Millions and millions of aging boomers have worn and adored stilettos their life through. But, how many of you can really endure the pain and just how many baby boomers, footwear fashionistas can settle with the dowdy alternatives? Shoe companies now have a tremendous opportunity to serve consumers that long for some more glamor and significantly less pain below the ankle!
Only a handful of women worldwide considers shoes only to have a protective role against the elements. To the majority of us, shoes are a way to express ourselves. A beautiful pair of shoes is like jewelry for the feet, isn’t it?
Kenneth Cole of the world-renowned fashion house once said: “When a woman puts on a pair of shoes in the morning, she’s making a commitment that’s going to last all day.”
Yes, our feet may be aging, but do we ever stop loving shoes? Absolutely not. Growing up with stunning high heels has marked a significant era in our life, and it’s hard to let go of our favourite stilettos and replace them with something more-comfy, but less attractive. If you are not ready to replace your favourite shoes, the good news is that there is a solution: check out Love Your Shoes for professional shoe cleaners servicing all of Canada. In cases where your old shoes are just too damaged, there is no other option but to get new shoes, and we know that the grieving process is heartbreaking for sure. What manufacturers ignore is that baby boomers now have ready-to-spend, disposable cash! For all of you that don’t want to compromise style, here is how you can find comfortable shoes to walk with us all day long, leaving you with only the pleasure of their incredible style!
What is the Ideal Pair of Shoes?
Orthopedic surgeons insist that ideally, shoes should have a narrow heel and wide toe box. Unfortunately, very few (if any) of these shoes are also esthetically attractive. Besides their ugliness, they also put you to a shoe-shopping dead-end. I mean, if you buy shoes that are tight in the toes and fit in the heels, you damage your feet, by the time the toes are broken in. In the opposite case, if you buy shoes that are wide enough in the toes, the heel will slip out. This is not only disturbing, but also dangerous. Remember Meryl Streep and how she lost her Jimmy Choo pump while climbing the stairs to get her statuette at the 2012 British Academy of Film & Television Arts awards? Totally embarrassing, plus she could have fallen and got injured.
So, how do we conquer the no-pain, stylish shoe fitting quest? Here are some tricks that will bring sexy back in no time!
Search for Foot-Friendly Features
Many brands have already incorporated comfortable features into their shoes, at every price point. Now, chunky heels and platforms, as well as wedges come more cushioned and give the appearance of height at the same time. This doesn’t only give you less pain with every step, but also a chic and stylish look.
High-end brands have also altered their manufacturing process to provide women with more comfort while walking. Take Taryn Rose, for example. The former podiatrist turned shoe designer produces comfy, high end, foot-friendly, high-fashion shoes. Ferragamo is another high-end brand that has ventured into the comfortable market with extreme success, although their shoes are less sky high. However, none of the above brands use the comfort they provide as a selling point.
Anyway, take flats, for example. I am sure many of you have thought that a little more heel would not hurt anyone and that just a bit more punch to turn the spotlight away from whatever is not as perky as it used to be, is super great. That maybe so. But, can anyone argue that flats are in style? Recollect the moments when the gorgeous Carla Bruni was standing next to her hubby and former President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy in her flats! Admittedly, she looked fantastic.
If there is a golden rule here to note, that would be to avoid:
(1) flat shoes with a very narrow toe box,
(2) flats that cause blisters because of their exposed seams inside the rub, and
(3) shoes that don’t provide enough arch support.
Where to Find Such Shoes?
You can find a wide variety of flats in different cute colors, textured leathers, and padded footbed, as well as lots of shock absorption and support to amaze the crowds (see Michael Kors and Stuart Weitzman). Just look around! And, if you want some tips, you can turn your focus to Boomer brands, such as Mephisto, Birkenstock, Ecco, and Born and Clarks, to name a few. You will find elegant shoes that lack nothing of the sophistication and comfort we are seeking for. Also, Dansko is another brand that has gone out of their comfort zone and created reliably comfy shoes for people that are on their feet all day, such as professionals (e.g. cashiers, nurses, doctors, and food service workers) and want to wear something with just enough style, anatomically shaped, with shock absorption, arch support, and cushioned footbed.
If you like Naot’s shoes, you will definitely get your hands on purely comfortable shoes, but with little attention to style. However, they also have attractive Mary Jane-like style higher-end designs and many more designs where high-enough chunky heels prevail, in pearlized or metallic leather.
A brand that has dedicated a large part of their manufacturing line for baby boomers’ shoes is Stuart Weitzman. Out of personal experience, their shoes can easily follow you all day long, from the office to the dinner restaurant. They started using flexible soles and a different (softer) tanning process that make their shoes, even the highest heeled ones, much more tolerable. A spokesman of the brand once mentioned that their attention is to provide sexy and lovely shoes for women of all age groups, without losing comfort, and judging from my feet that wear their shoes, they are true so far.
A parenthesis opens here to say that I have no vested interest in a particular brand, and I am sure you will find plenty more that serve your purposes.
That said, La Canadienne is another go-to source for comfortable, stylish shoes. The Montreal-based company makes incredibly sexy, waterproof footwear. As for the Italian Attilio Giusti Leombruni, the softness of their shoes is unparalleled.
Of those with no budget restrictions, Manolo Blahnik designs are unbelievably elegant, super sexy, and comfortable, with padded insoles and a rich variety of heel heights, such as their famous kitten heel.
Online Shoe Shopping
Endless, Zappos, and many more internet shoe stores have taken shoe shopping to another level. As they have opened a new dimension to shoppers, where they can read reviews as per the comfort level of the pair of shoe they are considering to buy, and how they fit, the game has taken a new turn. All you need to do is note the ages of those commenting and focus on the reviews written by women in their 40s and 50s. If they say that they stood pain-free for many hours non-end in a day, then chances are you will buy yourself a great pair of shoes.
Other than that, shopping online allows you to try the shoes you have purchased at home, without having to sweep the malls and shoe stores around the city to find what you are looking for. Plus, you have no hovering salesperson pressuring you to make up your mind fast.
What is the best time to go for shoe shopping? Definitely at the end of the day, when your feet are swollen and tired.
1. Before you reject a pair of shoes, think that, sometimes, all they may need is to have their toe box stretched. This is an easy job for a shoe repair and will cost you no more than $15. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for this particular service. Queen Elizabeth II herself is said to have asked someone to break in her shoes! Just be careful who you ask to do this kind of job for you and always be sure this is what you want because you risk having wasted your money on a costly shoe purchase.
2. A clever option is to have a collection of shoes in a rainbow of colors and when you find a good pair of shoes that fit like a glove and are ridiculously comfortable, buy another pair. You can wear one now and the other one later!
We are starving for comfy, and stylish footwear and hopefully show designers will realize that it is the aging baby boomers that are holding the checkbooks! Until then, we will just have to walk our way through!