Love Shoes

By Jo Phillips

No outfit is complete without a pair of shoes! Similarly, an outfit can be ruined when paired with the wrong shoes. We’re talking both aesthetically ruined and ruined in terms of comfort. Most people will take notice of what’s on your feet, so you better make sure it fits the rest of your clothing. If it doesn’t, you can stick out like a sore thumb and get plenty of weird looks. 

The thing about buying new shoes is that it isn’t a swift process. In fact, if you go out and buy the first pair of shoes you buy, you’ve already made a mistake. This is a big decision, made even more difficult when you consider how many different outfits you have in your closet. Can you buy a pair of shoes for each one? Unless you’re a celebrity, the answer is no. Thus, the search for shoes becomes even more of a struggle. 

Nevertheless, you can make life easier for yourself if you follow some of the golden rules of shoe buying. These rules ensure that you don’t waste money and that you purchase shoes that complement your outfits. Here’s a rundown of the key steps to follow:

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Buy mostly neutral shoes

For the most part, you should get your hands on a selection of neutral shoes. Most people can get away with maybe three or four pairs of neutral footwear. By ‘neutral’ we’re talking about styles and colours that aren’t overly extravagant. A pair of simple black shoes is a brilliant example of this. Here, you have something that can go with a whole host of different outfits. They can pair well with smart clothing, be a good item to wear to work, or even work with some more relaxed pieces. The same goes for white trainers – a versatile piece that goes well with so many different outfits throughout the year. 

Of course, you may need a few specific shoes for certain events – like a big work’s dinner or a wedding. These are special cases, for the most part, you can save money by just aiming for some neutral shoes. 

Measure your feet

Buying shoes in the right size is crucial to ensure they’re comfortable. Otherwise, they can ruin an outfit by putting negative thoughts in your head. Imagine going out with your friends and dealing with sore feet the whole night. Everyone else is enjoying themselves, but you’re fighting against blisters and can’t stop thinking about your feet. It ruins your experience of the situation, meaning you end up hating the outfit as a whole. Plus, anyone that’s with you can feel like you’re in a mood and not want to be with you. 

Also, it’s worth mentioning that shoes in the wrong size can look ridiculous. You don’t notice them as much when they’re undersized, but oversized shoes look so silly. They can make it seem like you’re a clown walking around with massive feet! So, to avoid this, you need to get the right shoe size. 

Be honest, when did you last measure your feet? The majority of you probably got your feet measured in a store as a child. This was back in the days where you’d buy school shoes with your parents! Since then, it’s been more of a guessing game. You try on one pair – if they don’t fit you go up a size, and so on. Be sure you properly measure your feet to know your exact shoe size. You can do this at home, or you can go to a store, it doesn’t matter how you do it, just as long as you know your size. From here, you can buy shoes with more confidence!

While we’re talking about shoe size, it goes without saying that you should never settle for shoes that don’t fit properly. A lot of you might order online, then be a bit annoyed when the shoes are slightly too big or small. You can’t be bothered to return them, so you settle for the wrong size. It’s worth the effort in returning the shoes – you could even order multiple sizes to try many different ones on, then you’re forced to make returns or else you have three or the exact same shoes!

Focus on your style

We all have a certain style that we tend to gravitate towards. This includes the different colours we like to wear, as well as the particular clothes we put on. When buying shoes, you should always keep your style in mind. This is easier when you’re getting shoes for specific events, and harder when you just want a new pair to wear with many outfits. 

As mentioned in the very first point, you should look for neutral shoes more than most. However, you can still buy neutral shoes that don’t suit your outfits. So, be sure you focus on your own unique style and think about what shoes look good with the clothes you wear. If you’ve got more of a sporty/athletic style, it doesn’t make sense to bag a pair of high-top chunky boots as you probably won’t wear them. 

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Quality means longevity

Nowadays, you can find so many different brands selling shoes. This is both a blessing and a curse! It seems like a great thing as it gives you more options and styles to choose from. In some ways, this is true and you have more chance of finding something that fits your style. Unfortunately, too many brands sell knock-off versions of other footwear. Basically, they produce very similar styles, but at a much lower cost than the branded versions. 

Hang on, isn’t that a good thing? Surely it means you can buy some nice shoes without overpaying for a brand logo? Sadly, most cheap shoes are exactly that – cheap. They are made using poor materials, which usually means they don’t last very long. As a result, you will end up with broken shoes in a few months. 

Think about it, shoes should last for many years. Indeed, look at your current collection and think back to when you bought all of them. I have some that have been with me for well over five years and are still in excellent condition. The key to finding high-quality shoes is to buy ones from a respectable brand that uses good materials. Sites like Arthur Knight are fantastic for finding designer footwear that’s made to last. In many cases (and there are exceptions) expensive shoes last a lot longer and are better value for money. Bear this in mind the next time you think you’re getting a bargain on some cheap shoes. 

Support is key

We’ve spoken about the need for the right size shoes in terms of comfort, and support falls into the same category. If your shoes don’t have any support, your ankles and feet get really sore. It’s hard to walk in the shoes for a long time, even if they’re perfectly sized. Usually, the sole is the culprit. The sole needs to be sturdy and offer genuine support for the arch in your foot. Yes, you can buy insoles, but why should you buy more things after spending money on some shoes?! I would say that insoles are good to buy if you have specific orthopaedic problems or your shoes are old. They do a good job of breathing new life into old shoes. 

Anyway, a supportive sole is vital to keep your feet comfy when you walk. Obviously, with things like dress shoes or heels, you won’t get the same level of support as a pair of running trainers. Still, be sure you try shoes on and have a walk around in them. If your feet feel snug and secure, they’ve got enough support!

Buy and sell shoes for special occasions

As touched upon before, you may need some shoes for special occasions. Common situations include weddings, a big night out, a ball, and so on. Here, you need shoes that you probably won’t wear again – especially if you have to wear a specific outfit. By all means, try to buy shoes that you might be able to wear to a similar occasion later in life. But, if this isn’t possible, there’s one other thing you should do. 

Technically, this isn’t a rule for buying shoes, but it deserves to be in here anyway. After wearing your shoes, sell them to someone else. It’s that simple, meaning you can recover at least half of the money you spent on them. So, make sure you take care of them when you’re wearing them! Give them a clean if they’re dirty, and keep the box! Following this tactic means you can buy shoes for special occasions more often as you’re selling them after. 

Use these golden rules the next time you buy a pair of shoes. Don’t make the wrong purchase as bad shoes make a bad outfit. Everyone has different shoe tastes, which is why these rules are very general and can be applied to anyone.