Style File: Throwback Thursday—Comfort over Style

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b2ap3_thumbnail_birkenstock.jpgThis summer we saw a strange sight revisit our planet: the Birkenstock.  I thought they were always a little alien looking.  Comfortable, yes. Fashionable?  Well…not so much.

Seeing Birkenstocks back in stores led me to ponder: can you have fashionable shoes that are also extremely comfortable? 

It’s probably best to start with my definition of fashionable.  I think of fashionable as simply this —  putting your signature look on a current style.  I think of fashionable as being more vogue and couture than trendy.  Unfortunately, rarely do I think of any of those phrases: vogue, stylish, fashionable, as being “comfy”.

Being on my feet all day, I find myself drawn to the Danskos and the Birkenstocks of the world.  On the weekends, I am loathe to cause pain to the feet that have been dutiful all week as I worked the store floor.  Weekends end up being sneakers and casual flats.  But what about my cute summer sandals—heel included—or wedges?  What about my sassy boots and red pumps? 

b2ap3_thumbnail_dansko-shoe.jpgThank goodness for stores like Clothes Mentor where you can buy a top brand for a fraction of the price because sometimes you just don’t know how your feet will react until you give it a couple of hours.  After a couple of hours, “comfy” matters!

I used to laugh when someone said if you went for better quality heels, you could actually stand on them all day—well, almost all day.  Guess what? It’s true. 

Try it and you’ll see.  Nix $10 retail priced pumps and go for a higher quality.  You don’t even have to break the bank when you shop resale, but even moving beyond the lower end brands to a Kate Spade or Badgley Mischka will make a huge difference.  Your feet won’t complain nearly so much in a DKNY or a Jimmy Choo as they might in a lower end brand.

b2ap3_thumbnail_expensive-shoes.jpgGive it a try along with these quick tips for wearing good looking and good feeling fashionable footwear:

  1.  Don’t wear heavy shoes—the heavier the shoe, the more they will wear out your heel.
  2. Don’t wear shoes with a thin sole—there are no shock absorbers so your feet are kissing concrete with every step you take.
  3. Go for mid-high heels and leave the stilettos for sitting pretty—an Oprah tidbit I love because some shoes are so pretty you just want to wear them but skip the cocktail party and save them for an intimate dinner or sit down event.

If you follow these rules, maybe you won’t be limited to living in the land of the Birkenstock or wading in the waters of the wide-footed Danskos.  AND if you do choose to wear these alien creatures, you can d it with style rather than just for comfort sake.  Step up your shoe quality and maybe your feet can look—and feel—as cute as the rest of your fashionable self!

Sound off:  How do you achieve comfort AND making a fashion statement with shoes? Is it possible to be pretty with no pain or is it reserved for the TV talk show host?

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