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MULES ! What's not to love ? Tips on how to keep them on your feet

Tips for wearing mules, high heels and flats

Tips for wearing mules - the hottest high heel shoes and flats trend in 2018.

  1. Buy mules in the right size. The right size is a shoe that has at least a half inch of space in front of the longest toe and sufficient width for the foot at the end of the day when feet are at their largest. There must be sufficient wiggle room for the toes during walking and the shoe should not press against the sides of the foot squeezing the forefoot. Mules that have a pointed toe should be bought a half size bigger to allow for sufficient room for the toes. Walk about in the store and if the shoe doesn’t fit don’t buy it. Don’t count on being able to stretch the shoe to fit.  


  1. Look for mules that are designed properly for the function of walking.  In high heel mules the heel of the shoe should be centered underneath your heel. Mules are inherently unusually unstable shoes whether they are high heeled or low heeled, therefore a balanced design in critical. The model fell off her block heels (right top photo) with her right heel half off the heel of the shoe while walking on a smooth indoor floor. Mules, whether high or low heel should not feel difficult to walk in. They should not feel clumsy or heavy during walking or seem to be ready to fall off the foot. The vamp of the mule should fit snugly as that is the only part of the shoe that will keep it on the foot. Leather mules with a soft leather lining is best for molding the shoe to the foot and gripping the foot around the arch area to keep the foot inside the shoe. If the mules have thick soles it helps make walker easier if the soles have rocker bottoms.


  1. The shoe design and style of the mules should support their function. Mules are a very unstable type of shoe so any style features that help stabilize the foot inside the shoe and can be used to lift the shoe are good. Slides or flat mules that have a vamp that comes up close to the ankle (top left photo) will help to keep the mule on the foot and provide a large surface for lifting the shoe. A shallow toe box that shows ‘toe cleavage’ is not good in mules as there is too little shoe for the foot to stay inside. Styles to look for are ones that have a toe box plus additional straps that extend up the shoe towards the ankle. Materials such as the fur on the vamp of the Franco Sarto mules (bottom right photo) add filling into the vamp and may help to keep the shoe from falling off. Mules with block heels tend to be more stable than ones with stiletto heels of the same height because a greater amount of surface of the heel is in contact with the ground.


  1. Know your foot type for best fitting mules. Mules are shoes that should fit snugly around the arch area of the foot. The best shoes for this are made from leather with softer leather lining, however the shoe itself should also fit your foot type more closely than for other types of shoes because there is not much holding mules on your foot except a very good fit around the sides and top of the arch of the foot. If you have a low arch look for mules that can be adjusted to fit such as the Aquazzura high heels (lower left photo) that have ties.  Another area that should fit well is at the toes. If you have a wide foot at the toe end look for mules that have a rounded or an almond shape toe box. Podiatrists advise to avoid shoes that cause your foot to slide forward, which puts extra pressure on your toes. Choose shoes with a toe box wide enough to wiggle your toes and ensure there is room for your toes during walking by putting in inserts.  Also, consider adding an insert to heels you already own, which may act as a shock absorber and help to reduce some of the strain on your knees plus will provide extra cushioning for the ball of your foot.


  1. Mules that have high heels should be outfitted with two part foam PORON inserts specifically made for high heels to keep mules stabilized, keep the heel of the foot from slipping sideways off the heel of the shoe, and prevent the heel from slipping forwards. When the heel is kept in place more of the wearers’ weight is kept over the heel and less pressure is placed on the ball of the foot. In flat mules or sliders the foot is kept in place inside the shoe and the shoe is stabilized with a ball of foot insert that fits under the forefoot. The inserts for high heels and for flats keep the foot in place to stabilize the foot inside the shoe making the shoe less wobbly and less likely to fall off the foot. The inserts also provide shock absorption for the ball of the foot to absorb the shock of walking on hard surfaces and provide spring back cushioning to rebound energy which makes walking less tiring. If the foot is held firmly in the shoe by the PORON cushioning the foot and legs are less tired because they don’t have to work to keep mules on the feet. The only shoe insert for mules that has these characteristics was patented in 2017 and is available from com


In Closet Full of Clothes the author says of mules:” It’s the lazy girl’s dream shoe revived from the ’90s in a totally modern way. And really, why would you wear anything else when you can just slip them on and go? Mules are very versatile and can be paired with dresses long or short, pants, jeans or shorts. They can be worn on bare legs or with tights or stocking or even short socks.  Mules are easy to put on and take off and will complement most outfits and foot shapes. Mules come in heel heights from very high to completely flat and have heels that are spiked or blocky. About the only downside of mules is that they can be unstable to the point of falling off your feet while you are walking. Luckily this can be remedied with the correct shoe inserts whether for high heels or flats. 

 Mules have been featured in women's shoe articles for 2018 in magazines and in TV style programs such as Cityline with stylist Lynn Spence in a program hosted by Tracy Moore. The image of the women falling off her gold coloured block heel mules is from Cityline. Note how her heel is half on and half off on her right shoe. This is a perfect example of the most likely footwear accident in mules, which is that the heel of the foot slides off the shoe sideways.  It can happen with either low or high heels as in the 2" block gold heels in the photo top right or the black flats in the photo top left where the right foot heel is not over the heel of the shoe. 

In flat mules the most likely harm to the foot is that the bare heel scrapes onto the sidewalk or the shoe slides off the foot. There is much more danger if the heel of the foot slips off high heel mules such as off the 105mm (4")  Aquazzurra high heel 'Flirt' mule, ( bottom left photo) or even off 2" block heels. The gorgeous snakeskin high heel mule is made by a shoe manufacturer with a reputation for making high heels that cling to the foot at the midsection/arch area of the shoe because the shoes are lined with a soft leather lining that moulds to the foot, however even the best made high heel mules are subject to having the foot slip sideways at the heel end. There is nothing holding the heel of the foot at the midline of the shoe. If the insole is leather or vinyl - as it is in most shoes- the foot very easily slides sideways where there are no sides of the shoe to hold it in. 

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