Shoes for the bride and for the wedding party must be chosen with great care as they have to be both functional and beautiful. Beautiful is never possible without functional – as a grimacing in pain or falling down bride cannot be beautiful! Functional comfortable shoes – the type of shoes that you don’t give a second thought to while you are enjoying yourself at your wedding – are the ideal!
Your bridal shoes will be influenced by many things such as the style and colour of your dress: long or short; white or blush or silvery? Your décor style and the venue: fancy or casual; at a restaurant or on a yacht; at the beach or on a ranch? Your music: hip hop music for after dinner dancing or chamber music for after dinner socializing? Your shoe choice can even be influenced by how much you like to drink! A general good rule is don’t get drunk if you plan to wear high heels - especially if you are not used to walking in heels. Disaster can easily ensue.
Apparently weddings can go on for 12 hours! That’s a long time to be on your feet in any shoes - but in high heels, yikes – you better follow all seven tips and take them seriously! Just saying
1. Buy the best fitting and most comfortable shoes you can find from a manufacturer with a reputation for shoe comfort.
Any shoes you buy for your wedding should be well made, have flexible soles, be well cushioned, have proper placement of the heel in high heels, and be made from soft leather or other material that will mold to your foot. You can buy your wedding shoes from a special bridal shoe store or buy them from a shoe manufacturer that has a good reputation and excellent word of mouth for making comfortable beautiful shoes of all kinds including bridal shoes such as Cole Haan, Nine West or Stuart Weitzman. If the shoes are silver or metallic they are already all purpose wear dress shoes, and if your shoes are white it is very easy to dye or repaint them into a coloured shoe.
2. Buy your wedding shoes before you buy or try on your wedding dress so you have your shoes with you for dress fittings.
Ideally you want the hem to sit just off the ground, which is determined by heel height, to ensure you don’t trip – tripping can get you on youtube –and not in a good way.
Budget for your wedding shoes in your clothing and accessories budget. Shoes will have a major impact on how your dress looks and fits and how it should be hemmed. The length of the dress should be appropriate for your shoes. Keep in mind you may not have a free hand to hold up your dress at the wedding ceremony as you are likely to have bouquet in one hand and the person that is giving you away in the other. If you will be changing shoe heights keep in mind what impact that will have on your dress length. The same tip applies to members of the wedding party too as the groom and the grooms’ men should have their shoes for their fittings also so their pants end at the right place just touching the shoe but not bunching up on it .
3. Buy shoes that are the right size, design and heel height for you.
If you begin to see impressions of your bent toes appear on the outside of the toe box the shoes are too tight!
Make sure there is at least ½ inch space in front of the longest toe, and if the shoes have a narrow pointed toe make sure the sides are not so tight that they squeeze the forefoot and toes. If you have a wide foot buy round or square toe shoes. If you have a narrow foot ankle straps might make your shoes stay on better. Your shoes should have room for your toes and you should be able to wiggle your toes when you step down while walking in heels. You should be able to walk comfortably at least at a modest pace in your high heels so choose your height accordingly. Heels around three inches or less are most comfortable for average size feet.
Your thong sandals should stay on your feet comfortably without excessive gripping by your toes as doing so for a long time can be very tiring on your feet and legs. If you want the wow factor of towering heels without the discomfort choose platforms with stiletto heels – your 4 ½ inch platforms will give the illusion of very high heels, but you will be enjoying wearing medium height 3 ½ inch heels. If you want to wear high heels but are getting married at the beach choose wedge heels to keep you above the sand so you won’t become ‘the incredible shrinking woman’. Cowboy boots with three inch heels make great wedding footwear, but they will also need inserts to keep your foot from sliding forward. If the groom wears heeled boots with two or three inch heels, he will need shoe inserts too- gravity does not discriminate!
4. Use shoe inserts to customize the fit of all your shoes whether they are high heels, thong sandals, high heeled cowboy boots or ballet flats.
If you plan to dance in your heels like no one’s watching, or even if you just want to walk around socializing with your wedding guests you will be glad you have outfitted your wedding shoes with inserts.
Shaped PORON inserts will keep feet in high heels or high heeled cowboy boots from sliding forward preventing bent toes and corns, cushion the ball of the foot and keep more of your weight on the heel end of the shoe. Shaped inserts will also keep your high heels stable and allow for a more natural gait due to the design of the inserts that preserves toe functions for propulsion and balance. After choosing the best fitting heels – or thongs or boots or flats that you can find - you can rely on shoe inserts to give your shoes a secure, snug fit. Shoe inserts, such as shaped PORON inserts in two pieces especially made for high heels are designed to take up minimal space and fit easily into normal fitting shoes without making the shoes feel crowded or tight. Never - and especially for your wedding day - buy shoes that are too tight because you feel that this is the only way they will stay on your feet. That’s just asking for trouble for your whole special day and night! Inserts will stop your foot from sliding forward to prevent pain from the crushing of your toes and forefoot, absorb shock underfoot, keep your heels in place, and take some of the weight off the balls of your feet.
Outfit thong sandals and ballet flats with one piece shaped PORON shoe inserts. Pretty jeweled wedding thong sandals can cause you a lot of pain from the post rubbing between your delicate toes or may fall off your foot entirely in mid step. Silvery ballet flats may look lovely on the outside, but may have so little cushioning on the inside that you feel like you are walking barefoot on cement - and to add insult to injury a painful blister could develop on your foot from a gap at the heel end of the shoe.
5. Try on your shoes at the store and walk around for at least 10 minutes, preferably on hard floors. Check how comfortable it is for you to walk in different height heels.
“If it is not comfortable when tried on, it should be put back in the box and returned to the shelf”. This is the advice of a person whose business is to sell shoes, Mr. Stuart Weitzman.
More tips from him are: "Try it on…then walk around the store a few times. If it’s tight, don’t assume it will stretch. And if it slips in the heel, assume it will always do that.” Most women with average size feet, can wear heels up to 3 inch heels in height quite comfortably with inserts inside. However know yourself, some women just don’t have the type of strong foot or strong ankles that can wear heels with ease.
Very high heels are much more difficult to wear if you have small shoe size and short feet than if you wear a size ten or eleven and have long feet. A longer foot relative to heel height – creates a less steeply sloped ramp making it less painful to wear higher heels if you have larger feet. Unfortunately it is shorter gals who are most attracted to wearing the highest heels, and the temptation must be great to wear very high heels as wedding shoes too!
The pain from heels that are over about three inches, even for shoes with adequate cushioning, results from the changed angle of the foot at the ankle. Cushioning and inserts help with cushioning the ball of the foot and prevent forward sliding and add shoe stability, but offer no help for ankle pain. The normal angle between the foot and the leg in bare feet is 90 degrees from the horizontal, while in four or five inch heels on an average length foot the angle could be around 45 degrees.
6. Break your shoes in (after outfitting them with inserts) before your wedding day by wearing them to do chores at home, wearing them to the office for a few days, or go shopping in your bridal shoes for an afternoon where you will be doing a lot of mall walking.
Even a tiny discomfort such as the pinch of a slingback strap, or a seam that presses on your foot at the base of the big toe, or a chafing by a rough patch in the heel lining may grow – probably will grow - to become a major source of foot pain when you have to wear the shoes for many, many hours on end at your wedding. The groom and the whole wedding party should also ‘test drive’ their shoes before the big day.
Put your inserts (for your heels or flats) into your shoes before you break them in. The inserts will protect you from most ills however you may still need to put a bandage here or a piece of moleskin there for complete comfort. If your heels are higher than three inches you should plan to have a lower pair of heels or flats to change into for some of the time during your wedding day. Break in your second set of shoes too and consider them as part of your wedding shoe wardrobe, not as ‘the backup plan’ because four or five inch heels should not be worn continuously for longer than three hours at a stretch. You could sandpaper or score the soles of your shoes for better grip or have partial rubber soles put on by a shoe repair shop, and prepare for wedding photos on soft grass with heel caps to keep from aerating the lawn.
7, Never plan to stretch a shoe to make it fit. Shop for wedding shoes well in advance of your wedding date so you can find ones that fit correctly.
Don’t feel pressured by a time crunch to buy a ‘cute pair’ of wedding shoes that are too small and that you hope to stretch to fit!If in doubt about sizing go up a half size and add shoe inserts to customize the shoe. Mr Weitzman says that “The only reliable alteration to a shoe that does not hold the foot properly is to add a foam pad filler…but only if such filler does not make the shoe uncomfortably tight.” An effective foam pad filler is a two part shaped PORON inserts for high heels that is designed to take up minimal space inside shoes by fitting into two tiny hollows underfoot. They can be used in any normal fitting shoes or shoes that are a bit too loose. Never put any inserts, including Killer Heels Comfort inserts, into shoes that are already too tight. In fact get rid of all shoes that are too tight to protect your feet from becoming permanently damaged. Podiatrists say that tight shoes often increase the incidence and severity of symptoms for deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, and neuromas.