Fashion emergency: What to do when your great shoes don’t fit right after all
Try cork, bandages, or other ideas when your shoes don’t fit right.
We have all been there. It is a very important date, party, job interview or business meeting and you are rushing about, getting ready. You pull your fabulous new shoes out of their box, slide them on, and after five minutes you are in agony. The shoes are sliding up and down on your heel. Or, your shoes are just too big, or too small. Or, they are rubbing on a certain spot on your foot that promises a painful blister later. At this juncture, you have a few decisions to make: should you grin and bear the agony and wear the shoes anyway because not doing so will ruin your outfit? Or should you change your whole outfit because you just cannot wear the shoes? Or should you just give up and wear those flip-flops with that $200 dress and hope nobody notices?
The above options do not have to comprise the whole of your decision—in fact, the decision does not necessarily have to be made at all. There are things that you can do to make those fabulous shoes wearable—if not in the long term, at least long enough for you to attend, if not enjoy, the aforementioned very important date, party, job interview or business meeting.
Before we do any triage work on those troublesome yet fabulous shoes, it is very important that you do everything you can to ensure a comfortable fit before you walk out of the shoe store. Get help from the sales staff if need be.
If, after that, you discover that what fit so well in the store is tearing up your feet, there are things you can keep around your home in general that will help in a pinch, (pardon the pun) and possibly, help even in the long term.
Your most expensive investment will be a pair of shoe stretchers. Try for stretchers that are adjustable to stretch BOTH the length and width of your shoes. This investment of about $40 (for a pair) will pay for itself post-haste. If you are in a pinch for cash, buy one, and buy a second one when you can. Putting these contraptions in your shoes, you can address a fit issue, as in too narrow or too short, by adjusting the shoe stretcher to widen or lengthen the shoe, or even to do both. Another nice thing about this is if the shoes fit differently on each foot, you can address each shoe’s specific needs with the handy stretcher.
Perhaps your new shoes aren’t tight, but too loose. The shoe is too big, or is sliding up and down your heel. One option that shoe stores use, and you can use also, are cork cutout inserts. You can buy them at good shoe stores, or you could make them from very thin cork material, cutting out a toe end to the ball of the foot oval shape. Stack however many of these you need to tighten the fit and put them down in the toes of your new shoes. What this does is push your foot up more firmly against the top of the shoe and the top of the heel cup, giving you a tighter fit. You may have to replace or add to the cork stack periodically. Cork also has the benefit of providing a nice, cushy pad for your feet to stand on! There are also other padded products that are designed to go into the front portion of the shoe to do the same as cork, and these are purchasable at many shoe stores.
One last thing you should have around, and in your clutch are adhesive bandages. Preferably clear ones so nobody can see you are wearing them. If the cork (or padded) inserts do not quite do the job, and the heel is still rubbing, protect your heel by putting 1-2 of these bandages across the heel area. Believe me, your feet will tell you where to put them! You can also use a bandage in a pinch for burgeoning toe blisters, etc. Certainly, bandages are a girl’s best friend when it comes to true shoe fit emergencies. They are portable, and do a pretty decent job of protecting your feet, provided you get them on before the blisters actually emerge, and you just take them off when you get home. Bandages are a small, but infinitely worthy, investment.
Hopefully, these tips will save those fabulous shoes from a lifetime of being relegated to their box in the back of the closet. Good luck!