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Shopping For The Perfect Pair of Comfortable Shoes

Updated on September 3, 2015
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What to wear...what to wear...

Ah, the age old quandary...what shoes to wear with what outfit? After resorting to the trick of wearing different shoes on each foot to see which one looks best, spending half an hour deciding that to be honest, none of them do, and finally reaching the conclusion that you need a new pair, you put on your flip flops and head out on the 'Great Shoe Excursion'.

Shoe shopping for women, while enjoyable, ranks right up there with finding a bra that fits! ANY woman will relate to that comment! And, truth be told, the results of finally finding the right pair of shoes elicit the same responses as well, with r.e.l.i.e.f. being first on the list.

One of the problems with finding those perfect shoes is the selection. Every store has different styles to choose from, and every mall has at least six or more shoes stores. I know I may exaggerate, but if you go to some of the bigger malls, it seems like every other store sells shoes.

While this can be a boon for those of you who absolutely love to shop, it can be tiring and time consuming for the ones who just want a comfortable and fashionable shoe. You might think that it's a good idea to have several stores in one area that sell what you are in the market for, and yes it is. However, none of the stores are close to each other to make the experience quick.It feels like you have to walk miles just to discover that the shoes you absolutely adore don't come in your size, have been sold out, or that particular store doesn't carry them.

Chances are, if you don't find it in one store, you won't find it in another, or if you do, the color, size or style will be wrong. Trust me, it isn't as easy as you think to find great shoes that fit.

One of the most popular choices of footwear for everyday and special occasions are white, flat, (or very small heeled) sandals. With so many choices,and shoe emporiums littering the malls, you would think it would be easy to find the perfect pair...think again!

Choosing the right pair isn't just a matter of seeing something you like and buying them. (But the majority of women out there already know this!) The best way to find the perfect pair of sandals is to be prepared! And by this I don't mean only shopping on sale days, although that does have its benefits.

When you leave the house on your excursion, you already know what outfit you want the shoes for, and unless it is a bridesmaids dress or something equally out of place to wear while traipsing through a mall, I suggest you either wear the outfit in question, or at the very least, take it with you. This way when you are trying on one pair after another, you can see how they will look before you get them home.

Now that we have covered the 'how will they look' segment, lets move on to the 'how well do they fit' section. Finding the correct fit can be by far the hardest part of buying a new pair of shoes. It seems that every single manufacturer has a different gauge for shoe sizing.
Where you usually wear say, a size 7, depending on the fit of a particular shoe, you could wear an 8 and 1/2 or even a 6 and 1/2.

Once you find a pair that fits, you then need to walk the walk...in other words, don't just sit there and look at them. Walk around the store several times. You need to make sure they don't bind, rub, slip or gap. You are going to be wearing these shoes for no less than a year, and it would be a complete waste of time and money to settle for anything that makes you uncomfortable. You want a pair that will not only last, and look good, but that feel good when you walk in them.

Anything that pinches, or rubs should be relegated to the shelf. Once in a while you might get lucky and discover that by wearing a 1/2 size smaller or larger the pinching or rubbing stops. However, you need to be completely comfortable before you purchase them. Check to see whether they have arch support or not. Depending on the shape of your foot, and the depth of your arches, some styles will not have enough, or in some cases, too much support. This is also a very important step (pardon the pun...) to finding a correct fit.

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Unfortunately, you might have to look in several different stores before you find the shoes that are right for you. Which is why, I suppose, there seems to be one on every corner. However, with the Internet being such a huge market for shoppers, you might consider virtual shopping. You get the selection and price that you like, all without leaving the comfort of your home.

The downside to that is you have to wait to try them on, and unless you have a very normal sized foot, with a regular width, and arch, you could be very disappointed with the fit, and end up sending them back.

Personally,I enjoy looking online at the styles, as there are so many to choose from, then once I figure out what I want, I hit the malls to try them on. In this way, I know what I am looking for, and all I have left to do is find the one that fits. Kind of like my own version of Cinderella!

Last but not least, make sure the price of your item fits your budget. The last thing you need is to fall in love with the perfect pair of shoes only to discover they cost an arm and a leg...unless you happen to have an extra one of those hanging around, it might be best to keep looking!

Once you have your 'Cinderella' shoes, you can stagger your way home, put them on, put your feet up and have that tall, cool, drink that says...Thank God that's over!

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    • Enelle Lamb profile imageAUTHOR

      Enelle Lamb 

      7 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      Hi D A, I found a really great selection of sandals on Amazon (believe it or not,) and another good place to try would be eBay :)

    • profile image

      D A Vincent 

      7 years ago

      I am looking for a pair of white dress sandlas -leather top & sole with a 1/2 heel that have 3 white straps across the foot --that are sling backs --popular a few years ago --that are very comfortable. Where can I find these --or does someone know who the design er or nmanufacturer is? BTW-No buckles on these sandals.

    • Enelle Lamb profile imageAUTHOR

      Enelle Lamb 

      8 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      I agree! It's time to start shopping LOL!

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 

      8 years ago from Northern California

      There are so many adorable white sandals out there today. I was actually just admiring some yesterday... You can get them for decent prices, too!

    • Enelle Lamb profile imageAUTHOR

      Enelle Lamb 

      9 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      You are so right. I completely missed that fact. And I completely agree with you about not having too many pairs of shoes : ) Shoe stores and purses...like a moth to a flame LOL

    • profile image

      elle fredine 

      9 years ago

      I have been told that one should always shop for shoes at the end of the day, because then your feet will be tired and swollen (if they are going to be) and anything that is comfortable then will be perfect when your feet are fresh.

      Not so...

      I have found quite the opposite to be true in my case. If I wait 'til the end of a busy day, my feet are so grateful to be put into a different pair of shoes (whether the ones I am wearing fit well or poorly) that I can't tell sometimes if the shoes I'm trying on fit well or not. If I shop early in the day, I find it much easier to pick out which shoes fit well right away, as my feet are still intolerant of any rubbing or inching.

      In all honesty, though, I find that the more expensive the shoes, the more likely I am to find a really good fit - and a much more stylish look, as well.

      As for the search for the perfect pair of white sandals... I must admit I rejoin that epic quest every year at the first signs of Spring weather. One can never have too many shoes (thank you Imelda), and there is always something new to peruse every Spring.

      Happy Hunting.

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