WEARING YOUR FEET IN FOR SUMMER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People talk about wearing their shoes in, and everyone knows that shoes tend to become more comfortable after a few wears.

It is my opinion that your feet adapt to your footwear, just as your shoes will slightly mould to the shape of your feet.

Think about those sandals you wore so much last summer, that were so comfortable by the end of the season. Now your feet have become softened by wearing boots all winter, those beloved sandals may give you blisters.

Why does the skin on our feet get softer due to wearing boots?

Wrapped in thick tights or socks, and surrounded by boots which have few potential points of friction or abrasion against your foot, they have been cosseted; protected from the world.

The Problem

When the warmer weather comes, those poor feet are thrust out into the world with only a few straps to cover them. The soft skin is weaker, and more prone to blisters.

The Solution

Some people recommend wiping surgical spirit on your feet to toughen the skin, but this has never worked for me.

Here is The Shoe Consultant’s method for wearing in your feet for summer:

Wear a pair of sandals long enough for them to start rubbing. Stop. Wear a different style of footwear until your feet have fully healed.

Once the skin looks back to normal, wear the sandals again until they rub.

Repeat this process until you can wear the sandals comfortably. The skin on your feet will become slightly tougher in the rubbed areas, but not visibly so. These tougher areas of skin will resist blisters well, until you allow your feet to soften in winter, or do not wear that pair of sandals for a month or so.

This method works equally as well for new footwear, and styles you have not worn for some time.

I am a big fan of Compeed blister plasters, and own-brand versions are also pretty good. The more TLC you give your blistered feet, the faster they can heal, and the sooner you can wear those sandals again.

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ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SHOES

An idea has been forming in my head for some time, about women and their love of shoes. This simple idea has developed into a theory, and I want to share this with you.

Look down at your feet now. Are you wearing shoes? Have a look at all the angles of your footwear. Can you see those shoes in all their glory?

Now without a mirror, look at the top you are wearing. Can you comfortably see the front? How about the back? What about your earrings? Can you see those?

High heels make women taller, and modify their posture. We all know that. Shoes you feel comfortable in, or know you look good in, can give you a little extra swagger in your walk. Obvious stuff.

I suggest that if you are wearing shoes that you love, then at almost any time of day you can sneak a look at them, and get a little confidence boost.

People, buy shoes that you love to wear. If you feel a little glum once in a while, indulge in a downwards glance. There you have it: Shoe therapy in its purest form.

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WOMEN, SHOES AND SEX – THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND THE HIGH HEEL – by Kate Nightingale

National Post reported in December 2011, that Christian Louboutin was intrigued when a party guest told him that a woman’s foot position while wearing a stiletto, is the same as it is when she is having an orgasm.

That is not necessarily the truth, but certainly high heels have something to do with sex, sensuality, gender equality and confidence.

 1.      Sex

I’m sure that all of you know what ‘fuck me shoes’ are; usually very high heels and mostly in provocative colours. As the name suggests these shoes give out the message of sexual readiness and availability.

How did we start to perceive very high heels as an invitation to sex? They are usually very uncomfortable but they also help women’s bodies to look more sexually attractive, by forcing a specific posture and changing the proportions to be more favourable. Therefore they serve as an attractiveness enhancing tool.

However, they are not called ‘fuck me shoes’ for nothing. They increase the purely sexual attractiveness but decrease the romantic attractiveness. As they make a woman look sexually available, they decrease her chances of being perceived as a potential permanent partner. To get a guy to sleep with you, wear ‘fuck me shoes’. To get a guy to marry you, wear more sensual heels.

2.      Sensuality

Sensuality is more about intimacy than sex. It is more about the desire and imagination than consummation. When men look for a permanent partner, they look for women who are not exposing most of their bodies, as it allows them to imagine what is underneath the clothes.

Men only need to see the shape not the flesh. The right heel is going to help to create a more sensual womanly shape by helping a woman with her posture.

When you wear a mid-height heel, you stand straight, your belly is sucked in, the breasts are accentuated and the bottom has a better shape. These small corrections to your body shape, achieved by wearing a right height heel take you one step closer to the look that evolution has taught men is attractive.

3.      Gender Equality

A lot of women say that heels were invented by men to make it harder for women to run away from them. You might laugh, but there is a seed of truth in it.

For centuries, wealthy Japanese families broke and bandaged their daughters’ feet to make them look smaller, as small feet were considered attractive to men and were also a sign of high status. You might ask what small feet have got to do with high status. The process of breaking the bones very often lead to disability, hence these women weren’t able to work. As only women coming from high social class did not have to work, the inability to earn a living caused by disability following the foot binding practice, was considered attractive.

In Western cultures we might not use foot binding, but wealthy women in Europe and the U.S.were known to wear corsets that did not allow them to breathe, and shoes made of thin fabrics allowing them to only walk on even, dry and clean surfaces. The high heel is only another extension of this practice of showing your high social status.

Most really high stilettos are uncomfortable; therefore a woman can’t walk in them without being supported, and who’s better to do that than a man? She also can’t really work in them. So she needs a man to help her walk, to drive her, to support her and his advantage is that she can’t run. Therefore even though they both gain from a woman wearing high heels, the man seems to be calling the shots.

4.      Confidence

As I mentioned before, as soon as you put a heel on, your posture changes for the better. You see yourself in a mirror and you like your body shape more. You get complements from other people saying that you look amazing, and asking you if you have lost some weight. This cocktail of good feeling and good feedback improves your self-image and raises your confidence.

 

Although the party guest who intrigued Christian Louboutin with the comment about orgasm and heels was not entirely right, we certainly know now where she was coming from.

http://www.katenightingale.com/      https://twitter.com/#!/StylePsychology

 

 

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FOOTWEAR FOR ALL SHAPES & SIZES

Many women have difficulty finding footwear to fit their feet or calves. Whether narrower, wider, larger or smaller, than what shoe manufacturers perceive as “normal”, it can be frustrating buying shoes, and not being able to wear some of the beautiful footwear available.

In this article I will offer tips on where to buy footwear to fit your shape & size in the U.K.

All shapes and sizes

With stores in Bath, Edinburgh & London, and a fantastic website with guides for how to measure your own legs & feet, Duo are top of the list for offering U.K. Shoe Sizes 2-10, three different foot width fittings, and 21 different calf sizes.

Narrower feet & calves are catered for as well as wider feet and calves. Styling is fairly classic, but Duo offer a good selection of casual and smart styles to suit all but the most trend-conscious.

http://www.duoboots.com/

Jones Bootmaker offer a good range of slimmer and wider calf fitting knee-high boots. They also stock U.K. Shoe Sizes 2-9. They have over 100 stores in the U.K.

http://www.jonesbootmaker.com/

Fashion World have boots for slim & wider calves, U.K. Shoe Sizes 3-10, and E & EEE width fittings (for wider feet). They offer a good range of fashion styles & colours.

http://www.fashionworld.co.uk

The Boot Makers make bespoke boots to fit your ankle & calf measurements. At £190-£275, they offer very good value-for-money. With a good selection of casual and smarter styles, and plenty of fashion colours to choose from, you can also select the height of the boot (ideal for those with shorter/longer than average limbs).

http://www.thebootmakers.com/

Viva la Diva cater for U.K. Sizes 2-13 (yes, all women’s shoes). They also have many narrower & wider fitting shoes & boots.

http://www.vivaladiva.com

Elegant Steps offer Bridal and Occasion shoes in U.K. Sizes 2-12, and standard to wider fittings.

http://www.elegantsteps.co.uk/

Larger or Wider

Katie Long Shoes website sells women’s footwear in U.K. Shoe Sizes 7-12. They have a good variety of styles, and different heel heights, although there are few cutting-edge fashion products.

http://www.katielongshoes.co.uk/

Big Shoe Boutique has a very good selection of trendier footwear. With U.K. Shoe Sizes 8-11, the best variety being at the lower end of the size range. Prices are very reasonable.

http://www.bigshoeboutique.co.uk/

Marisota stock an extensive range of footwear for wider feet & calves, many of which are offered up to a U.K. Size 9.

http://www.marisota.co.uk

New Look, who have stores on many of Britain’s high streets, offer many women’s shoe styles in U.K. Size 9.

http://www.newlook.com/

The Shoe Tailor have from D (standard) to EEEEEE width fittings. They also stock wider leg boots.

http://www.shoetailor.com

Evans (again, a high street favourite) have U.K. Size 4-10 shoes & boots, in wide and extra-wide fittings.

http://www.evans.co.uk

Clarks, with a great network of stores across the U.K., offer some very wearable styles for wider feet and legs.

http://www.clarks.co.uk/

Widefitting.co.uk is like a search engine for wide fitting footwear. You can select your requirements, click on a shoe you like, and be sent to another website to purchase that product. They also publish various advice guides for those with wider or problem feet.

http://www.widefitting.co.uk/

Hunter sell wider fitting versions of their famous wellies.

http://www.hunter-boot.com/wide-fit-boots

Simply Be offer a good variety of fashionable wider leg boots, and wider fitting shoes.

http://www.simplybe.co.uk

Shapely Figures have many of the same brands as Simply Be, Marisota, Shoe Tailor, Fashion World & Viva La Diva, catering for wider feet & calves.

http://www.shapelyfigures.com

For all of you equestrians, Equitector sell made-to-measure functional leather riding boots.

http://www.equitector.com

Narrower or Slimmer

Special Feetures offer a telephone ordering service for their selection of narrow fitting shoes and boots.

http://www.specialfeetures.com

James Inglis have a good selection of narrow fitting shoes & boots available to buy online.

http://www.jamesinglis.com

 

I hope this guide has been useful to you. For information on which shoe styles are most flattering to your shape, buy my book: Outfits in Minutes: A Guide for Time-Pressed Women

Kindly note that due to time constraints, I am no longer able to reply to individual queries relating to this post.

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HOW TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT HIGH HEEL

The Shoe Consultant’s article “How to Choose the Perfect High Heel” has been published in The Style File – Dress for Success charity’s magazine.

Click here to check it out p10-11

Dress for Success is an amazing charity which provides interview clothing and coaching for unemployed women in London.

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VINTAGE SHOES – worn in or worn out?

The trend for vintage clothing has grown and grown over the past few decades. It can be an affordable way to buy good quality garments, and to avoid contributing to the increasing culture of throw-away fashion. The question remains though, would you buy Vintage shoes?

If you have owned and worn a pair of shoes for a long time, you may be familiar with the feeling of developing a close relationship with your footwear. I am not just being romantic when I say that shoes can become an extension of the wearer. They in fact usually mould somewhat to the wearer’s foot shape and gait:

  • Any padding in the insole/footbed will usually become flattened by your foot, and will remain padded in the gaps between your toes, under your arch, and around the foot. This creates a sort of cradle for your specific foot.
  • The creases which form across the front of the shoe, form exactly at the point where your feet flex when walking: creases at the ankle form in the same way on boots.
  • The sole and heel will be more worn-down in particular places depending on your posture, how you walk, and if your feet pronate (roll inwards) or supinate (roll outwards).
  • The footwear will wear in (essentially meaning a softening of the upper) to the contours of your feet.

It is still possible to purchase what is known as “Dead Stock”: Vintage clothing which was never worn or sold, but has usually been stored in a warehouse since its production many years ago. Dead Stock shoes can sometimes be purchased complete with the original box. Buying such items enables the wearer to wear in their shoes, whilst still achieving the genuine Vintage look.

Some footwear, for example stiff work boots, can benefit from being pre-worn, as the discomfort of wearing in such a product is alleviated.

On the whole however, the more a shoe has been worn, the less wear it will have left to offer. A good shoe repairer can resurrect footwear, by re-soling or fitting new top-pieces (heel-tips), but cannot perform miracles where for example the upper leather has cracked.

Be aware that ladies Vintage footwear tends to be quite narrow in width, and therefore is not suitable for all feet.

Also, ensure that any Vintage footwear you purchase does not have an unpleasant odour: this will not fade with time.

If you want your shoes to wear in to your specific foot-shape, and to last for a long time, buy new.

If the shoe fits, is pleasant to smell, looks fabulous, and the price is right, why not buy vintage? 

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