With the arrival of fall we know we’ll be spending a lot more time in a specific handful of cold weather shoes. Booties, flats, athletic shoes–we know what autumn calls for but it can still be tough to find the footwear that meets all our other needs like a style that works from season to season, comfort, and versatility. It’s time to get to the sole of the problem by looking at our shoe buying habits. Keep these 5 tips for buying shoes at the ready and you’ll stride through the options like a pro to find your fall footwear.
1. Find Your Fit
We spend most of our waking days in our shoes as they literally ferry us from point A to point B. If we’re going to splurge on any item in our wardrobe it should be on really good footwear, and not just for style or brand name, but for fit. Shops for fit rather than shoe size as the two can noticeably fluctuate between different brands. In terms of length there should be 3/8″ to 1/2″ of space from your longest toe to the shoe’s tip. Find a brand that suits your foot shape to a tee and then invest in those buys.
2. Check The Quality
Cheaply-made shoes may look good but quality usually also dictates comfort. Check the inside of the shoe and compare it with the outsole. Leather is the top choice for footwear as it’s soft and flexible, following the foot’s natural shape and minimizing chaffing. The sole should also be solid and not slippery to give the wearer a good foundation of support. Finally, feel inside the shoe to examine the cushioning. If you spend a lot of time traversing hard surfaces like concrete, tile, or even wood you’ll want more cushion to protect the ball of your foot. Try an option like the Vince Camuto “Watcher” Leather Moto Boot with a padded insole and rubber sole for study tread, paired with a wonderful cozy style.
3. When To Shop
After a long day of work a little retail therapy can do wonders–especially for smart shoe buys. Our feet will be a little swollen at the end of the day from standing and working so we’ll actually get a more accurate fit for our feet. It’s a small change but it’s one that can save your feet the surprise and discomfort of feeling squished and pinched in a pair of too small boots. Another point to consider is buying shoes that are designed to have some breathing room or have an adjustable closure. The Vince Camuto “Gravell” Leather Belted Ankle Bootie has an adjustable belt along the outside of the boot that can tighten or loosen the fit around the ankle.
4. Scale Back The Heights
As women we equate pumps with dressing up but that doesn’t mean we have to wear the highest heels to portray a sophisticated look. What happens with high, uncomfortable heels is that we avoid wearing them, forego them before the day is out, or end up sitting down the whole day to avoid discomfort. A lower kitten heel or a heeled bootie are great options that still give our outfits a bit of a sexy look without having us wincing after a few hours. Shoes with a moderate heel like the Vince Camuto “Endra” Open-Toe Tailored Shootie have plenty of style with their peep-toe front and cutout paneling with a modest boost in height.
5. Wear and Care
When purchasing shoes it’s important to differentiate between true discomfort and the normal stiffness of a new shoe. It can be easy to fall in love with every other aspect of a shoe, including the price, and convince ourselves that the shoe will feel better once we break it in a bit. Though it’s true that even the best of shoes will take some time to mold to our feet, no amount of time and pressure will transform a too small shoe in size or width into the magic fit, or for that matter remove the rub of poorly cut designs.
Take care of your feet this fall and find new shoes to love for seasons and season to come! What’s one of your tips for buying shoes?