Choosing the Right Shoe

Highlight the ends of your personal image. Hence, coiffed hair and the right footwear. 

by Michele Benza • More.com Member { View Profile }
Photograph: iStock

Do shoes make you crazy? Are higher heels better, or is it all about comfort for you? It comes as no surprise that many women question their shoe choice. Too sexy? Too cozy? Sometimes we’re walking a fine line (or a fine heel, as the case may be). Sigmund Freud described women’s shoes as power symbols. It’s fair to assume that he wasn’t talking about foot-warming fuzzy boots kind of power. He was talking about woman power.

How do you determine if your shoe is too casual, too sexy, or just right? How do you balance femininity versus comfort?

Consider the Conditions

You’ve got to consider a few things before you choose your shoes. What are you wearing? (Many women choose the shoes first, and work the outfit around them.) Take a look at the calendar. What do you need to be able to accomplish? Do you have a long walk across a parking garage or a dash for a train? Can you count on a brief walk and valet parking, a night at the ballet with minimal walking? Is there any danger of walking on ice?

Use your planned activities to set the tone, and then choose your shoes.

Rules for Choosing Shoes

· Respect your feet. They need to last longer than today’s trends. If you can safely wear the treacherous sky-high stilettos, do so with care, and only where it is safe to walk in them. Also remember that shoes are intended to be protection for your feet, not their ultimate demise.

· Wear quality-made, supportive shoes — whatever the fashion — and only if they can be worn safely.

· Remember: You must highlight the ends of your personal image —the eye naturally follows up and down; hence, coiffed hair, and tidy, well-chosen shoes are critical to a polished image.

· The higher the heel, the sexier it is intended to be. Likewise, the less foot coverage there is, the sexier the shoe. Consider if the intended sex appeal of the shoe is appropriate to the occasion.

· Remember too, the ultimate physical effect of high heels. Heels behave like a pedestal. Higher heels make us change our posture. Our altered posture pushes our chests out farther, our “derriere” appears firmer, and our legs longer. It doesn’t necessarily take a flashy shoe to create the desired effect.

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