There are very few things worse than walking around your whole life in uncomfortable shoes. Unlike other clothing situations where you can snip off an itchy label, take off a layer or replace a missing button, uncomfortable shoes will remain uncomfortable until you take them off (and maybe longer). Sure, there are ways you can alleviate the pain by putting on gel pads, band-aids insoles and three layers of socks, but in reality, the best solution is to just find and wear comfortable shoes.
Possibly the most comfortable footwear in the world, sneakers can feel like they’ve encased your foot in a fluffy could. They provide both comfort and stability, and if you go for something like running sneakers, they’ll probably be made with your spine in mind, giving you a bit of a lift. It’s important to remember that not all sneakers are the same, and if you go for the ones that have a thin, rubber sole, they still might be a bit uncomfortable, as you’ll feel every little pebble under your feet from the lack of isolation. You can fix this by putting in a fluffy pad to give you some comfort. And if you think that sneakers are just for casual wear – think again. They might not be red carpet-appropriate, but you can easily find sneakers that are elegant, cool and perfect for a day in the office.
Sandals can be a hit or miss, depending on the specific model. For starters, avoid sandals with heels, as they don’t provide a lot of stability and will probably end up hurting your feet; if you want some lift, go for a full block platform. Sandals can have a similar problem to sneakers, where the sole isn’t always the thickest and most supportive. However, if you go for a brand like Arizona Birkenstock, you’ll get a thick sole that allows you to embed your own footprint into the shoe and fit perfectly. You should also look for something with adjustable straps, as it’s important to get a good, tight fit around your foot, especially if the sandals aren’t completely flat.
Yes, it’s not only possible to find comfortable heels, but they are often better for you than completely flat shoes. First things first – let’s talk heels. You want to find a heel that will evenly distribute the weight of your body along the soles of your feet, and not just place it on one spot on the heel and your toes. This means that thin, pinpoint heels are out of the picture, and you should look for something chunky, that will at least go the whole width of the shoe. Next, you don’t want it to be too high. The height will depend on the size of your feet: the longer the foot, the higher you can go, but the good rule of thumb is just to stand on your toes for a minute, and see what height feels natural to you. Of course, you should still follow all the rules of a tight fit around the foot and a good ergonomic sole.
The days of having to sacrifice comfort for style are way behind us and it’s time to move forward and make shoemakers realize that if their shoes aren’t good for our feet – we ain’t wearing them. Take your time to find the best footwear for you and support the brands that make beautiful and comfortable shoes.