Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Do Your Shoes Pinch?

Naturalizer-Lennox $79 and comfortable

How many of us have purchased a new pair of shoes only to find them unbearable once we get them home? Now I’m not talking about style, I’m talking about that dreaded new shoe feel. Unless it’s a pair of tennis shoes or flip flops, all of my shoes have required a breaking in period. This is particularly true of dress shoes, those made of leather. What is interesting is this is not new news. No matter the cost, new shoes are uncomfortable right out of the box. The interesting part is many shoe manufacturers are trying to work this part out.

Shoe manufacturers have a lot to lose if a shoe doesn’t fit well. If you buy a great looking shoe but find you can’t walk in it or it never breaks in, you might not purchase that brand again. On the other hand, if a pair of shoes looks great and feels great, it will become your go to brand forever. For just these reasons manufacturers are adding comfortable material to their shoes. Think memory foam and cushioned linings. Manufacturers are also paying more attention to construction and where stitching and seams will land on the foot. All this in an effort to make shoes more comfortable for consumers.

 Chinese Laundry-Whistle $55.99, the 5" heel makes comfort questionable

While manufacturers are trying to make shoes more comfortable, consumers can also shop smart. When buying shoes it is important to remember to shop at the right time. Your feet swell over the course of the day. Buying shoes in the morning when feet are at their smallest may produce a shoe that can’t be worn at night. Always shop for shoes in the afternoon, around 3pm is ideal. Also know your size. Our feet change over the years and what was once the perfect size may not work anymore. Also different manufacturers size their shoes slightly different. You might have to try on two or three different sizes to see which fits best.

It is also important to “play” with the shoe. Hold it in your hand, bend the sole and test how flexible it is. Shoes that are stiff and unbending will probably take a lot of breaking in and may never fit well. Thinner more expensive leathers will break in easier. The more supple the material, the softer the shoe, and the more quickly it will conform to your foot. Comfort is important when buying a shoe; if it doesn’t fit it will probably sit in its box forever. Shoes that don’t fit give a whole new meaning to the term “killer heels.”

1 comment:

  1. I inevitably forget this fact when shoe shopping. Most of the time I think they are comfortable in the store but after an hour of wear, unbearable! I would love to see the shoe manufacturers work this out....I LOVE shoes!! :)