Don’t lie. You know you love shoes. What woman doesn’t? Whether we developed the fetish while still playing dress-up in our sparkly jelly shoes or discovered Manolo Blahnik later in life, we view shoes as works of art. A great stiletto is certainly lovely to look at, but wearing them? That can often be another story. Here are the ways and the kinds of shoes that damage your feet- and alternatives that will help you avoid pain over beauty!
Heels and Fit. If a heel is too snug on your little piggies, don’t buy it. It can be tempting to buy a size (and a half) too small when there is a fantastic department store sale going on, but you will pay for it later, especially if it’s a stiletto. Don’t sacrifice your feet for the thrill of wearing a gorgeous shoe. Bunions and hammertoe (as bad as it sounds!) can develop, and you could be looking at surgery down the line. Ouch!
Running/Athletic Shoes. Be sure that these are the most comfortable and supportive pair of shoes that you own. If you are planning on running and walking far distances in these babies, you had better be sure they are ideal for your foot size and shape. Don’t be afraid to ask the salesperson at your local store to sit down with you and explain the features of each option. Shoes today are specific for each sport and type of foot. You may be afraid of the ‘five-finger’ shoes, but these are a popular option popping up in various brands and colors!
Embrace the Wedge. The wedge was a gift from the shoe gods, a perfect example of science and art combined. Instead of teetering on a sky-high stiletto, consider the equally amazing wedge. It lends support for dancing, sightseeing—basically everything you can’t do in a high heel! There are a great variety of options from denim to funky ikat prints to bejeweled versions that lend some sparkle. These can dress an outfit up or down (think a fancy sundress with denim wedges or cuffed jeans and a plain tank with silver wedges)!
Flip Flops. Flip flops are great for the beach, but they are also the go-to shoe to throw on before running out of the house! Keep in mind that as a rule, you should keep these in the closet in from early Fall to mid Spring. There is nothing more offputting than seeing unmanicured digits on display in late November. Whether they were 2 for 1 at Old Navy or a sturdier pair of Havaianas, they are not acceptable attire for a wedding ceremony. Also use your common sense when it comes to activities- if you are planning to hike up a hill, mountain, volcano…maybe keep those rubber flops at home!
Go Shoeless, Joe. If you are spending a day on the beach, take a run without your shoes. Studies show that African tribes who go shoeless have healthier feet than those of us who wear shoes day in and day out. If you are going shoeless, of course be sure there is nothing you can step on that would damage your soles, and keep those feet at the park or beach. Don’t bring those bare toes into a place of business!