With Christmas and NY around the corner, the search for the perfect party gear is at a peak. I may not be stylist, but if there’s one thing I know when it comes to party wear, it’s shoes. I’ve spent the last two years working in the footwear retail industry, and although that may not seem like a long time to most people, I think it’s a long enough time for me to say that I’ve pretty much seen it all!
From customers taking off their socks to show me their bunions to witnessing the depths that some women would go through to avoid having to try on a bigger size – apparently it is the death of all sins in the shoe kingdom.
At this stage, I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’m qualified enough to share these five shoe shopping tips with you!
Tip #1 Timing is everything
Some people say that mornings are the best time to go shoe shopping. I personally think that you’re better off going in the middle of the day once you have been on your feet for a few hours and there’s been blood circulating throughout your body. Your feet are smallest in the morning and usually swell throughout the day so if you shoe shop in the am you may find yourself buying shoes that are too small because there will be little to no give in them once you’re ready to show them off on the dance floor!
Tip #2 One style does not fit all
Know your feet and go for shoes that suit them. It breaks my heart to see a beautiful pair of shoes worn on the wrong person! If you have wide feet then do not get shoes that are very pointed or have a narrow shape. Likewise if your feet are slim, then stay away from anything that is chunky or heavy looking! Like clothes, certain styles of shoes will not suit everyone so if the style doesn’t look right on you – even if it is trending on Instagram – forget it!
Tip #3 Different brands use the different sizing
I have had many customers refuse to try on a certain shoe size because they were adamant about wearing a perfect five or six or whatever it may be. Never assume you’ll only ever be one size because not all brands use the same sizing. Unless you’re familiar with a certain brand, be sure to try on more than one size before buying. More often than not, the shape of a shoe can impact whether or not you need to go up or down from your usual size!
Tip #4 Choose wisely
There is no point in spending half of your wage on a pair of glitzy Red Carpet looking shoes that you’re going to wear on NYE and then end up throwing into the back of your shoerobe only to forget about its existence! If you’re going to spend a lot of money on shoes – particularly high heels, then be sure to get a pair that you can wear on more than just one occasion. You might as well invest in something you will get a good wear out of!
Tip #5 Don’t underestimate the value of insoles
If you find yourself slipping ever so slightly in shoes when you first try them on, then an insole can do absolute wonders. I find foam insoles particularly good for this and as well as making shoes a better fit, they also add to the overall comfort. You can get different types of insoles depending on your requirements as there are so many available in the market – gel insoles, leather insoles and even custom made arch support insoles – listen to your feet, they will thank you in the long run!
And for good measure…
If you can’t walk in them, don’t buy them – there’s nothing worse than a woman who can’t walk in heels!
Happy shoe shopping gals
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