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Women Shoe Styles and Tips When Buying a Pair

“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world” – Marilyn Monroe

We, ladies, love our shoes. You may not be a hardcore shoe addict, but still, there’s a small part in your heart that gives you a giddy feeling when you see a pair that lights up your eyes like those of a kid when they see their favorite toy.

Shoes exist mainly because of their functionality. But we, ladies, know that a pair of heels can add that missing oomph to our outfit and give us a boost of confidence every time we put a pair of heels on.

You may have several reasons why you own several pairs of shoes. But from a general point of view, shoe purchases happen for reasons like:

  • Practical use of shoes. You put on a pair of trainers to go to the gym and not a pair of flip-flops.
  • A specific pair of shoes completes your outfit. Your office shoes are worn in your office and not at the beach unless there was a surprise beach outing.
  • Wearing the right shoes gives us the protection and comfort we need. Your sandals are perfect for tropical places, but they don’t protect you in the winter wonderland.

You don’t need a vast collection of pairs of shoes like Imelda Marcos to consider yourself a shoe expert. But gaining general knowledge about the different styles of women’s shoes can help you choose a pair that fits the occasion.

There’s a vast vocabulary of shoe terminologies in the current fashion world. But you don’t need to know every one of them. The basics will be enough for you to know what to pick for your next outfit.

One essential factor to consider when buying a pair of shoes is your comfortability. It’s understandable if you want to sacrifice a bit for fashion’s sake. But take a moment and think, do you want to suffer at the end of the day after wearing an uncomfortable pair for a whole-day event? Your call.

Let’s move on and brush-up on your shoe vocabulary. Here are the basic shoe styles women should have as a staple in their closet.

  1. Ballet Flats

These are the pairs you’d like to consider as everyday footwear. They are casual and considered a staple, so it’s a must-have in your closet. You can choose to have them in neutral colors or prints – your call.

Their versatility makes them the perfect go-to pair when you need to go for a quick errand outside while maintaining a simple yet chic outfit.

  1. Casual Sneakers

These are not to be confused with trainers because these are the pairs you usually put on when wearing a pair of jeans and a cute statement shirt, for example. You can still wear them on a daily occasion. You can even pair them with a dress to give you that outgoing female look whenever your mood calls for it.

Like ballet flats, they are comfortable and practical. But they gravitate to a more sporty look than the romantic girl-next-door image you portray when donning a pair of ballet flats. Nevertheless, sneakers and ballet flats are both favorable candidates for casual footwear.

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3. ) Trainers

            These are the pair of shoes you need when going to the gym or when you need to practice your favorite sport. You can wear them along with your favorite gym clothes or whenever your mood calls for a sporty-yet-fashionable outfit.

            Trainers exist to ensure proper support and comfort for your feet while doing any sport or strenuous activity. When you’re planning to buy a pair, make sure you try them on before making that purchase.

4.) Sandals

            You like wearing a pair of these during the summer season. Or if you happen to live in a tropical country, then sandals are a staple in your shoe cabinet. Sandals can either be slip-on or strappy. The feminine look they bring makes them the perfect choice for summer dresses or any summer outfit.

            Sandals generally refer to open footwear, and most of the time, you can wear them with any outfit. But they’re not usually the footwear of choice when it comes to formal gatherings.

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5.) Stilettos

            An elegant pair of heels that you love to put on together with that evening dress you plan to wear on a special occasion. One must know how to wear a pair of stilettos since they can be a challenge for those who aren’t used to wearing heels.

Stilettos are usually worn together with evening gowns or cocktail dresses. Sometimes, stilettos are worn in the office if they go along well with your outfit of the day. And of course, you can wear them in the office as long as you won’t be standing for long hours.

Yes, a pair of stilettos can give you a confidence boost. But you shouldn’t sacrifice comfort if you plan to wear them for a whole day of standing.

6.) Pumps

            A pair of pumps are more comfortable than stilettos because they give you more stability. They can either be closed or peep-toes, and their heel height is usually lower than that of stilettos. You can wear them with casual outfits, for work or even for evening wear, and they’re quite versatile too.

            Their versatility makes them a must-have in your shoe cabinet. When worn, pumps can also give you a certain kind of posture like that when you wear stilettos, but at a more comfortable height and stability.

7.) Loafers

            They are also a favorite choice for everyday footwear. Loafers look more formal than ballet flats, but the comfort from having a flat pair of shoes is the same. You can wear them with any outfit without sacrificing style.

            You can wear them with a pair of jeans and even with dresses to go to work. If you plan to go out for a quick errand, loafers are a stylish shoe of choice.

8.) Mules

            Mules are those comfortable slip-ons that usually have a closed-toe look compared to that of a pair of sandals. They come in flats or with heels, and they are a fashionable choice to put on with casual outfits. They are not strappy like a pair of sandals, and generally, they look more casual than closed shoes, and they tend to give your feet more support than flip-flops.

            They are comfortable to wear daily, and you can wear them with a dress, a pair of jeans, and skirts. Putting on a pair of mules gives you that stylish look, even if you pair it with casual outfits.

9.) Wedges

            These are a comfortable pair of heels that you can manage to wear for quite some time because of their stability. You can wear them with long dresses, and they are a perfect pair of summer dresses. Wedges can even be worn together with a pair of jeans to help you achieve that sexy casual look whenever your mood calls for it.

            You can walk with a pair of wedges in a much easier manner than with stilettos. And at the end of the day, your feet will not feel exhausted because of their comfortability.

10.) Boots

            You need to own a pair of tall boots, especially if you live in places where the winter season occurs yearly. For those who don’t experience the winter season, owning a pair of ankle boots can be a good staple in your shoe closet. They are a classic when it comes to work fashion.

            Boots are perfect when paired with a pair of trousers, and even dresses depending on the length and style. You can wear them as your daily choice of footwear come autumn and winter, so your feet get the protection and comfort without sacrificing style.

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Tips When Buying Shoes

You now have some basic shoe terminology to guide you when planning your next outfit. Now, you’re ready to purchase a pair of shoes, or several pairs if you want to.

When buying, it’s necessary to look after what’s comfortable for you because you want to buy the best value for your money. And the best value for your money usually falls on what gives you comfort. Here are some tips for you before you go shoe-shopping:

  1. Shop in the afternoon. Your feet expand by the end of the day, so it’s better to try on a pair you’re planning to buy at a later time. You don’t want to buy a pair of shoes that don’t feel comfortable at the end of the day, do you?
  2. Try the pair and not just one side. And stand while wearing them. You should feel that your feet have some extra room to move around when you walk.
  3. Walk around while trying on the pair you want to buy. You need to be comfortable to walk with your chosen pair, and not just stand on them. Aim to find a comfortable fit right from the start.
  4. Ensure the shoe soles are comfortable and sturdy enough to protect your feet from any sharp object you may step on. These are important, especially if you will be walking around on them. Uncushioned soles are not good for your feet either.
  5. Wear the pair of socks you plan to wear with the shoes when needed. Sometimes, you buy shoes that require socks, and trying them on without socks gives you a different level of comfortability. You don’t want to buy a pair of shoes that become too tight from the moment you put on a pair of socks.
  6. Sports shoes must be appropriate for the type of sport you plan to do. You wouldn’t wear a pair of bowling shoes in a tennis court. Otherwise, the comfortability and protection of your feet are at risk.

Online Shoe Shopping

The pandemic has forced numerous stores to go digital, and chances are, your favorite shoe store may have gone digital too. Online shopping is the norm nowadays, and while you may not be able to try the pair of shoes physically, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy shoes online.

Online shoe shopping is comfortable because you’re enjoying what you see on the website from the comfort of your home. Here are some points to remember to help you with your online shoe shopping experience:

  1. Look at various images of the pair of shoes and their effect on different types of models. There’ll be a vast collection of photos for a particular style of shoes, and variety can help you decide on whether the shoe fits your style or not.
  2. When possible, find an image that allows you to zoom in. It’s useful in deciding when you can look at a pair of shoes more closely since you can’t have a look at them physically.
  3. To get your size, trace your foot on a piece of white paper and measure from the heel to the tip so you can compare it with the conversion chart on the website. Take note that different brands may have various conversion charts, so don’t rely on one measurement.
  4. Stick to the brand that you’ve already tried. Otherwise, you can buy an affordable pair first before making a big purchase. Make sure to check the return and exchange policies of the online shop before making any purchase.
  5. Don’t be afraid to consult reviews before purchase. There’s no harm in trying to make sure you’re getting good value for your money.

After learning some tips on what to look for when buying shoes to match your outfit, you only need to find that perfect pair for you. A vast collection of shoes exist in the physical and online world, and the multitude of choices is enough to cater to your preferences.

You only need to find the pair that makes you comfortable and above all, choose the pair of shoes that makes you feel confident and happy.

When you’re comfortable, confident, and happy, then you’re already an unstoppable force.

Eizza Misa is a freelance writer who also writes on Medium covering topics on lifestyle and self-improvement. Articles on these topics can be found on eizza.medium.com.

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