Each clothing item of your wedding day look is important, but where fashion meets comfort, shoes are the most vital to consider. To decide on a shoe that’s equal parts “you,” comfortable and stylish, we’ve compiled a shoe selecting guide.
Consider Your Location
If you’re at the shoe shopping stage, your location is likely already secured. For an outdoor wedding, you’ll want to know the terrain you’re walking on. Will it be manicured grass, devoid of any sloping land or tripping hazards? If so, gauge your comfort walking in heels or opt for flats. If heels are a must, opt for a block heel or wedges rather than a stiletto. If any part of your wedding is beachside, you’ll want to ditch the heels while on the sand. Opt for fancy flats, pretty sandals or go barefoot. For indoor weddings, anything goes, but you may want to assess the flooring for slickness or unevenness.
Just like selecting your dress, shoe shopping should be fun as it’s just another extension of your style. Many will take the opportunity to invest in a designer or custom pair they’ve been eyeing. Remember, you can always wear them again. Restyle them on the honeymoon or break them out every anniversary for a fancy dinner date. Your shoes don’t need to be expensive, but they should be something you feel confident in that will evoke fond future memories.
Find Your Fit
While online shopping is convenient, it’s best to shoe shop in store when possible. You’ll be able to try on the same shoe in different sizes to determine the best fit. Remember, not every shoe fits the same, even if you think you know your size. If the shoe you want isn’t in a brick and mortar, see if you can try on the brand nearby or look into the online dealer’s return policy in case you need to exchange size. When wearing a shoe, there should be enough room to wiggle your toes, but the heel should not slip or slide. If you’re renting a shoe that comes with a tux, be sure to try on the shoes with the suit at the rental location.
Break Them In
Even if the shoe fits, they might still need some breaking in. This can be done by simply walking around in them for 20–30 minutes a day until they reach your optimal comfort. It is important that you only wear them indoors, in clean spaces. You can even incorporate them in a workout routine, wearing them on the treadmill. As you walk around, take note of any pressure or pain points. If the shoes feel too tight, you can put socks on, blast the shoes with a blowdryer for a couple minutes, then walk around in them while still warm and until cooled. Doing this is said to increase the elasticity of the shoe’s fabric. If you notice the bottom of the shoe is slick, spray the sole with a coat of hairspray. These techniques apply to both women’s and men’s shoes. For men, depending on if the shoe is too large or small, wear thicker or thinner socks. For either sex, inserts are always a great option for extra padding, support and comfort.
Even after breaking them in, there’s still a chance your shoes will become uncomfortable or begin to rub after hours on your feet taking photos, mingling and dancing. In your day–of kit, it’s a good idea to be stocked with cushioned inserts, bandaids, moleskin, blister pads and deodorant, which is not only good for sweating, but can be applied to prevent rubbing and chaffing.
Whether intended for an outfit change or as a backup plan, an extra pair of shoes is always a good idea. While you may think you want to wear your platform heels or dress shoes all night long, chances are, once you start to get down on the dance floor, comfort will win. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style, many couples opt for matching sneakers or cool designer kicks. Gifting yourself and your bridal party with sandals or loafers to change into is a gesture that will be greatly appreciated. Some couples even swap in slippers, which, if we’re being honest, is what everyone wants to be in by the end of the night.
Feature photo courtesy of Sarah & Paul Photography