Monday, April 22, 2013

Shoesday: How do you walk in those?

Clockwise from top left: 

Yes, every Shoesday I showcase a pair from my collection, and to date, it's been a pair of heels. Even my hidden wedge sneakers give me lift. I'm a firm believer that you carry yourself differently in heels. That's not to say you can't look amazing in flats, but heels are my personal preference; what I always turn to - I love the way they look, the way they make me feel, and the way they make me the height of a normal sized human. :) 

But with the heels comes the infamous question, "How do you walk in those?" Or the statement versions, "I don't know how you walk in those things" and "I would twist my ankle if I wore those." For this week's Shoesday, I decided to address this issue!

First of all, you must always test drive your heels. Don't just walk around on carpet. Check them out on hard surface flooring, too. Walk fast, walk slow, make sure you can not only walk in them but that you walk naturally in them. They shouldn't slip off your heel. They shouldn't make you flinch with every step. I wish I could say that all my heels are comfortable right out of the box, but that's not always the case. Everyone has different feet, so it's ok to make tweaks to your pair to make them work for you. Obviously, if a shoe doesn't work, it doesn't work, but these are the products that I keep "in stock" in my closet room at all times that consistently make big differences.

How do you walk in those?
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1. Dr. Scholls For Her Rub Strips: I will never ever wear a new pair of shoes without having this in my purse; I get anxious if I've forgotten it at home. There are times when the shoes feel great when you try them out on the showroom floor, but it's not until you actually wear them in real life when the discomfort presents itself. These rub strips are my holy grail. They're basically a reverse bandaid, as I like to describe them, because they actually adhere to the inside of your shoe vs. on your foot, and it's foam, so it provides a bit of shock resistance, so to speak, whereas a bandaid would not. The best part is that there is no set size to the strips - you have the option of two different widths, and then the length gets trimmed to fit based on your specific need at the time. If you feel your shoe rubbing you wrong on the top of your middle toe, the inside of your arch, the back of your heel - wherever - just cut the size you need, stick it on the problem area of your shoe, and voila! Instant relief. The foam strips stick very well, so they'll stay in place ready for you the next time you wear the shoes again! No need to reapply. The only thing cooky about this is the dispenser. The trim function of the dispenser isn't really effective, so I always just end up using scissors. Otherwise, this thing is genius and a must have.

2. Dr. Scholls For Her Rub Relief Stick: I actually just recently discovered this through friends. I tend to use this more for flats than I do with heels, but definitely thought it was worth mentioning regardless. This is the same principal as the rub strips, just without the tape. You simply use the roll on applicator (much like a deodorant stick) on the area of your foot experiencing the rubbing, and it provides a friction barrier from your shoe. I've found that you do have to reapply this every 3-4 hours or so. It's definitely a temporary fix, so why would I use this in place of the rub strips? It tides you over until you are able to break in the shoes after the first couple of wears. Or, the shoes feel fine at the start of the day, but after being on your feet for so long, start to rub. This stick buys you some time to get you through the rest of your day. And really, it's a great backup if I suddenly run out of the strips.

3. Foot Petals "Tip Toes": This is probably my most used product. This works well for heels that have absolutely no padding at the ball of your feet. I love that it provides cushion for your foot, but doesn't add bulk like the gel inserts do. These don't make your shoes feel smaller at all. Sometimes I will add these to shoes that are already pretty comfortable just to make my feet last that much longer, especially if I know I'm going to be doing a lot of walking or standing - like at a wedding reception or at the airport. And finally, these work great at preventing "toe-verhang" with your sandals. Your foot naturally falls forward when you walk, that's not a secret. With sandals in particular, you have an open toe, so nothing is "catching" your foot. Your bare foot can slip forward as you walk causing your toes to overhang the edge of your sandal. Not sexy. These ball of foot pads keep your foot in place, saving you from the dreaded toe-verhang and providing you with added comfort all at the same time.

4. Foot Petals "Killer Kushionz": Same concept as Tip Toes, but with full coverage. Because they are full coverage, they do affect the fit of your shoe a bit, which is why I tend to use these most with boots or booties that I may only wear with tights or with bare feet, but no socks. Most of the time I will use these Kushionz without exposing the adhesive backing so they are not permanently applied, and I can remove them when I decide to wear the boots with socks, or if I need to reuse them in another pair later. Because they're full coverage, I won't normally wear these with sandals or other open sided shoes because they aren't the most discrete.

5. Dr. Scholls For Her gel insole for heels: The only difference with these and the Killer Kushionz is that these definitely make your shoe feel a half size smaller. If you  pair these with the heel grips below, it could make your shoe feel almost a full size smaller. When I've liked a pair of shoes that they didn't have in my size and had to purchase them larger, I use these insoles to purposely try and size them down. The gel is not as comfortable to me as the Tip Toes or Kushionz, so again, if I'm using these, it's purely a sizing issue.

6. Dr. Scholls for Her Heel Grips: Like I said, gel is always a bit bulkier than the foam pads, but for heel grips, I have more success with gel than I do with the pads. There is nothing worse than walking and almost stumbling to the ground because your shoe is falling off your heel. It's not graceful at all, and it's dangerous! I've learned that if you're experiencing heel slippage, it's better to use these gel heel grips than to size down in your shoe.

7. Dr. Scholls For Her Fast Flats: I don't care what shoe comfort supplements you use, even the most comfortable of heels will hurt your feet after a full night of wearing them - I'm talking about being on your feet from 6pm to 3am. These flats are not meant to be substitutes for real shoes. Think of these as the spare tire of flats. They'll get you home, but you shouldn't drive over 45 miles per hour with these on. Basically, they save you from having to walk around barefoot. They keep your feet clean while you relieve your pressure points from your heels. They do come with their own carrying case, or you can easily roll them up and keep them directly in your clutch just in case. There are a ton of other types of these flats available, this is really just the basics of basic. 

8. Foot Petals "Sole Stopperz": Remember how I said you should test drive your heels on hard surfaces? Well, by doing so, you may find they're slippery. Leather or lacquer soles tend to be the worst culprits. These Sole Stopperz stick to the sole of your shoe and provide you with non-skid protection so you can walk in confidence. I've also custom cut these before and applied them directly to the heel of shoes, as plastic or wooden heel tips can also feel slippery and unstable. I love that it comes in clear so you can apply them to any color sole without them being noticeable as you're walking.

9. Flex-Tastic toe stretchers: I'm not going to lie, yes, there is a price to pay for wearing heels. Sometimes my feet just feel tired and achy, so I try and make it a habit of using these regularly. I like to think of this as yoga for my toes. My feet feel just like my body does after a yoga class - refreshed, relaxed, de-stressed. Yes, they're ridiculous looking, but they really do help.

10. Foot alignment socks: Speaking of ridiculous looking... I've never ordered anything from Skymall before, but when I saw these, I wanted them immediately, and finally took the plunge and ordered them. They're just as awesome as the Flex-Tastic stretchers, except I can actually walk around in these, and sleep with them on and not worry about them falling off in the middle of the night. Yoga while you sleep!

So there you have it. All my secrets for you to enjoy. Another long post from me, but I truly hope it was helpful. I have a lot of heels, so I'd like to think I'm somewhat reliable when it comes to tips on shoe comfort. If you have any other suggestions or tips on how you keep your shoes comfy, I'd love to hear them!

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  1. Very helpful tips! Thank you for sharing. I will definitely be applying some of these tips! I avoid heels but I want to start wearing them again!

    1. Yay! I'm very glad you found value in this! Hope it truly helps!

  2. So glad you linked back to this post! I like knowing your shoe secrets. I am especially fascinated by 9-10...they just look like they feel good!

    1. They really do feel good! When I want to relax or what not, I wear them! The stretch relieves tension for me in my legs and feet. Def recommend!!

  3. This post is a WEALTH of information. I am struggling right now to find pumps I can walk in. I am ordering about half of these products! A girl can't live without pumps!