One of the great rules of fashion in the modern era is that shoes make the outfit. That’s great for those women rocking the Jimmy Choos, but what about the rest of us? Not everyone can (or should) run around in stilettos all the time. Some of us can’t even manage a kitten heel. Life happens, and our feet and knees sometimes say, “time for something comfy”.
Insofar as I’m concerned, one of the great overlooked markets in 2018 is supportive and/or orthopedic shoes that have some style to them. I’m someone who struggles with my footwear, and I know there are a lot of women out there who do likewise. The usual fashion advice, “Oh, you can just wear a ballet flat!” is ridiculous – ballet flats have no support at all.
There are thousand different shoe issues, and I’m not going to attempt to make specific shoe recommendations in a general article. However, there are pathways to greater style … at least until the shoe manufacturers get a clue.
- Find out what your rules are, and when (and if) they will change
- Do you need a firm sole? Ankle support? A low heel?
- Once you know the rules, be creative with them. Maybe you have to have a flat shoe with ankle support that covers an orthotic insert. Well, that could very well be a bootie, and there are cute booties to be had. Maybe oxfords could work for you – there are cute oxfords to be had.
- Talk to a professional – go to the store that specializes in supportive shoes, not the regular store.
- These folks can often help you make shoes that fit the rules *really* work for you, and they know their product. They’re also usually happy to make special orders.
- Normal shoe-stores will be confused and just sell you anything that kind of works, and when you have a medical issue, “kind of” doesn’t cut it.
- Create outfits around the shoe, not the other way ’round
- If you’re stuck wearing combat boots (this happened to me) because that’s all you can find that fits the doctor’s orders (I didn’t know about step 2), you need to change your style around a bit to accommodate the combat boots.
- This will frequently mean that you want to switch to pants or long skirts to blend your footwear in with your outfit, rather than the footwear being the star of the show.
- Embrace attitude.
- Sometimes you just have to Cybill Shepherd at the Oscars and wear your tennis shoes with a ballgown, chin up and smiling.
- Cyndi’s wearing sensible shoes… she’s not free of style. Be like Cyndi.
- Bedazzle the darn things if it makes you smile.
- Remember who YOU are.
- Select shoes, when possible, that match your colors and your elements.
- Whatever your style type is, if you’re being asked to wear shoes that bring you down, you’ll want to dial up the rest of your look. Be you, just a little louder than you were before.
And finally – remember that your attitude is more important than what you have on your feet.