Over the years, the number one style issue that the majority of my clients ask for help solving is finding comfortable shoes that are still attractive. Arthritis, bunions and other ailments, along with simply wearing heels that are too high for too long, are typically cited as the causes for all this foot (and shoe!) angst.
With so many fabulous comfort shoes available on the market these days, you really don’t have to sacriﬁce style for comfort. By considering these 4 ideas, you’ll be jumping for joy, possibly in a pair of heels, nonetheless!
Editor’s Note: For the purpose of this blog post, we are giving tips for dress shoes and sandals as opposed to sneakers and other very casual shoes and sandals – enjoy!
#1 Feet First.
If you have difﬁculty ﬁnding shoes and often leave the mall empty-handed after a day of shopping, consider purchasing your shoes before your clothing. Enter the shoe department well-fed, wide awake and ready to try, try, and try again. Walk on the carpet and the hard ﬂoor, and have the socks and hose (or bare foot) that you will be wearing with each pair readily available. Once you ﬁnd a fabulous, comfortable pair, the hardest part of your shopping trip will be complete. Consider buying other styles and colors from the same manufacturer as a way to leverage your time and energy. Record sizes and brands that work for your feet to be able to shop online more effectively too.
#2 The Wedge: A Woman’s Best Friend.
The wedge shoe is a great way to add height without sacriﬁcing comfort. It’s updated, stylish, and gives you the conﬁdence to know you can walk on stable ground. There are many wedge heel height options available today, in many different colors and fabrics, and you will see them from winter boots to summer sandals and everything in between. They truly can take your wardrobe to new heights comfortably.
#3 Stylish, Comfortable Shoes Don’t Have to Break the Bank.
Many people think to have comfort, you need to spend a lot of money. It’s true that many high-end shoes are constructed well and give the support needed for a day on your feet. Be assured, however, there are extremely comfortable shoes at all price points. Anne Klein Flex, Ecco, and Naturalizer, among others, are all reasonably priced and have stylish options. These are the brands I personally wear when I’m shopping with clients. I still want to be fashionable, but a limping stylist is not a helpful or happy stylist! Also, for me (like many of my clients), wearing sneakers and other overly casual shoes daily is not an option.
#4 Size (Along with Fabric & Padding) Makes a Difference.
I have found some fabrics are better than others when dealing with foot issues. If you ﬁnd a shoe with a lot of stretch, you will be surprised how it will conform to your feet, widening in areas where you need it. Conversely, a shoe that’s not very forgiving is a patent leather. They are less likely to stretch and may not give you the comfort you need. Another option for comfort is going up in size or trying a wider shoe. Since many people have one foot larger than the other, this is key in ﬁnding a comfortable pair. With the many padding options available, either under the ball of the foot or by the heel, a shoe can be ﬁtted so that you can walk with ease.
Last Word for the Guys
As for women’s shoes, men’s comfort shoes come in many price points. Clark’s, Rockport and Born are all stylish and affordable and have become my “go to” brands for my male clients needing help in this area. No matter their price, keep all your shoes clean and buffed and they will last you a few seasons.