Every wardrobe shopping starts from shoe shopping
About turning 28 this year, I’m willing to make some changes. Less sweater shirts and pants, more dresses, so I plan to shopping for 4 new pairs: Dressy, flats, red/bright colors block heels on classy side, light colors/white for summer, sandals maybe.
I expect them to last at least 2 years/seasons maybe 3. Turning 28 means I have to be more mature on quality not only on trendy styles~ I was a enthusiast for name brand shoe once, not any more. I aimed at good ones under $100 this time.
7 pairs returns and why
I started from Zara, I’m a Zara girl or I was.I had some good experience with Zara before. Zara’s quality is quite off the last 2 years. They are usually good for looking at but never lasted over a season. Suddenly I forgot why I thought that was some good experience. Been to store several times before I purchase 3 pairs, however I still returned them all. Then I shopped on Topshop.com(US), bought 4 pairs, returned them all too.
Ballet flats: They are so trendy right now, I bought 2 from each brand, they’re all made from real leather, very soft. On the other hand they are too soft for walking. I don’t think they will stay in shape after just one week.
Little black shoes: Totally different style all too roughly made. Such a shame that their quality can’t hold up their style. Because they are really cute.
Had to go through all the returns to realize ballet flats are only for dancers. I need something with thicker soles for everyday wearing.
What did I get
I was very anxiety from the last 7 pairs, fortunately those two are keepers! Look just as beautiful as the picture if not more.
My “Poke+squeeze+Inside movements” Test for all shoe shopping
Styles depend on personal preference, all my tips are for comfort concerns~
1, If you expect them to last for a while, pay more attention on the material and craft details. Real leather allows skin to breathe, sheep skin is the most softest. Name brands always have wonderful stories, craft details will always tell the truth~~High price is not the only option to get qualified shoes, there are a lot affordable choices out there.
2,Feet shape is just like body/skin type, there is no one pair of comfortable shoes work for everybody. Even for the same person, left one could be slightly bigger/smaller than right one. Listen to your own feet. In most cases, shoes move along with your feet are the most comfortable ones. It’s like they are hugging your feet.
Regardless the price tag, let’s run a test on new shoes before even try them on.
First get knowing your own foot, touch the bones. Because skin around bones are usually react to shoes the most strongly. Use one finger poke around entire shoe, push the edges, especially those parts that gave you a hard time in the past. If they don’t move at all, most likely they will be really painful to wear. For me, it’s always the ankle/heel bone area.
1 Gently squeeze the sole. We are looking for some good support so if it twists like a marshmallow, it’s too soft. That also means it will soon out of shape. If you are buying everyday shoes, a slight/bouncy twist is the best, that means it will moves along with foot. Pay attention: Entire sole should be slightly bendy, not only in the middle.
2 A lot dress/fancy shoes have hard leathers in order to stay in sharp shape, Those shoes usually don’t move at all, if you plan to invest them for occasionally wearing they surely will last long time. but be painful to wear at the same time. Fortunately we have helpers. Band-aid stick(around $5) is super great for new shoes, apply on dry feet to reduce the rubbing torture when you can’t wear any socks. Attention: over applying may leave very little residues inside the shoes, wipe shoes clean after every use. Dr Scholl’s (from $5-$10) has the best shoe inserts ever, all the shapes and parts you want.
When you try them on in store or at home, talk a short walk can’t guarantee the comfort in long term. Let’s stand still and move feet inside shoes instead.
Regardless of style, a perfect pair of comfortable shoes should always stay on closely and protect your feet. Tapping on the floor a little bit. shoes should move along with feet, if they don’t, not the right one. It shouldn’t be any slippery unless size wise. If you can see your toe shape clearly and you are a heavy walker, the toe cap is too soft.
Shoe shopping tips from hard lessons
Pointed style Pay attention to little toe mound area, rather loose than tight, we can always put on some inserts. There should be some space left around toes to ensure shoes don’t “bite”. Round toes: toe cap edges.
Slip on style: heel bone area. Stripes, adjustable is the best. If not, the stronger you can feel the stripes, the less comfortable they will be.
Boots Wear thick socks for ankle boots, wear skinny jeans for high boots, they help with sizing.
Heels Kitten/mid heels(5 cm) and block heels are the most comfortable, practical yet very flattering, my favorite kinds. If you prefer high heels(over 9cm), block heel/wedge helps, but they won’t be comfortable for walking by any means, will look good in pictures though. If you have to or just love them, keep a pair of foldable flats with you so that you can take a break anytime you want.
Size Pointed style-half to one size up. Open toes-half size down. Boots without zippers -one size up. Loafers half to one size up.
Let’s run a test on those ones I just got.
100% Leather Cow. Specialist clean only.(From Topshop website)
They are very soft on anywhere else but toe cap, there is some space left in toe area. Before took them for a walk I was worried about it would feel smaller while walking. Turns out they are surprisingly comfortable. Can’t see my toes shapes while walking. I’m super pleased with this purchase. The color is just delightful~ I’ve had them for 3 weeks, still look good~ Please keep reading for waterproof tips on suede shoes.
Product details(From Topshop website):Heel height is approximately 2″. 70% Polyurethane, 30% Textile. Specialist clean only.
It has adjustable stripes whch I adjusted immediately once I opened the box, chubby ankles~ Toe cap has two kinds of materials, bended a little but not much so it still has a nice shape. It has cushion inside-comfy, stay on nicely while walking.
I apologize for my rough heel in the picture, I didn’t realize until editing. I’ll definitely do some exfoliating before I take them out. And this picture will always warn me to exfoliate before wear shoes like this.
The last pair doesn’t have a link, because I got them from a vintage/thrift store on a trip. I went in for vintage jewelries saw them at the first sight. They are brand new! For $25(Original $100). And they are my size! I couldn’t find out which season were they original from though, I guess a while ago. They were a little too bigger for me because they have much softer leather than regular shoes , I put in a pairs of heel inserts to even the size. I got them 1 week ago, wear them nonstop since then, the color makes me so happy~
Storage and Care
I got those clear shoe box from the Container store, for $1.89 each. I’ve been using them for quite a while now. They are really affordable with decent quality.
For regular leather shoes, I’ll wipe them clean on weekly basics, with leather wipes from Target.
For suede shoes I will water proof them with UGG STAIN AND WATER REPELLENT $10. Just spray on shoes as full coverage as possible, stuff shoes with kitchen paper first if you don’t want it inside the shoes. Waint will they are completely dry. It protect shoes from water spots and keep the color fresh. Warning, it won’t turn shoes into rubber rainy boots, just prevent them from water stains.
Mine was bought last year, they seem updated the package. I’ve used them for 2 pairs of flats still have half bottle left.