IT’S SHOE-TIME! HOW TO BUY WEDDING SHOES
Think of this article as the spiritual predecessor to this lovely post because, well, you need to first buy your wedding shoes before you break them in!
RESEARCH THE HECK OUT OF YOUR WEDDING SHOES
Shoes can be tricky little beasts because how you feel when you first put them on compared to how you feel with them buckled on eight hours later can turn out to be radically different sensations. To save yourself some trouble in the long-term, refer to below as a break-down of what sort of heels are available and why they are or aren’t suitable for a certain wedding situation.
- Platform heels – Straight to the point. Platform heels have a platform for the sole, so it enables you to wear higher heels without having to deal with the strain of actually arching your feet that high. So if you buy a pair of platform heels that have a 5-inch heel but a 2-inch platform, your feet would realistically be experiencing the strain of 3-inch heels at any point. Pros is that you can probably wear up to 4 inch-high heels if your platform is tall enough and that the platform adds a lot of stability and potential cushioning for your feed, cons are that they can make your feet look really bulky. I personally don’t like platform heels all that much, but it’s up to you!
- Wedges – These will offer your feet the most stability out of all shoe options (except for flats, of course). Also not my favorite, but I recognize the necessity of wedges in the world. Wedges work best for beach and garden weddings due to uneven footing (the sand and grass will getcha!), but if you just like having a few extra inches without having to deal with all the pain in your arches, the wedge is for you.
- Thicker Heels – Regardless of how many inches tall your heel is going to be, the width matters as well. If you have a wider base to stick to the ground, your shoes will have more surface area to support your body weight. As a result, thicker heels tend to be a lot more stable than thinner ones and can come particularly in handy if you’re unwilling to sacrifice heel height and sole height for walking comfort.
- Stilettos – When I talk about stilettos, I’m referring to those beautiful creations with a slender heel and sole. My personal and (occasionally) painful favorite, the stiletto is the quintessential emblem of a girl who has grown into a woman capable of the grace and strength to walk in stilettos and grind the heels into the hearts of men. The stiletto with its flat sole and slender heel will do the most for elongating your heels without adding visual bulk to your feet, adding to the overall sleekness of your outfit. However, stilettos are definitely the hardest out of the bunch to walk in just because there is cheating involved. When you want to wear 4-inch heels, you better expect your feet to take the brunch of 4-inch heels. However, designers such as Manolo Blahnik are renowned for creating stunning and comfortable stilettos — so, I think the lesson we can take away from here is that quality really matters in what sort of shoes you decide to wear, so DON’T. BE. CHEAP.
For the next part of the guide, keep reading if you’ve bought your wedding dress. If you haven’t already, move onto the next section of the guide.
A: IF YOU HAVE YOUR WEDDING DRESS
If you have your wedding dress, keep in mind how much you want to spend on alterations and adjusting the hem of your dress before you buy your shoes. Depending on how you walk in just the dress normally compared to when you walk in both the dress and heels, you might have to consider how many inches you want to either hem your dress or how high your heels are.
Just be sure to buy your wedding shoes before the second-to-last or last fitting for your dress. Hem jobs can take a while depending on how elaborate or difficult the dress fabric is to work with, and your tailor will need to know how high your heels are going to be so he/she can alter the dress’s hem to your liking.
B: IF YOU DON’T HAVE YOUR WEDDING DRESS
If you don’t have your wedding dress, that’s absolutely no problem! I guess I could suggest that you could buy whatever shoes you wanted for your wedding, but I have another tip that could come useful.
If you have a somewhat clear idea of how long you want your wedding dress to be (do you want it to hit the ground? Barely peep at your toes? Go tea-length?), try imitating those circumstances with another skirt when you go shoe shopping. You can wear a maxi skirt and roll the waist to adjust the height accordingly. That way, you can shop casually and see whether or not the shoes you’re trying on will look good with the skirt length you’re aiming for.
WALK IT OFF. THEN WALK AGAIN
As I reiterated a couple weeks ago, I can’t stand it when I see a girl not be able to walk in heels properly, no matter HOW CUTE her heels are. And the shoe-god said it himself:
‘There is nothing charming about a woman who cannot walk in her shoes’ – Manolo Blahnik
I mean, I get it. You just happened to walk past the most perfect pair of Valentino lace heels and you had just recently gotten your paycheck and you feel like you would just DIE without these beautiful specimen. AND they were on Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale (just kidding, they’re not -sad face-). How can you possibly say no?
And you pulled the trigger, and now you have to make the bed you sleep in. Practice, practice, practice in your wedding shoes, whether or not you’re running errands or just lounging around on the couch. Additionally, don’t practice just in your PJ shorts. Practice in your long skirts, and pretend that this is the real deal. That way, you’re accustomed to having fabric move against your lower legs and navigating your feet successfully. Straighten your back, walk with proper posture, heel-toe, heel -toe.
If you cannot walk in your heels, you cannot wear them to your wedding. You will be on your feet all day in a very heavy dress, and you are going to get tired no matter what. Do you really want your heels to add to the physical trauma you’re subjecting to your body? You will tire out, rue the day you decided to wear shoes with so many teeny buckles, and kick them off.
Please buy shoes you can walk in.
JUST CAN’T DO IT?
That’s totally fine. No one’s pressuring you to wear skyscraper heels that will have you teetering and tottering throughout wedding in massive amounts of pain (much less in a heavy wedding dress). Plus, there’s cute flats literally EVERYWHERE.
Okay, not everywhere, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to find cute flats at any sort of major retailer you can think of. And the best part? You don’t even have to rule any of them out based on how comfortable they’re going to be. They’re flats! Of course they’re going to be comfortable. Just make sure that your flats themselves have enough support and cushion to get your through the day. Otherwise, your feet and knees are going to be absorbing all the shock from walking and dancing around so much, and you’re going to be sore the next day.
However, if you insist on powering through with your heels, be sure to break them in as thoroughly as possible and consider other options such as sole height and insoles.
I don’t have much arch on my feet, so I have to wear arch support a lot of the times just to get through a lot of the day. I personally am a HUGE fan of Superfeet arch supports, and judging by these Nordstrom reviews, so are a whole bunch of other ladies. If you don’t take my word, take theirs at least. Experiment with other insoles or heel inserts , but don’t be afraid to try insoles out if you find heels too painful to wear! They can often reverse the experience and they aren’t too expensive either.