The perfect pair of heels can absolutely make an outfit; they’re sexy, slimming and they invariably posses a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that just can’t be translated into words. While most of the time, shopping for the right shoes is more than a pleasure, it is important not to get carried away and make purchases that we’ll regret later on – especially if the price tag is a little on the heavy side. It’s essential, when it comes to shoes, that do employ a little rational thought and some self-control, or the chances are good we’d end up with a whole wardrobe full of stilettos that pinch and wedges that are just not conducive to walking – prettiness cannot be the only factor taken into account. To help you to make sure your footwear remains both gorgeous and a just a little bit practical, I’ve put together this handy list of 8 things to consider when buying heels.
This may seem a little obvious – surely we all know what size our feet are? Apparently not. In fact the chances are quite good you at least own a pair of shoes in the wrong size. Make sure that you measure your feet at the shoe shop; this will give allow you, once and for all to accurately determine your shoe size, and allow you to buy better fitting shoes accordingly.
2. The Time of Day
Throughout the day, feet tend to swell. In most people, this is hardly discernable, however it is invariably enough to render shoes bought at the beginning of the day too tight for evening wear. Shopping in the afternoon will give you a good idea of how your shoes will fit your feet when the sun’s gone down; always a useful thing to know.
3. The Walk Test
We should never buy a pair of shoes without walking in them first (a bit of an issue if you’re buying online). Put both shoes on in the shop and parade around in them for a good few minutes. Practice walking and turning, and all the time try to gauge how balanced you feel; if there’s even a hint of wobble, you should think long and hard before shelling out. In the real world, you’ll need to rush from A to B, carry bags of groceries and navigate tricky stairs and bumpy pavements; if you’re finding it hard to maintain your posture in the store interior, the chances are good these shoes were not made for walking.
4. Your Wardrobe
Perhaps one of the most irritating – and yet the most common – shoe shopping mistakes is to buy a pair of heels that doesn’t go with anything else in your wardrobe. When you are considering making your purchase, try to visualise your outfits and ask pick out all of the things that match the footwear in question. If you can’t come up with enough complementary garments, it’s best to leave those shoes on the shelf.
Often, pain in heels is a product of too much pressure placed on the balls of the feet. If a shoe is balanced, you should feel that your weight is distributed evenly across the heel and into the front parts of the sole; if it isn’t, will ultimately experience aching and discomfort.
6. The Pointy Factor
Heels which are cut to a point at the front are notoriously difficult to wear comfortably. Often, this style is very restrictive and compresses your toes, squeezing them together in a way that is infamously unpleasant. In order to account for this unfortunate feature, it is usually a good plan to buy your pointed heels about half a size bigger than you ordinarily would; this will give your toes enough room, and should counterbalance the ouch factor.
7. The Occasion
If you are buying heels for a special occasion, you will want to assemble the rest of your outfit first. This way, you will be able to coordinate your footwear and your frock, and this will result in a more coherent overall effect. In addition, you will want to take the venue into account as well; super thin stilettos, for example, may no be the best choice of shoe for a garden party — you will find yourself sinking into the lawn.
8. The Price
I suspect that most of us are willing to fork out a fair amount on the right pair of heels, but it is important that we don’t allow ourselves to go overboard. Blowing a months salary on designer footwear is not an intelligent financial manoeuvre; keep your head and exercise a little willpower.
Shopping for shoes is hardly a chore; however, in order to make sure that your retail excursions are as successful as possible, it’s important to keep a few important factors in mind. Hopefully, my list of 8 things to consider when buying heels will help you to spend your money wisely on gorgeous, comfortable functional footwear. Do you have any handy suggestions of your own to contribute?
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