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Picking your type of shoe

When it comes to your wardrobe, shoes should be an investment. You do spend most, if not all of your day wearing them. Finding the perfect pair takes both time and effort. Happy feet can make all the difference. If you’re searching for a pair of shoes, first consider these techniques.

What is their use?

You first must decide what the shoes will primarily be used for. Will you be wearing them to work everyday? Are they shoes meant for exercising? Are they slippers to wear around the house? Decide what their main use is, and it can help you decide where to go from there. Some footwear, like athletic or commuter shoes are meant for comfort. They are supposed to give your feet the support they need to walk or run. Once you determine what their use is, you can narrow down the shoe types.

What is your foot like?

Not all feet are the same. You must consider the shape of your feet. The three main foot types are flat, neutral and high arches. The flat foot is strong and can typically fit in most shoes without strain. The neutral foot lies somewhere in between. People with neutral feet usually strike the floor with their heel while walking or running. A high arched foot, also called “Barbie feet” needs a little bit more support from their shoes because of the pressure that’s put on the ball of the heel.

Both neutral and flat-footed people can comfortably fit into just about any shoe. On the other hand, high-arch feet people should opt for something with more ankle and foot support. However, some people also buy insoles for their shoes for comfort.

What is your personal style?

Lastly, you must discover what kind of shoes are best for your personality. If you’re looking for something that can be casual and dressy, an over the knee boot might be right for you. On the other hand, every women should have at least one pair of dress shoes, whether it’s strappy heels or black flats. If you’re looking to be more active, there is a wide selection of women’s athletic shoes that are sure to fit whatever foot type you have. If you’re opting for comfort but still want to look stylish, a pair of loafers or oxfords should do the trick.

What are the essential shoes? 

Owning these basics will allow you to easily dress for any occasion. Here are the essential shoes that every woman should have in her closet:

Heels

  • Nude peep-toe pumps: Add length to any leg and show the world a fancy pedicure by wearing peep-toe pumps. Pair them with a pencil skirt or dress for a chic style with legs that look miles long.
  • Black heeled boots: This staple is great for after-hours activities like date night or seeing a show. You will feel confident and fearless in this shoe option.
  • Wooden platform sandals: These height-helpers are whimsical and summery. Choose a pair that have ankle straps for added stability. They are easy to wear with any outfit and can be worn to the beach and dinner.
  • Black pumps: For shoes that are as adaptable as footwear can get, be sure to have some black pumps. They’re perfectly paired with a suit or a dress for a big meeting or a night out. Try a cap-toe pair with a different material on the toe, like leather or a metallic sheen, to add some flair.
  • Suede booties: Add a touch of unexpected texture with heeled suede booties. Go open-toed for warmer weather and wear them with skinny or straight pants for a modern look. Or try them with a dress or skirt. Pick bright colored booties to bring attention to your legs.

Flats

  • Black boots: These versatile shoes can be worn on any occasion. Try an over-the-knee pair for some edge. Shorties are great for everyday wear. ​
  • Ballet flats: This wardrobe essential is a real winner. Have several pairs in fun hues to add a pop of color to dresses, skinny jeans, pants and more. These shoes can be worn with nearly every outfit and are especially welcome after a long day in heels. If you take public transportation to work, throw some ballet flats in your bag for the commute home!
  • Sneakers: Try a canvas pair for a weekend-chic look. Athletic shoes are great for running errands and are super comfortable. Most offer arch support and will really feel good after a week of heels and unsupported flats!
  • Leather sandals: From wandering about a new city on vacation to enjoying the local farmers market, these shoes are perfect for summer fun. They’re simple and versatile and come in so many styles, from bejewled and beaded to braided gladiators. There’s a pair for everyone.

Three questions to ask before buying shoes:

What will I wear these shoes with?

While it may be tempting to send every fun, patterned pair of shoes to the shopping cart when browsing for footwear online, it’s important to consider what’s already in your wardrobe. Do you have a dress that will match those multi-colored heeled sandals? Will your office garb coincide with those bright purple pumps? As with any purchase, you don’t want your fresh pair of shoes to go to waste. Either select a coordinating outfit, or pick a pair of shoes that coincides with the clothes you already have in your closet.

To learn more about how to match shoe color to your outfit, check out our shoe color instructional article.

How high of a heel can I practically get?

Heels add instant height and elegance, transforming your body into a lean, flattering figure. Admittedly, heels aren’t the easiest shoe form to walk in, which means they may not work for everyday wear. For example, do you walk through the city streets to work every day? Unless you change into athletic shoes or loafers while walking, flats or one to two inch heels will best serve your purpose. However, if you’re a pro at wearing sky-high stilettos, then go bold!

What type of shoes do I need more of?

Let’s face it, some of us have too many stilettos and not enough places to wear them. When we love a certain style, we feel drawn to it and stock up on pairs upon pairs. While there’s arguably always a reason to buy a new pair of shoes, it’s important to consider what you need more of. For example, while you really may want that adorable pair of pumps, have you checked if you have enough flats lately? You may need to go with the footwear that’s missing from your closet.

With so many fun styles, it can be difficult to pick which pair of shoes is right for you. Use this guide to find your perfect match.

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Jana Sullivan

Wedges, Clark women’s wedges sales

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