Hey Heelista! This is the ULTIMATE GIRLS GUIDE TO BUYING HIGH HEELS!
This covers both online and in store buying of new shoes. Everything you need to know to find new heels that fit, are comfortable and get you the best price possible. Enjoy 🙂
You thought it was simple? Guess again!
Not only is shoe buying pretty difficult, but buying heels is a whole different ball park! Many women walk away from the store with empty pockets and bags in hand of what they think will be their next favorite pair of heels, only to wear them two times and throw them into the storage bins under the bed (or use as a nifty display in their closet).
Whether it is Louboutin or Steve Madden, Follow these simple tips to ensure you are not only getting the cutest pair of heels, but the right pair of heels too!
Know Your Foot
Shoe Size? Or More So, Foot Size?
Yes they can be different! A lot of women tend to go half or even a full a size up for more comfort in their heels. Consider this, heels are bending your foot to an un-natural, vertical position, causing more pressure on the heel and ball of your foot. It also causes pressure on your foot to slide downward, meaning there should be a bit more wiggle room in your shoe to allow increased comfort to your toes, especially if the heels are closed-toed.
Have your feet measured. Yes, actually measured! Most stores have a device that allows you to measure your feet to find the most accurate shoe and heel size you are looking for, in both American and European sizes. Sometimes your feet can be different sizes as well (which, if that happens, you may not have to buy two sets of heels, , but you may want to consider adding in an insole or slider to fit both feet properly).
It’s also good to note that, when it comes to different brands of heels, especially designer heels, the same size may not fit the same way. For example, a size 8 in one brand of heels may fit the same as a size 8.5 in another brand. This is why it’s important to know the actual measurements of your feet so you can properly convert the size of your foot into an actual heel size.
Find the Best Shape For Your Foot
Get to know your feet (No, I’m not trying to sound creepy, I’m just trying to help you!). All feet are different, including yours! Other than actually measuring your foot, you need to figure out the proper characteristics of your feet as well to make sure you buy the right heel to fit properly for your feet and body. For example, are your feet wide, narrow, or regular? Do you have longer or shorter toes? Large or skinny ankles? High arches or no arches? All these things contribute to finding the right heel for you and can make all the difference in your foot health and quality of life in the heels.
Want to buy from a certain brand yet they don’t carry shoes for wider feet? Have weak ankles but the brand you want to buy from didn’t come out with wedges this season? These are all things to consider before diving into researching for the perfect pair of heels. Knowing your foot will essentially tell you everything about what kind of heel you SHOULD aim for if you’re looking for the perfect fitting pair.
What Are You Looking For?
Do Your Research Online
Store sales, Pinterest boards, fashion inspiration Instagram accounts, you name it!
It’s much easier doing your research beforehand on shoes you may want, than to just waltz into a store expecting something to call out your name like it’s an angel from heaven. Be careful, though! Unless you enjoy living life on the edge, trying on a pair of heels is a key factor for purchase, so advise against buying immediately online if you can (this will save you a good amount of time, effort and money on return fees as well). We’ll get into trying on the heels later, but for now, get to that online window shopping, sister!
This brings us to the comfort factor! Many women are willing to forgo the very thing that shoes were made for just to have great fashion, and that is comfort. I’m here to tell you, however, this is a big no-no. If you are one of those people that would rather risk blisters, bloody feet and arthritis to fit in those gorgeous designer pumps, then go for it. To each their own! Just know that there are a ton of other comfortable options out there that might even be more affordable and better quality. However, if you are looking for something to wear around the office, out to a bar at night or even for your upcoming wedding or dance performance, you need to consider how comfortable you are willing to go for a pair of heels, which can only be assessed after trying them on in a store. (Don’t worry, we are almost at the fun part!)
Keep in mind you will always break in a new pair of heels and we have a guide for that.
Here we arrive to probably one of the biggest make or break factors when considering buying a new pair of heels! Even if we do our research and shop for the perfect pair of heels, we are more than likely going to pass on a pair of heels that are ridiculously out of our price range. When considering what you’re going to be using your pumps for, you need to consider how much you are willing to spend. This will also help guide you into choosing the right store to look, whether it be a Payless or Bloomingdales. It’s also important to note that if you are planning on wearing these heels all day, all night, every day, you might want to consider a variety of different price points to pick the perfect shoe.
On Trend or Old Reliable?
Know the difference. There is no need to prepare to spend a fortune on trendy heels because they are just that, trendy. Think about how many clothing items we buy during our lifetime that are only worn twice, and later to be donated because Kim Kardashian is no longer wearing sequin dresses and 3-inch leather waist belts anymore. It’s good to know whether or not you think a pair of heels can span over multiple years or not, so be wise in developing a price point for the type of shoe you are aiming for.
Don’t get me wrong, though, there’s nothing wrong with buying a pair of heels that are trendy or a pair that you know you will only wear a couple times because they’re cute but not right for your foot. Being aware of what you are buying is half the battle, but knowing what you absolutely want and going for it is what essentially will get you into that dream pair of heels.
Know the Heel, Walk the Heel, Be the Heel!
Head to the Store, At Night!
Quite an odd request, right? Believe it or not, if you’re out shopping with your girls during the day, you are going to want to check out the shoe department on your LAST stop. Why? Think about it, if you are going to be in a pair of heels all day and night, you want to see how the heel feels when your feet are already tired! Not only that, but your feet swell and expand a tiny bit throughout the day as well, which makes sense because we’re always on them! If you find a pair that fit you correctly AND still feel great at the end of a long day, you’re almost guaranteed to have a winner on your hands.
Walk in the pair of heels
Here we finally are, the moment we’ve all been waiting for! We see the perfect shoe, it’s in our price range, the check-out out is right around the corner, it’s almost ours! BUT… you MUST try on the heel and actually WALK in the heel before laying down your dollars. This is something that may sound so obvious, but to many people’s surprise, it’s not! You think you’ve done all the research, read all the reviews, you know this is the perfect pair for you. However, you will never truly know if it is the perfect pair, until you spend some time in them.
No matter where you are shopping, don’t ever feel intimidated for walking in a pair of shoes for a little bit. It’s not enough just to walk up and down one aisle and call the shoe your own. Take your time, walk straight, side to side, twist (your body, not ankle’s), turn, jog (carefully in place please) do the whole thing! Only then will you be able to feel the ins and outs of the shoe and if any part of it feels uncomfortable to you, see if it’s something you can fix yourself or if it’s truly just the shoe fit itself.
Customized Solely for You
*get it? “solely”? Yep, that’s a shoe pun!
It MUST be the Right one!
Thinking about getting the shoe in black, even though you really wanted it in red? Chances are if you just take a quick peek online or ask a sales associate, you may be able to find the same shoe in a different store in the color you want, or even a similar style in a different brand. Don’t settle just because it’s right in front of you. If it’s not screaming “buy me” to you, it probably isn’t the perfect pair.
Also, here’s a pro tip for you! If you try out the shoe in the store and love it, you may be able to find a coupon online or get cash back if you end up buying it online (that is, if you didn’t already bring one to the store’s semi-annual sale!) It’s also a great thing to try out a great variety of heels in the store and wait to decide on which you want to buy, whether it be a variety of different shapes, heel sizes or even brands. Not only will that ensure it’s the pair you REALLY want, but now you have all the options laid out for you. Now, when it comes to buying, you won’t have to travel back to the mall 30 miles across town, but it’s right at the convenience of your web browser.
Consider Purchase Add-On’s
Remember when I told you to see if the uncomfortable part of a shoe is something you can fix yourself or figure out if it’s truly just the shoe? Here’s what I mean. If you have extra flat feet, arches that are more dramatic than your eye brows, wide feet, bunions or anything else that might make shoe buying difficult, you are most likely going to run into a pair of heels that are uncomfortable. That is something you can fix/assist in every shoe with accessories like gel insoles, toe pads, heel cushions, slip pads etc.
Things about a heel that you can’t fix, however? If the back of a heel is too high that it scrapes you constantly, a shoe that is too narrow, a shoe that squeezes your toes into submission, the point of a shoe feels like a razor blade, or even lack of stability and the heel is too narrow for you to comfortably balance. It does take time to break in a great heel, but just like people, you can’t change them for what they really are! Surround yourself with the positive and uplifting (heels) and you’ll never have to stress throughout your day ever again! *deep, right?
Let us know some of your best tips for buying heels or share your shoe buying experience as well!