You can never have too many shoes: a good size collection will provide a wonderful outlet for personal expression and help to complete or complement an outfit. Whether you love dress shoes, casual, boots, sneakers, or sandals, this guide will help you find the style that is right for you.
Fitting and Sizing
Finding the proper size is, without a doubt, the most difficult part of the shoe buying process. The length of your foot definitely plays a part, but other factors, such as width, arch, and the activity for which you will use the shoe, will change the size. To complicate matters, sizing will change from manufacturer to manufacturer and according to international standards. The most important part in finding the perfect shoe is how it feels on your foot, because if you don't like how it feels, you are not likely to wear it once it's been purchased.
The best deals on shoes are often found online, as plenty of major shoe brands are being sold at outlet prices across the web. However, if the fit is wrong or they don't look right, there is the hassle of shipping them back. To avoid this inconvenience and still get the most for your money, here are some helpful hints:
* Go window shopping for shoes in your favorite brand stores.
* Pick out several styles you like and test them for the size.
** Always bring extra socks and stockings with you to see how they will fit with what you will wear.
** Take note of any areas that pinch, chafe, or squeeze. You may need to go up a half-size or add an insole, cushion, or padding.
** Make sure to wear both shoes at once and walk around in them. The heel may slip a little, but never by more than an inch; that means that the size is too big. This rule goes for lace-ups, flats, boots, and the like, but not for high heels. Keep slippage to a minimum for heels and pumps. They should fit snugly and securely, otherwise you can put yourself at risk for injury.
** Your toes should not be pushing against the end of the shoe; rather, there should be about a half an inch or more of space.
* Take an estimate of how much each style costs so that you can compare online. Online shoe sales and deals are plentiful, but there's always an added cost of shipping, so make sure that you are actually getting a good deal by purchasing online.
* Most online shopping websites have a clearly visible section where you can find customer reviews. Products are usually rated out of five stars, and users can break down the specific pros and cons: if the shoe is made of quality materials or not, if the color is true to the photo, if the shoe fits true to size, or the shoe's comfort levels. Reading these will save time and money!
It might feel sometimes like there is just not the same variety for mens' shoes as there is for womens', but sometimes, even little changes can make a big difference. Check out some earthy brands like Tevas or Birkenstocks. Go casual to business casual with Thom McAn or Timberland, or dress up with Cole Haan, Kenneth Cole, Bally, Hugo Boss, or Tod's. Experimenting with a new style, fabric, or color can shake things up and have you walking on air in no time!
You love them, you live them, you breathe them--need we say more? Whether your poison is ballet flats, trainers, motorcycle boots, or stilettos, there is a nearly infinite amount of options. There are many popular brands that will potentially interest you for new footwear, like Uggs, Coach, Tod's, or Vera Wang. And don't forget there are many shoes which you can always dress up or down: Oxford shoes, flats, ankle boots, and wedges--an economical choice if you're going from the office to happy hour. Happy shopping!
Buying shoes for children can sometimes seem like an insurmountable battle because they outgrow them faster than you can buy them! Nonetheless, there is a lot of fun footwear out there for your kids, like Sketchers or Crocs. To get more bang for your buck, buy a slightly larger size so tots can grow into them.
It's a great investment to get shoes for specific activities since you don't want to ruin your nice, casual ones in the rain (or wreck your not-yet-waterproofed loafers!), and so on. For shoes meant for specific activities such as bicycling, dance, or any other recreational activities, check out the different sections of our Sports and Recreation page.