How to shop for comfortable shoes without sacrificing style

Istockphoto Image by: Istockphoto Author: Canadian Living


How to shop for comfortable shoes without sacrificing style

Given the choice between hideous, but supportive shoes and painful showstoppers, many women choose vanity and suffer through the pain. Though an emergency stash of Bandaids might seem like the solution, it is possible to buy comfortable footwear that doesn't look dated. With the help of Shannon Kemp, marketing manager of Rockport Canada, consider the following four tips when shopping for trendy shoes that won't cause throbbing feet.

1. Choose the proper fit

Busy days are only made worse by uncomfortable shoes—especially those that are the wrong size. To prevent purchasing an ill-fitting pair, Kemp suggests trying on the shoe in store and walking around. "You want to make sure your feet feel well supported and cushioned. You also want to make sure that your foot doesn't move around inside the shoe or that your heel doesn't slip out." Any of these problems could cause discomfort and painful blisters.

2. Consider the shoe's construction

A bargain buy may be tempting, but it often means giving up quality fabrication and, ultimately, comfort. Kemp recommends looking for footwear that is made of leather, suede or other natural materials because they tend to be the most comfortable. "Premium textiles allow for a soft, form-fitting shoe and less break-in time than cheap textiles."

In addition to manufacturing, certain features can be practical while adding a style element. "Buckle and zipper details are often used as ornamentation with functionality. They look stylish and allow for fit adustability," says Kemp. Also look for on-trend neutrals such as navy and grey to add a modern kick to your wardrobe.

The same mindset applies to heels. "You can find a stylish shoe at just about any heel height," says Kemp, who suggests looking for cushioning so the heel won't be torturous to wear throughout the day. A bonus: Wedges and block heels are very much on trend this year, and these designs can add an extra layer of comfort.

3. Recognize your foot's shape

Not all feet are the same and some shapes simply can't wear certain styles and remain comfortable. "An almond toe is very versatile and has enough room in the forefoot [for most foot types," says Kemp. "The pointy toe shape is on trend, but may not be best suited for someone with a wide foot."

4. Remember: Flats are in!

Sneakers, brogues and loafers are all beautiful examples of must-have shoes with low heels. Patent leather, thin shoelaces and pretty colours make these practical shoes more feminine, but menswear-inspired designs work just as well.

Keep your feet healthy with these 10 tips.


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How to shop for comfortable shoes without sacrificing style