These are shoes selected from Aquazzura’s Look Book for fall 2017. Aquazzura, a very young company founded in 2011, is known for their beautiful, wearable well designed shoes. A well designed shoe is one that holds the foot properly. The designer also makes many of the ‘sky high’ heel styles available in lower heels and flats which is great for women who love designer shoes but cannot wear really high heels. (The Wild Thing City Sandal or the Aquazurra Ballerinas are not in the current Look Book)
All of these shoes and boots are gorgeous, but they all have their own wearing challenges as do most footwear. Shoes come in thousands of styles and designs but feet come in millions of styles and designs! Therefore unless you really ‘luck out’ your shoes will probably benefit from foam inserts that hold the foot in the place where the designer intended it to be, plus add cushioning to the ball of the foot where additional cushyness is always welcome.
Aquazzura shoes have features that make them more comfortable than many other designer shoes. A problem with all high heels is that they are worn on planet earth where there is gravity! The impact of gravity is that feet in high heels slide forward down the ramp inside shoes. One way to stop or at least slow down this slide is to have a lining in shoes that grips the foot so that it will not slide forward. Aquazurra shoes have a thin suede lining that does this grip job. These shoes are less likely to slide forward however for this feature to work the shoes have to fit perfectly along the sides. Shoes that fit on length but don’t fit close along the sides will need inserts to prevent feet from sliding forward.
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.
More helpful information about shoe comfort is provided by Stuart Weitzman, owner of Stuart Weitzman shoes. He has said this about buying shoes, “...if it is not comfortable when tried on, it should be put back in the box and returned to the shelf." His advice is also that shoes should never be altered to fit by stretching, “The only reliable alteration to a shoe that does not hold the foot properly is to add a foam pad filler.”
Top: Nolita Pump . Simply Irrisistable Pump Bottom: Boom Bootie . Mata Hari Bootie
Shoes with thin or stiletto heels tend to be wobbly. Instability in heels and pressure on the ball of the foot increases with height of heel. Shoe inserts that keep the heel of the foot inside the heel of the shoe will stabilize high heels with thin heels. Pressure on the ball of the foot increases if the foot slides forward shifting more weight towards the ball of the foot and off the heel area therefore it is important to keep weight at the heel end.
Heels like the caged bootie with an open toe should have inserts to keep the foot back so that toes don't overhang through the peep toe opening. If there are laces on caged booties (there are none on this bootie) do not have to be tied as tight if foam inserts are keeping the foot in place inside the booties.
The pale pink kitten heels and the bright pink pump both have narrow toe boxes. This style of shoe should be bought in a half size larger to ensure there is enough wiggle space for toes. These are a style of shoe that should always have inserts to keep the toes from being crushed in the toe box. Even if the shoes fit perfectly while you are standing they will begin to hurt your toes when you walk.
Dorado Boot . Brera Boot
Boots with high heels heels will have the same issues as high heel shoes of instability and pressure on the ball of the foot. Boots with thin heels are more unstable than boots with block heels. Even if boots have a rounded toe box for more toe room, as the Dorado Boot does, inserts should be added to ensure that the toes don't get forced forward into the front of the toe box during walking. Boots that are closed in tend to make feet warmer than shoes, causing swelling of the feet. The swelling will make boots hurt your toes more and exacerbate the feel of burning pressure on the balls of the feet. Toe pain can be completely eliminated and ball of foot pressure reduced with inserts that hold back and cushion the foot. Tip:Always shop for shoes/boots in the afternoon or evening when feet are at their largest. Boots are often worn outdoors on rough ground and walking in them may be at a fast pace therefore it is important to have inserts in them to keep them stable while walking as well as keep toes comfortable and avoid heel blisters. Never buy boots, or any footwear, that are even a tiny bit too tight and never expect to stretch them to fit. If in doubt about the proper shoe or boot size buy a half size larger - never a half size smaller.
Top: Sandy Ballet . Aquazurra Ballerinas . Bottom: Almaty Bootie Flat . Mont Blanc
Ballet flats and boots like the black ankle boot have a thin sole in common. Thin soles in shoes and boots should be cushioned with ball of foot inserts so you don't feel like you are walking on cement. The inserts must be small so they don't crowd the front of the shoe or the toes. Inserts that concentrate cushioning directly under the ball of the foot and don't go under the toes will cushion without crowding. Ballet shoes tend to have a low vamp so they can become crowded very easily with ball of foot inserts that are thick up to their edges.
The thicker bottom of the Mont Blanc boot will make it more comfortable to walk in than footwear with a thin bottom. Ball of foot inserts will add additional cushioning if needed, and will keep the foot from moving forward and the toes from bumping into the front of the boot in activities such as hiking on hilly ground or running for the bus!
Top: Wild Thing City Sandal . Cameo Mule Bottom: Cosmic Pearl Bootie . Party Plateau
Block heels make it easier to walk in heels because there is more heel area in contact with the ground than in stiletto heels. This makes walking more stable, however it is a fallacy that block heels decrease pressure on the ball of the foot. They don't. The pressure on the ball of the foot is function of the height of the heel over the height of the bottom of the foot. In a shoe such as the platform high heel shoe the platform height is minused from the heel height, making what looks like a five inch heel a much more walkable three and a half inch heel. This makes platform stilettos the number one favorite for red carpet ladies - they're no fools! Walking in platform heels has its' own challenges due to the stiff bottom of the shoe making the shoe less stable. Most platform heels have ankle straps for additional stability because of the stiff sole and the height of the foot above the ground in this style. Platform heels can become very unstable on rough ground which can be dangerous. Platform heels should have inserts mainly for stability, therefore the inserts should be of a style that holds the foot steady in two places.
The red sandals with block heels are a quintessential shoe design from Aquazurra. This shoe is a low block heel version of a very high heel stiletto sandal called Wild Thing. Wild Thing City Sandal is a perfect shoe for women who love designer style but whose feet are such that they cannot wear stiletto or high heels.
Mules, like the green shoe, can be very unstable to walk in if they are not well designed. However even a well designed mule can become difficult to walk in if the heel of the foot slides sideways or the shoe fall off the foot because of a narrow heel. Mules are high heels that need shoe inserts that prevent the foot at the heel from sliding sideways. If the heel stays in place in the centre of the shoe the whole shoe is much more stable to walk in and walking is less tiring because you are not trying to keep your shoe on your foot by tensing the foot and leg muscles.