The old saying, ‘If the shoe fits’ doesn’t ‘fit‘ me anymore. Toes pinching, the balls of feet on fire and rubbed heels have all become deal breakers for me.

I remember the days when buying a pair of shoes was easy. If they called to me, if they fit and they were affordable… they became mine. I would stand all day, walk for miles, dance all night; and the only things possibly standing between me and those new shoes – were the size, the appropriateness, and how good they looked with my wardrobe.

Sadly, those days are gone.

One of the challenges I have noticed about getting older is that my tolerance for sore feet is quickly diminishing. These days, I need comfort. Unfortunately, I have a weakness for beautiful shoes. This now causes me to with great sadness take off beautiful, newly purchased painful shoes and place them in the closet, knowing I was about to abandon them forever for a less appealing but more comfortable choice. This has forced me to re evaluate my shopping habits and include additional considerations before taking home a new pair. If you’re like me and love beautiful shoes but don’t want to sacrifice your feet, the following suggestions can provide you with shoes that offer function, as well as fashion:

Balance issues and weak shoe construction can cause aching feet and an aching back.
Heels and arches with sturdy construction support the feet and help you stand tall. The heel should be under the center of your heel. This will distribute weight more evenly. The arch and heel should align with your foot to stop the foot from sliding forward. This will put less pressure on the balls of your feet and help prevent toe squashing.

Sole flexibility in front of the arch will support the foot and still allow the foot to move naturally.
The sole should bend with your foot as you walk with some resistance for support, but no twist. Some fashion footwear manufacturers are now also adding padding in the sole for additional comfort. Test this with your hand by pressing into the ball area in the shoe.

Blistered heels and squished toes can make great shoes a pain.
Find shoes that fit your feet snugly without heel slippage, rubbing or digging in. For those who love the look of pointy toes (my favourites), false fronts point longer than your toes provide extra space, great style and no squashed toes.

Try them before you commit to them.
Be aware that feet change size and tolerance in different temperatures and throughout the day. The shoes will also feel different after wearing them for a while. Before buying, check the return policy to determine your window for exchange or refund. Before taking off the tags, carefully wear them around the house and on different types of clean flooring surfaces to test them out. If they still feel great after an hour or so, they are likely keepers.

Next time you shop for shoes try these suggestions. They may save your money and your feet. I would love to hear additional suggestions from you to keep my feet feeling fabulous!

Kimberly Law AICI, CIP

Association of Image Consultants International (AICI)

aiciimageconsulatant aicicip

Founding Director of

Institute of Image Training & Testing International (IITTI)


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