they are.

Now go out and try on some shoes! But just remember, like men, there are lots of shoes out there to choose from so you don't have to settle for ones that cause you pain :P