The Shopper’s Guide #1: Shoes

When out on a shopping spree for clothes, we do expect to undress and re-dress quite often, but you have to admit that when it comes to fitting your most coveted prospective buys, it’s a hassle (especially if you’re sporting layers), as you have to wiggle back into your own clothes, then put your outerwear and accessories back on.

We’ve all seen the same scene on the big screen (ooh that rhymes)…women appearing nonchalant as they walk down Rodeo Drive or stroll through the mall, impeccably dressed, in ultra-high heels with half a dozen shopping bags. But far from the glamorization of Hollywood in typical chick flicks, the truth is that although the hunt is fun, the process aint so much!

We all like to ‘dress to impress’, but let’s be practical and ‘dress to undress’, especially if you’re out on a shopping mission. It doesn’t mean that you have to take ‘impress’ out of the equation, as you can look still look chic in simplicity. When it comes to style ‘less is more’.

We spend a lot of time each day before we leave the house picking out the perfect head-to-toe outfit that we probably wouldn’t mind being ‘caught dead in’, but to re-dress yourself multiple times is a rather tedious task!

So I’m compiling a shopper’s guide to ensure you won’t be giving up before you find that special dress for that special event, or the perfect pair of stilettos to match that special dress. And here’s Part 1 of ‘The Shopper’s Guide’ that talks about how to take your feet shopping!

DO WEAR (From the best to the mmm…yeah ok)

1. Flip-flops

If you know you’re going to be walking a lot, give your feet a break and let them breathe. But don’t wear just any flat slippers, choose one that has a rubber sole or a little bit of cushion for comfort, as hard soles defeat the purpose. You also get slippers with thicker soles that are more shock absorbent (and add height if you’re tiny like me). Flip-flops are THE best footwear for shopping as they slip on and off with ease, which is exactly what you need when you’re going to be stepping in and out of shoes or changing rooms.

2. Ballet Flats

If you don’t feel like showing off your toes (probably because they’re in dire need of a pedicure), ballet flats are a good alternative. Like flip-flops, ballet flats can easily be slipped on and off, but your toes may feel the pinch after a couple of hours. So make sure you choose a pair that has cushioned insoles and enough room to wiggle your toes in. If it’s a snug fit, you’re bound to get pressure spasms later.

3. Platform Wedges

If wearing flats is a tad bit abnormal to you and not quite ‘your style’ then the next best thing is slip-on open-toed platform wedges. The most important thing to remember when choosing shoes that you are meant to stand or walk around in, is to get one that gives the utmost support to the arch of your foot. This is where wedges come to play as they provide a steady base for your feet.

When wearing elevated footwear it’s always better to get a shoe with (at least) a 1/2 inch platform (if the heel is about 3 inches and above) that raises your toes to a comfortable level. For your own benefit…the higher the heel, the higher the platform should be to decrease the tension on your arch. Finally, the golden rule, keep them shoes cushioned!

DON’T WEAR (From the not-so-good to the hell no)

1. Pumps & Stilettos

Admit it ladies, for the sake of ‘walking in style’ we often get pumped up and stilted even when we know that it’s going to hurt. No matter how much you try to pretend you’re la-di-da…your face can fake smile, but your feet can’t fake hurt (the wobble in your step says it all)! Stilettos were not made for walking and pumps will kill your toes in an hour. Love your feet, because they take you places, so wear the right footwear for the occasion.

2. Straps & Laces

How annoying is it to have to bend over to undo your straps or laces, only to have to redo them again…and again…and again! To me it’s like wasting half a lifetime, so steer clear of anything you have to fasten and unfasten, and spend more time shopping.

3. Boots

Knee-high, thigh-high, laced-up, zipped-up, multi-strap and second-skin boots…need I say more? I think you get it by now. However, in the event of inevitable weather conditions such as cold and rain which calls for boots, wear loose fitting knee-high or ankle boots that you can easily slip on without any bells and whistles or a single zipper that eases off in one go.

Now, before I put a full-stop at the end of this post, just a word of advice…in case you get lazy and attempt to try on skirts or dresses without removing your shoes…DON’T. As a courtesy to the next person who will try them on after you, and the store that will probably have a hard time selling these pieces because you’ve made them dirty (and they can’t be washed)…take them off! Saying you’re going to buy it anyway is not an excuse, because what if you don’t?

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