It can be very frustrating when so many fashion labels tend to abandon women after they are past the age of 50, tossing us into the sea of ugly orthotic shoes and slacks! You realize, on one hand, as you grow older that your mom was absolutely right – you really should have cared for your feet better (maybe it was your teeth she was talking about, but the same thing applies to feet). The realization that the terrible pain from my sciatica could be totally fixed through wearing an orthotic sole was a completely life-changing revelation for me. However, I still won’t wear those sensible shoes that my mom insisted on buying for men when I was child. I want everything – both comfort and shoes that turn heads, and I’m not going to take up residency in the scrap heap either!
If you feel similar to how I do, and would like to have comfortable shoes that are still stylish, I have some tips to share with you. They probably only scratch the surface, so if you have discovered any ways to getting the right foot support that you need in stylish shoes, then please tell me.
Flat shoes are definitely more comfortable than a majority of heels. However, I have discovered that wearing bold colors always look cool no mater which style you are wearing. Color draws people’s attention, makes a statement, and is fun. It also mitigates a lot. I have discovered that no matter how much concealer I wear, it can’t hide tired eyes, however, a streak of a brightly colored lipstick can distract people, and immediately brighten up my face.
Comfortable shoes that also are stylish still: Heart and Sole multi-Colored ballerina flats
Simple ballerina flats, like those offered by Heart and Sole are ideal to wear with jeans or a summer dress. I have also discovered that I am able to fit small orthotic supports into a majority of ballerina shoes, which makes them supportive if you have collapsed arches that many people get as they age. They are very comfortable to wear on a daily or regular basis. Another tip is to search for suppliers that have exclusive lines, since they are more likely to look somewhat different than large shoe chains. As we begin to learn, and grow older, we start to see how different is cool! I love most of the designs from Heart and Sole. First of all, they are a small range that is source from Mexico, and made with comfort and design in mind (it really is true, the owner Tom had his mom go with him to help with making decisions on which ones to stock!). The fact that they are available in half sizes is another thing I really love. Ever since Clarks’ children’s shoes, I haven’t ever managed to find any half sizes. I have had to either squeeze my toes into a 7, or slosh around in a size 8. Also, each design has just one 7.5 pair, so I know there is nowhere else in the country with a woman with the same size feet as me who is wearing shoes that are identical to mine – that is really cool!
Metallic shoes are the essence of glamour right now. For the summer, they are my top go-to whenever I am wanting to wear a supportive sandal. If there is some bling, you can basically get away with almost any design, so I ditch the flip-flops (which are the worst footwear possible when you have a bad hip and collapsed arch), and slide my feet into shiny FitFlops of glittery Birkenstocks that are so comfortable that I can wear them all summer long. Even when the weather grows colder, there are still some amazing silver shoes that look fabulous, and also don’t make any compromises to comfort.
The JD Williams high shine loafers are a great example of a flat shoe that is trendy while still wide enough to be comfortable. I chose my usual size 7 and discovered they were roomy enough to fit my orthotics in as well, meaning they now offer the ideal support to my joints without anyone ever knowing!
Built-in orthotic soles
Another promising development is that some designers are starting to get the message that there are individuals like me, who do not want to quietly slide off into comfort while being forgotten by style. I was able to find PW Minor shoes, and they not only make their shoes comfortable and up to date and ultra hip, but a podiatrist-recommended orthotic footbed has been incorporated as well! Finally! Strive started their business as a manufacturer of custom orthotics, so they know what they are doing. They are made from natural materials in London, and the aim of these shoes is to restore your original biomechanical contours, reduce joint pain, and balance the body in order to reduce stress.
They are very easy to wear, and also solve that yearly problem of trying to look good while keeping cool during the summer months, without having to sacrifice your comfort and posture. If you aren’t used to wearing orthotic insoles, then you have to get accustomed to the feeling of support underneath your arch from the its molded footbed. However, your body and feet will definitely than you! For 15 years I have been wearing orthotics, and without them I feel very vulnerable – even my slippers have orthotic insoles!
There is a wide range of slippers, boots, training shoes, and sandals, that all come in various colors, including metallic which is my favorite for summer – they even have lizard print sandals. The gold Venice sandals will most likely be my favorite to wear with shorts and summer dresses over the holidays. I will also definitely be purchasing Strive’s running shoes in order to minimize risk of chafing due to adding insoles into my trainers.
Go Up A Size
It is definitely worth trying one size larger than your usual one. In my Hones the Bootmakers silver lace ups and silver loafers, I removed the original sole, so that there was room to put my own orthotics in. That means they really fit me like a glove, and provide me with sufficient support so that I stay comfortable, no matter what I happen to be doing that day. However, sometimes simply sizing up (particularly when there are no half sizes) can provide you with the same amount of flexibility that your own insoles do.
Search for wide fitting
These days, finding wider fittings is very easy, as many shoe retailers have started to realize that we aren’t all dainty sized teenagers. At M&S, look for Footglove, and wider fit shoes at Primark and New Look. They make it easier for you to get your own orthotics fitted into the shoe – or if you are going to be wearing sandals and forgoing insoles for a couple of hours – wide shoes provide you with more comfort over all, and will prevent your feet from feeling like they are pinched. A few summers ago I purchased some colorful wedges from New Look (which are also a complete bargain), and every year I take them out to give my cropped jeans a brighter look. My feet are always happy to have proper insoles, but when wearing these they are happy to let me flirt in heels.
Call A Taxi!
I must confess that there is absolutely nothing comfortable about stilettos. However, some shoes are so beautiful that you need to own them. It’s okay. Just make sure to reserve your utterly fabulous heels for those time when you can ride to the event in a taxi and stay seated and look perfect all night long. Just make sure they really are special. I found some heels at Heart and Sole that I had to have.