Life is too short for ugly shoes. Haven’t we heard this saying one too many times? When keeping up with what’s on trend comes before all else, we’re often guilty of indulging in those sky-high heels that look like a dream but just aren’t what please your feet. Turns out, those pointy stilettos you strut around in at your workplace or that slightly tight pair of running shoes you were too lazy to return could be doing you more harm than good.
Sporting uncomfortable footwear on a daily basis could not only leave you irritable and hurting, but it could also cause hammertoes, corns, calluses and in worse cases, bone deformities and muscle strain that warrant surgery. Exercising a little caution when shoe shopping could save you from all these problems. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too. Here are six features you should tick-off in your quest for that ideal pair that’s a perfect blend of comfort and looks.
The Weight Matters
Just as we prefer light linens during summer to allow our skin to breathe, so should we invest in shoes that are lightweight and airy. Light shoes allow the passage of air and are perfect for dry and damp weather. While winter boots do tend to be on the heavier side, opting for the lighter variants in that range can ensure you comfortably slip into them every day without dampness and sweat breeding skin issues in your feet.
Choose The Right Heel
If you are looking to strut around with confidence in your everyday work shoes, the best kind of heel to go for is a short one with a wide base. Not only will this take the pressure off your heels and your calve muscles, but it also entirely formal and will complement your work wear. While slim platforms heels are the most comfortable, they may fit into the bracket of formal work footwear for daily use.
Study the Sole
Your foot could either be flat, high-arched or low-arched and the footwear you adorn every day should complement this feature. An easy way to figure this out is by asking a dear one to observe your foot when you’re standing. A high arch lays larger strain on your muscles and hence requires support in the form of a slightly curved sole. On the contrary, if you are flat-footed or have a low arch, a straight leveled show is a perfect buy.
Focus on All Dimensions
This seemingly easy element is where most people often go wrong. While we check the length of our foot, we pay little attention to the width of the shoe. Wider feet, when pressured into narrow shoes, can cause bone protrusions, slippages and falls. Also, sometimes we choose styles that are tapered at the top, leaving little room for our toes. This causes toenail in-growth and injuries. You could indulge in such shoes for a one-off occasion, but it is a big no-no for everyday wear.
Be Choosy About The Material
From leather, plastic, rubber, textiles, and foam, there are a host of materials that go into making a comfortable and durable pair of shoes. The key to comfort is the optimal placement of these materials. While rubber makes for ideal sole material for a strong grip, place it on your sole and you’re inviting trouble. As a buyer, enquire from the salesperson the various materials placed in the body of the shoe and walk around in the store to ensure everything feels right inside.
Size it Right
The famous myth of buying shoes one size small and “breaking in” to them, is in fact just a myth and nothing else. Experts say, you ought to invest in a pair that fits you just right, neither a size small nor big. Breaking in would only force the material of the shoe to stretch and push, compromising on the support and overall fit of your shoe. A pro tip: Always go footwear shopping during late afternoons and evenings, as during the day your feet tend to naturally expand and are at their largest possible size.
So, the next time you are out to gift yourself a pair of new shoes, keep these handy tips in mind while making your choice. There is little sense in going all out for looks and compromising on comfort. You need a good set of shoes to support you through your long days. After all, it is rightly said that good shoes take you to good places.