The Shoe Stays On

If you look at my work clothes pictures, you'll notice that my black peeptoe pumps get a lot of airplay. A lot. If variety wasn't the spice of life, I'd be content with wearing them every day. They were the Nine West pumps I bought from the outlet store several weeks ago, and I absolutely love them. No need to put on sneakers to go out to lunch, because they're that comfortable.

Sometimes it's necessary to upgrade to more expensive shoes if you need to be on your feet all day. They don't need to be all that pricey, either; mine were $40. But a higher price tag doesn't guarantee comfort. I've ran into shoes that retail for the high 2-figures and they're stiff and they hurt. Conversely, I've found really cheap shoes that were ridiculously comfortable. If I'm going to pay extra for shoes, I shouldn't have to spend weeks and even months breaking them in. They may be a just little bit stiff at first, but after walking for a few steps, the shoes should mold to your feet. But how do we know that they're going to be comfortable in the long run?

It seems easy enough at first. Obviously, trying them on will give us a clue. The toes shouldn't all jam in at the pointy part, and your big and pinky toes shouldn't hurt from being squished by the sides of the shoes or from being rubbed against the stiff uppers. But there are other qualities that we can't observe just by wearing the shoe--it's time to run a little field test. Don't forget to actually touch and feel the shoe in detail. Run the upper between your fingers just like you would with fabric, and bend a little. Is it flexible to the touch? If the upper is also soft and smooth, they should be easy to your feet. If it's not flexible, you'll have to decide whether they're cute enough to justify the pain of breaking them in. Also, push on the insole to see if there's any cushioning, especially for the balls of your feet. Finally, bend the shoe a little to see how flexible the sole is.

Having cute but not necessarily comfortable shoes is fine in my book, with a caveat. If we want variety but don't have much money, the trade-off has got to come from someplace. It's not like we wear those shoes every day, anyhow (t-shirt/jeans/sneaker days, anyone?). But having one or two comfortable, classic pumps for work goes a long way. If you have to be on foot for extended periods of time, bad shoes are going to cause expensive podiatric problems somewhere down the line. People say that pain is the price of beauty, and "no pain, no gain." There's a bit of inevitable truth in that, but make sure that the price isn't going to be more than you can afford.


ThatBeeGirl said...

shoes really can make the outfit. glad you've found some that pull double duty!

Alison said...

I just discovered your site when I was browsing through some blogs today, and I spent the last 45 min reading through it! I love your pictures and how thoughtful your entries are :)

Sales Rack Raider said...

Thank you so much, and Welcome, Alison! I just read your blogs and they're so fun!