How To Shop For Shoes Like A Stylist

Fashion Stylist Alarna Hope Shares 'How To Shop For Shoes Like A Stylist' . Giving her top tips and hacks for ensuring you get a comfortable fit, a gorgeous shoe and a good price!

Sometimes I feel like I have a hobble radar inbuilt that beeps every time I see a woman wearing the wrong shoes. We’ve all been there and it’s hard not to be one of those women sometimes because I know, beauty is pain and when we hear the words ‘comfortable shoes’ what we really hear is ‘orthopaedics’ or ‘ugly’.

I know. But how much pain is ridiculous and how much are we putting our body through a useless battle for a pair of shoes that look good on the shelf but ruin our outfit by making us walk like baby giraffes?

Shoes these days come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and comfort to one woman is going to be something entirely different to another. For example, the other week my mother and I had a mother-daughter day out shopping and I was raving about some Marc Jacobs flats I’d recently tried on. They felt like butter, the second I put them on I could have just melted into the ground, they were so soft. They were, for me, the perfect shoe. I handed them over to my mother, telling her how soft and comfortable they were and would you believe it, she didn’t see what the fuss was about.

Comfort is subjective, you need to remember that next time you purchase a pair of shoes. With this in mind, what are the key things to know about or look out for when hunting down a fab new pair?

Know Your Foot Type

There may be a reason why a particular style of shoe never works for you and there may be a solution. Wide feet and pointed toe flats are usually a tough combination, as are flat feet and shoes with arches in them as they dig into your foot, or a high arch foot with a completely flat base can make your foot ache. There’s a reason shoes work on some and not others. If you know what doesn’t work, you can either start researching new options to fix your problem. For example; you might have wide feet but you love the look of pointed toe flats so you’ll look for a wider brand or consider a custom shoe. The world is your oyster and there is a super comfortable, super amazing shoe for every woman.

Already know how to shop for shoes? How about shopping for winter clothing?

Invest In Your Feet

I love shoes so much, so I never get stingy on the quality for a better price. You spend most of your day on your feet, so you should invest in the things that make them comfortable. Instead of buying two, short lasting pairs of shoes – buy one long lasting pair. Opt for leather over polyurethane lining or rubber soles. A well made shoe makes for a well presented woman – and one who hobbles a little less.

Comfort Is Subjective

Remember when I said that a few moments ago? Yes, well I’m reinforcing it because the opposite is often reinforced in stores. Sales Assistants will tell you how comfortable an item is and in their opinion, it may be – because it’s their foot. But don’t let yourself get talked into buying a pair of shoes that are supremely uncomfortable or rubbing in areas that a get insert or leather stretching balm can’t fix. My idea of the best shoe is one that requires very little wear in time.

Stock Up On The Shoe Meds

I’m rarely caught without bandaids in my bag on a night out, or blister spray. I have a drawer full of shoe aids like leather stretcher, conditioner, party feet, innersoles, heel gel pads, you name it.

The top drawer in my office is like a hospital for heels. Pick up a few essentials like party feet and heel grips, leave the sticky backing on them and put them in the shoes you’re trying on to see if they make them any more comfortable.

If not,  they’re probably not the right shoe for you and your un-shredded feet can thank me later.

Pick A Good Heel

Wooden or Cork Heels are the most comfortable heel materials while wedge and thick heel styled high heels are the most supportive. If you do have to choose a stiletto, opt for one with a thick platform on the front. The platform essentially shortens the heel and makes it easier to stand up and walk in.

Prepare To Care For Your Shoes

If it means you do something as simple as use a waterproofing spray, or something a little more caring like having them resoled every now and again, your shoes will thank you for it and last much longer than they would if you’d done nothing. Every now and then, wipe the insides of your shoes out with some vodka if they’re made of leather and if they start to smell terribly, leave them in a sunny spot for a few hours. Make sure you don’t leave them there all day though, because you’ll have dried out leather!

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Happy Hunting!

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