Sneakers and high heels are totally different things. Different shoes distribute our body weight differently, and if we are so accustomed to one shoe, making a switch takes a lot of getting used to.
The good news is, sneakers are actually much better for your feet than high heels are – but there are some occasions when many of us feel that sneakers or casual shoes just won’t do.
I am particularly sympathetic to this problem, as I spent my entire school career in sneakers, and still prefer them to most shoes. But I love high heels as well. I wanted to move beyond just admiring them, and actually start wearing them. Here are a few things I tried when transitioning from years of sneaker-wearing into more dressy shoes.
Finding the Right Style of Shoes
Avoid shoes with pointy toes. All high heels can be hard on your feet, but cramming your toes into shoes that are too pointy can be extremely painful. Many of the women who do this repeatedly for years end up with foot deformities. A round, open toe or square toe is a much better choice, and much easier to get used to.
How High for High Heels?
As far as heels to, start off with something lower, and definitely under 2.5 inches. Also, choose a chunky or a wedge heel – a stiletto or really pointy heel can be a killer, even for women who are used to them. Fortunately, there’s plenty to choose from these days in the chunky and wedge heel styles, so you can still have a really sexy looking shoe without the increased discomfort and danger of a stiletto.
Shoe Widths are as Important as Shoe Sizes
For women who have never worn dressier shoes very often, it might feel as if they don’t fit properly, and perhaps they don’t. Many styles of dress shoes tend to be more narrow than athletic shoes. And, even if you’ve measured to find your shoe size and width, it will vary from shoe to shoe.
Next time a dress shoe speaks to you, try this: in your bare feet, or in the socks or hose you want to wear with the shoe, hold the bottom of the left shoe against the bottom of your right foot (and vice-versa) – you should be able to see the outline of the shoe around your entire foot. If you can’t, it’s either the wrong size or not wide enough – try a different style, width or size.
While it’s always best to find a shoe that is the exact length and width we need, it’s not always possible. Some people find they have to go up a half or full size to get the width they need, but then they have a shoe that is too long. If this happens to be the case for you, opt for a sling-back style with an adjustable strap to help keep your heel in place. Heel pads can also help to keep your foot from sliding in your shoes.
Additional Shoe Shopping Tips
Always, always, always try on shoes late in the day (our feet swell over the course of the day), and always stand up when trying shoes on – take a stroll around the aisles to see if they cause any pain or discomfort when walking. Shoes should feel good when you first put them on, so don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll break them in – this is especially true with high heels that probably won’t be worn every day.