How To Buy Sensible Shoes

Finding the right shoes for your feet has been an issue for girls ever since the high heel was invented.

Chrome-Cheetah-platform-sandalYou always want to look classy, and you want to find shoes that are not only sexy and compliment your style, but shoes that are comfortable so your “dogs aren’t barking” by the end of the night.

Finding the right size shoe can also be a frustrating experience.

An attractive pair of heels can do wonders to your appearance. Good heels can define your female lines, define your legs and calves, and force you to take shorter and more feminine steps. Improper fitting shoes can create adverse health problems such as poor circulation, arthritis and back pain.

woman-walking-in-high-heelsA simple pair of shoes is as basic, yet as important, as a nice dress or your shape wear. Shoes can be the topper to any outfit, whether they are heels or flats. A pair of 3-inch pumps or flat sandals create an immediate female air, shape your legs and have a direct impact on how you move.

If you are buying your first pair of heels, you need to “walk before you run.” I have seen too many girls who look like they are stomping grapes when walking in their heels. Walking should be smooth, graceful and with a little swivel of the hips.

Most experts, and I, recommend nothing more than a 2-inch heel, then gradually work up to the 3 1/2, 4 and 5-inch stilettos. Imagine yourself as a teenage girl trying on her first heels. Take your time and learn to walk and balance. Practice will make perfect. Remember to walk one foot in front of the other and to “let your nylons kiss” just above the knee. Before long, you will be a master.

Buying shoes can be an experience too. Most department stores do not carry large sizes. I read recently where the average man’s shoe size is an 11, which results in a 12 or 13 in ladies. Help is kinda on the way, as the average woman’s size has increased too, so many designers are producing larger size heels. (Heels up to size 17 are available in the Boutique)

shoes too bigShoe sizing is also important. Generally, one usually needs to add two man’s shoe sizes to find the correct woman’s size. Thus, a man’s 10 should be a woman’s 12. Oddly, I wear a man’s 10 1/2, and a woman’s 11W or 11 1/2.

When trying on shoes, leave a minimum of 3/8-inch between the end of the shoe and your big toe. If the distance is less, move up one size. And, if one foot is larger than the other, go with the larger size. You can always add an insert for the smaller foot.

Payless Shoe Source is one store with a regular supply of shoes up to size 12 (even larger sizes on the store website). Another excellent source of larger shoes in Nordstrom’s Rack which carries up to size 13 and once or twice a year has a “Large Shoe” sale, where I have seen even a size 15. Nordstrom’s Rack is a little pricier than Payless and I have found their shoes to be a little more fitting and comfortable.

The internet has been a big help, but I prefer to try on my shoes before I buy them. It is important to me that the shoes are not only comfortable, but they complement the outfit they will be worn with. So, if at all possible, I wear the outfit in question. I realize that is not always possible and that I have bought shoes “on the fly” and have had to return them later.

A Google search can assist you in finding larger shoes, however, shoes in all the sizes can be found here at Sister House. You’ll also want to read Tasi’s articles on All About Shoes and How to Walk in High HeeIs.

Remember, when shopping through an internet store to check the exchange policy before you purchase the product. And when trying the shoes you have purchased through an internet supplier, remember to wear them on a carpet, so the soles do not get scuffed or the heels damaged.

Other considerations when choosing the right shoes are than very pointed toes may cause you to go up an extra size. And, open-toed heels and sandals are easier to fit due to the extra space available in the front and the back of the shoe.

My best recommendation is to do your homework and buy your shoes from a reputable store or supplier. As long as you follow many of the above guidelines, you can get great shoes at a good price that will fit properly and complement your wardrobe.

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5 thoughts on “How To Buy Sensible Shoes

  1. It is amazing how different companies market their shoe sizing. wear a 12 w, yet as you know not all shoes are the same. I have 12w’s that are so big on me that I could have bought them in a size 11. The only true way to know is to of course try them on. I know this is not possible for some of us. I have been wearing heels since I’m 14. I started with a pair of low heeled pumps and worked my way up. Today I wear 3,4, and 5 inch and sometimes even higher.

    If you take you time and slowly learn to walk in them, little by little you will get used to them. I’m a heels gal and do have a few pair of flats, but I find walking in flats harder, because of such little support.

    I look at it this way. The more heels I have the happier I am and that sound they make when you walk outside is just such a turn on, what could be better then that.

    Heels forever, flats never,

    Miriam K

  2. An excellent atricle with fine advice. I would also add the quarterback’s instruction to his receiver to “GO WIDE”. Most mens’ shoes come in D, E and EEE. Most women’s shoes come in widths A-C with some D.
    I think my actual ladies shoe size woutl be 11.5 in a wider width. Since I have not found 11.5 ladies shoes I find that I can barely fit into a 12 regular width but seem to do better with an 11 wide.

    • P.S. I may also add that I do better with natural material such as leather since natural materials with stretch and can be broken in to fit your feet much better than man made materials. Even if the sole is man made just having a leather, or silk upper may make the shoe more comfortable.

    • Dear Pat — Try Payless Shoes on the internet. They often have 11.5W. A friend of mine wears a 13 and has had very good success with Payless. If the shoe you like have an open toe, you should be able to wear an 11W. I have found many times that the sizes differ with the manufacturer. Good Luck. CC

      • Payless on line looks like a good option…especially because you can make returns to a store if they do not fit. I have not had success in their stores since selection tends to be somewhat hit or miss.

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