Move over diamonds—there are a lot of women who would contend that shoes are actually a girl's best friend. The right pair will complement your personality, elevate your outfit, and with a little TLC, last for years. Best of all is the way they can make you feel; switch up your sweet ballet flats for some sultry stilettos and it's not just your appearance that changes—it's your attitude. Read on for our step-by-step advice on finding your solemates.
What to Know Before You Buy
- Hit the stores after lunch
This will ensure the best fit, since your feet tend to swell throughout the day.
- Be sure shoes are comfy from the start
Despite what the salesperson says, you really can't "break in" a pair of too-tight shoes.
- Test them out
Take a stroll around the store, preferably on both carpeted and tile surfaces.
- Don't be a slave to size
Focus on the fit rather than the number. 5Know your arches If you have a high arch, your shoes should have a cushioned midsole to absorb shock. Flatter feet require a firmer, more supportive midsole.
- Flex and bend
Opt for a flexible leather or rubber sole over a rigid one, which won't allow your feet to move naturally as you walk.
- Go online
If you're hard to fit, try a specialty Web site, like designershoes.com, which carries sizes up to a 16, or petiteshoes.com for sizes 4 to 5 ½. Wide or narrow feet? Piperlime.com and endless.com have plenty of options.
- Dress the part
Always try on shoes with the pants or jeans you hope to wear them with.
- Pick the right heel
If you'll be on your feet for more than a few hours, choose one with more surface area, like a platform or wedge.
- Learn your European size
Simply add 31 to your American shoe size if you’re a 9 or below and 32 if you’re a 10 or above.