It’s my favorite time of the year! Want to know why? It is when retailers put all of their winter shoes and boots on SALE! (Ok, one of my two favorite times of the year, because they do this at the end of the summer season as well, to make room for the next season’s inventory). Do you ever find yourself ready to splurge on that deal, locate the “most amazing pair of…” just to realize that after the first time out in your new shoes your feet are aching blistered and you are miserable?
Well, I’ve got some tips to share with you that will help you make your next purchase with confidence, and ensure your new shoes will fit and feel great for a lifelong congenial foot-to-shoe relationship.
Pay Attention to the Heel Cup
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This is the area that is around and behind the heel. Most shoes are built up in this spot for support with stiffening materials inside the shoe, thus making it inflexible which will lead to chaffing very quickly. Buying shoes made of real leather, rather than synthetic materials, is the best option as leather and suede will conform to the shape of your foot in time and not cause the friction that is the culprit of creating blisters.
Do a Thumb Test
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Remember as a kid when you tried on new shoes and the first thing your mom would do was try to feel her thumb width between the end of your toe and the tip of the shoe? Always thought it was for “growing room”, right? Well it is, but as grown-ups we can still use that space for our foot to “grow” throughout the day/night as we wear a shoe because our feet will swell and this small space gives our toes some room to expand and wiggle, reducing the friction on the sides of our toes and making for a more comfortable experience.
Conduct the In-store Assessment
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I’m sure when you try on a new pair of shoes you at least stand up, and take a few steps (at least I hope you do!). That’s good, but this is even better for a more accurate read on how they will feel. The shoe department in most stores has more padding under the carpet; which will make the shoes you are trying on seem more comfortable. Try taking a spin around the tiled floor adjacent to the shoe department. See how your feet feel now. Close your eyes so you can better concentrate on your “feeling” or touch senses. If you think you can “break them in” chances are, you’re wrong. They will be as, if not more, uncomfortable with more wearings than they are at that moment.
Look for Platforms, Chunky Heels, Wedges, and Low Heel Height
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Shoes with this type of under support give much less pressure points for your foot to experience. They are more stable for the wearer. Even with a low heel height, the shoe or boot can look high if there is a platform for the ball of the foot. Overall it will give the wearer more height.
Buy Shoes at the End of the Day
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Our feet will swell slightly (and for some greatly) throughout the day. If you purchase shoes in the morning your feet are at their slimmest and you may find your new shoes will be too tight by the end of the day, or a long night out.
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Do you experience that sharp pain in the ball of your foot after wearing high heels for more than a few hours? Try taping your third and fourth toes (counting from your big toe) together. This will alleviate pain in the ball of your foot. Nuts? The pain you feel in the ball of the foot after a long day or night is caused by the strain put on a nerve in that area. Your entire body weight is centered on a 1” x 1” space, right on top of that nerve. The nerve runs right between the third and fourth toes. When you tape them together the strain on the nerve is greatly lessened, or eliminated for some. We suggest a nude medical tape for a low profile look.
Now you’re equipped for boot sale season! Remember these tips, and you’re guaranteed to find cute and comfy shoes.