- Know your budget. Avoid impulse shopping. If you already have three pairs of brown flats, resist another pair, even if they are on sale. Fashion stylist and author Dawn Del Russo says, "Don't impulse buy. Instead, keep a list of the shoes you're actually looking for on hand and stick to it."
- Shop at the end of the day. We've said it before, but it's worth repeating again and again. Your feet swell during the day, sometimes up to a half size, so go in the evening when you're most likely to get your truest fit.
- Know your arch type. Again, something else we've blogged before, but this is an important factor in shoe selection. So how do you find out what kind of arch you have? Take a piece of white paper and wet your foot, stepping on the paper. If you see most of your footprint, you have flat feet. If you have a high arch, most of your footprint will be missing. Those with normal arches will leave a balanced footprint.
- Try on three sizes. Sounds like a waste of time, right? No! Just because you are one size in one brand doesn't mean that you will be the same size in a different brand. Footwear designer Anyi Lu of Anyi Yu International says, "Many people are stuck on the numbers, but different brands- and even different shoes within a brand- vary. Your feet will tell you what size to buy." And listen to your feet- if the shoes are too small or too big, try a different size.
- Can't walk in it? Don't buy it. They'll be lovely shoes for the moments when you are sitting, but who wants to sit all the time in pretty shoes?
- Make friends with the sales associates. Rebecca Raleigh, a LA fashion stylist educator says, "They'll help you find exactly what you're looking for within your price range. Sometimes they'll give you an extra little discount if you really hit it off." Some will even alert you to upcoming sales and discounts. "Yes, the associate wants that commission, but the most important thing to them (or should be) is building a relationship with you so you'll become a repeat customer,"says Raleigh.
- Wear something decent. Don't go shoe shopping in sweatpants or running clothes. You're going to feel better about yourself and your shoe purchase when you look cute.
- Consider wedges. Ok, so Vogue Magazine recently said that platforms were out, but we would argue that some high heels, especially stilettos, are always a "no". High heels make preexisting conditions like hammertoes, bunions, and heel pain worse, while causing blisters, ingrown toenails, neuromas, sprains, and many other foot problems. Jacqueline M. Sutera, D.P.M. of Manhattan says, "While the American Podiatric Medical Association recommends a heel height of 2 inches or less, for people seeking a bigger boost, a wedge can be a great option! If the shoe has a platform, the front height will basically make it so you're wearing a shorter heel. Plus, wedges have a larger surface area to distribute your body weight across, giving you that much more support."
- Forget trends. Don't try to make a trend work for your body type when it clearly does not. If you have short legs, an ankle boot is going to make your legs look even shorter.
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