When it comes to looking your best, especially for professional events, dress shoes are a great way to give your outfit a polished look. They can, however, be quite uncomfortable, especially if they have just been purchased and aren’t fully broken in. Fortunately, there are a number of tips you can utilize to help make your dress shoes more comfortable.
The first thing you can do is ensure your shoe is the correct size. If your shoes are too small, your toes will become cramped. If they are too big, you’ll have trouble keeping them on (especially if you need to move faster than a walk), and your feet are more likely to chafe. Either way, you may develop blisters and aching feet due to improper support.
If your shoes are the incorrect size, you can make small fixes at home by stretching them with a shoe stretcher. Though this cannot make them a proper shoe size larger, it can loosen the material and help speed breaking them in. If you are worried about damaging your shoes, you can bring them to a professional cobbler for assistance. If your shoe is too large, you can pad them with lambs’ wool or cotton balls, or place an insole. Both will keep your feet from moving around as much and reduce chafing.
There are also a number of inserts available to help pad your feet. These inserts are able to help support your arch and cushion your toes and the balls of your feet. What type of insert is best for you depends on what your shoes currently doesn’t provide. For example, if your shoes do not provide enough support, your feet will begin to ache and possible turn into other issues such as pain in your ankles and back. Support insoles can be put in to help alleviate these issues.
There are some comfort insoles, which assume your shoes provide the proper support. If you stand for hours at a time, such as at a car dealership or cafe, comfort ones may suit your needs better. This is because they are often a soft, flat gel that helps absorb the shock of walking, making standing for long periods of time easier.
For new shoes, it is important to consider their traction. Older shoes develop it naturally, but you can sand the bottom of new shoes with sandpaper to help prevent slips. Your insoles will also benefit from light maintenance: Hand washing and airing them out as needed, and replacing worn ones.
If you have time, you can break your shoes in by wearing thick socks and walking around your house with them in small intervals. You can also use a hairdryer, on warm, to break in natural materials such as leather and suede; this works by expanding them a bit, and as they cool, they shrink to better fit your feet. These methods also allow you to loosen the toes and generally make the shoes more comfortable before you have to wear them in earnest.