Fashion tips: What are the most comfortable women’s dress shoes?
This article discusses some of the most common styles of women’s dress shoes, and offers advice in choosing shoes that are durable, as well as comfortable and attractive.
Women, it seems, are always on the hunt for the perfect shoe. They will buy numerous pairs in various styles and colors, looking for that elusive “fit.” For dress shoes, what styles are the most comfortable? The answer, of course, is the ones that feel good on the feet. Every woman is different and every foot likes a different shoe. Here are some of the more popular styles of dress shoes, and tips on finding a comfortable pair.
First, buy the right size. Don’t try to squeeze the foot into a size smaller. It only causes problems, like corns and bunions. If you have a pair of aircraft carriers for feet, admit it and get what’s comfortable.
Most women are familiar with the classic pump. These come in a variety of heel heights and toe styles. For maximum comfort, choose a shoe with a heel no higher than 1 1/2 inches. Look for a taller toe box that isn’t too pointed, or too square. These can compress the toes, causing foot pain. A tall toe box will allow the wearer to wiggle her toes easily, and should be comfortable with pantyhose. Remember the old maxim about shopping for shoes in the evening, when feet are at their largest, from being walked on all day.
Unless the woman has exceptional balance, a wider heel is preferable to a spike heel. Spike heels can lead to missteps and sprained ankles. Wider heels provide more stability and support for the foot. Sculptured heels are usually wider, but are structured so they look more like a spike heel. However, they generally lend good support to the foot.
Look for natural materials for the uppers. Some artificial materials will stretch and soften with wear, but nothing does like leather, and nothing lasts like leather. With proper care, a pair of good leather dress shoes will last several years, depending on wear.
A variation on the classic pump is the sling. This style is great for most women, but especially for women whose heels blister easily, who have narrow heels, or who have one foot slightly larger than the other. A sling heel can be buckled to accommodate the different foot lengths, and will not slide on a narrow heel, causing blisters. The same caveats hold true for the toe boxes and heel heights. They look as elegant on the foot as a traditional pump, and may even make large feet look smaller. They are appropriate for every occasion where a pump could be worn.
Mules have seen an upsurge in popularity, and the guidelines for pumps should be borne in mind when choosing a mule, as well.
A woman who knows she will be on her feet a great deal may want to look for shoes with a cushioned liner and a more flexible sole. These will decrease foot fatigue, as will a good pair of comfort cushion liners from the store.
Sandals are also popular in warm weather, and while a woman has more latitude here, there are still some things to think about. Heel height still comes into play, but the straps on the shoes are important, as well. Women with short toes need to think about straps that come below the bottom of the fifth toe, or that completely cover it. Few things are more uncomfortable than a toe sticking out from under a sandal strap and being chafed constantly. Wearing hose will correct this to some degree, but it can still be uncomfortable. Choose a sandal that is suitably wide, since the straps should fit comfortably over the foot. Again, look for a flexible, more cushioned sole for greater comfort.
Choosing a pair of comfortable dress shoes is often a matter of trial and error. However, if a woman wants to get her money’s worth from a pair of shoes, she should be willing to spend the time trying on different styles of shoes to determine the most comfortable pair, and should also be open to spending a bit more money for quality and long wear.