A handy guide to help you break into that elusive perfect pair of shoes
Let’s face it. Buying the right kind of footwear that checks all the boxes is an art that not many have mastered. The result is that our shoes give up on us faster, and we find ourselves repeating the same old mistakes over and over again. Fret not, for we have listed out a bunch of pointers to help you make some informed choices when you go shoe shopping. Whether you’re looking for ladies footwear, casual shoes for men, kolhapuri chappals, sustainable flip flops or handmade eco-friendly shoes, we’ve got you covered, quite literally.
- Comfort First
It’s easy to be drawn by the allure of impractical heels and attractive prints, but it’s pointless when the fit isn’t as snug, right? Which is why it’s important to take your time when you go shopping for shoes. Ensure that you try on both shoes that make the pair; stand, walk and pay careful attention to how your feet feel. Is there room for toe movement, or do your feet feel rigid? Ideally your toes may need a bit of wiggle room when you’re moving, but at the same time, the shoes must gently clasp your heels to give you the support you need.
- Size matters
Sizes vary depending on the brand so if you usually wear a size 7, for instance, it makes sense to try a size up and down (6 and 8, in this case) for the perfect fit. Also take into account the width of your feet while trying on shoes. Some of us have wider, flatter feet, so it’s a good idea to try different styles of footwear to see which ones best suit you. Pro tip: Late afternoon is considered the ideal time to try out new shoes because your feet expand over the course of the day and by this time of the day, they reach optimum ‘working temperature’, so chances of you breaking into the perfect pair of shoes are quite high. Of course, this doesn’t matter if you are buying shoes online.
- Attention to detail
As far as shoes go, the devil is in the detail. A perfectly fitting pair of sandals for women might have an irksome strap biting into the ankle. Or you might end up with an aesthetic pair of ladies’ shoes that are too firm, or funky men’s slippers that have poor lining and unnecessary seams. Always check your shoe for ample cushioning, flexible soles and pay attention to the quality of stitches and the finishing. Pointed shoes, for example, tend to jam your toes as they are narrower in the front. If you are the kind that always wears socks with sandals and shoes, do so while trying out your new shoes too.
- Material talk
There’s a whole gamut of materials that go into making footwear. Aside from leather, the options range from cork, rubber, plastic to synthetic and natural fabric. Your pick ultimately depends on your own sense of style coupled with the kind of use the footwear is going to be subjected to. If you are going to be wearing it at work or through the day, you might want to consider shoes that are durable, can absorb moisture and are made of breathable material.
- Carbon footprint
As an environmentally conscious consumer, another important factor to consider while buying shoes is the impact your purchase will have on the planet. Which is why it makes sense to steer your attention towards sustainable vegan shoes that are kind to the environment. Made of upcycled tyres and plastic, cork, cane and handloom fabric, the new wave of vegan eco-friendly footwear is not just visually appealing but sturdy and long lasting to boot. And oh, did we mention that affordable vegan shoes do exist, and they don’t necessarily have to burn a hole in your pocket? Win-win, for sure.