We adore a good pump. In fact, the first shoe we released was a pump because we believed (still do) that women deserved to have functional and fashionable shoes they can wear without pain. We’ve made it our mission to become experts in making and fitting truly comfortable heels. Not the easiest task to undertake, but extremely worthwhile.
So, in the spirit of sharing the secret of truly comfortable heels, here are 6 tips every woman needs to know to ensure their pumps fit correctly and are as comfortable as possible:
1. Gapping Is Your Biggest Enemy
Any gap in your shoe is an opportunity for discomfort (think blisters, toe cramping, etc.). If you notice you have a gap in the back of your shoes, it means your shoe is not holding your foot in place well enough. Your foot is sliding down into the front of the shoe, jamming your toes upfront (ouch!) while letting your heel slip out (a la Miss Cinderella) in the back.
Tempted to try the trick of ordering your shoes two sizes too large, like some of the British royalty are rumored to do? We personally recommend against it. Women give each other all kinds of crazy advice but the right fitting shoe will likely serve you far better than anything else.
2. Support Is Your Best Friend
Whether you are flat-footed or have ultra-high arches, everyone benefits from arch support. You want your pumps to have as much contact with your foot as possible. If you’re experiencing a bit of “wobble” in your shoe, you are likely not getting enough inner and outer arch support. Support = stability = happy feet and ankles.
3. Stretching - It’s Good For Your Body And Your Shoes
We recommend everyone (yes, everyone) get a shoe stretcher. You should never have to “break-in” your shoes – you can and should fix a fit issue without destroying your feet in the process. Think about it like treating your shoes to a little yoga! You can also opt to visit your local cobbler to have them stretched but DIY is just as good.
We recommend sticking with only natural materials like leather because it molds to you over time, is highly breathable, and can easily be stretched – three key ingredients for happy feet!
4. Quality Materials Make All The Difference
Speaking of fabrics, get smart about where the materials of your shoes are sourced from. We choose leather because it molds to your foot, is breathable, and truly only gets better with time.
We also only source leather that is from “food-grade” animals. This means their meat is already being used as food and therefore eliminates much of the waste that would otherwise be produced.
5. Your Size May Change And That’s Completely NORMAL
A lot of things can affect the size of your feet, including the time of the year, your weight, and pregnancy. We recommend everyone measures their feet often for this very reason.
Your feet are going to naturally be bigger during the summer season versus in the winter – in fact, some people can go up to a full size larger during the summertime. If you spend your whole summer wearing sandals or barefoot, don’t expect your winter shoes to fit perfectly when the seasons first change.
Your feet are also going to fluctuate in size with any significant weight gain or weight loss. This is completely normal. Just measure your feet often and adjust accordingly! In fact, women who shop for shoes with the right fit will find their closet filled with a myriad of sizes because it’s about finding what feels good on your feet, not the size on the box.
You’re likely aware that feet tend to get a bit bigger during pregnancy and, not to be the bearer of bad news, just be prepared to potentially say goodbye to your pre-pregnancy shoes. Some women’s feet simply do not shift back after pregnancy so you just may be forced to treat yourself to some new pumps (darn, it!).
6. How To Check For The Right Fit
Make sure to try on your shoes at the end of the day and buy to that size. Your feet swell throughout the day and this will ensure you don’t experience unnecessary discomfort after a long day on your feet.
Also, take them for a stroll around on a carpeted surface for about 20 minutes before committing. The carpet will protect them from damage and you’ll have a much better idea of the fit after walking around a bit.
When push comes to shove, finding the right fit is a trial and error process. A brand’s size guideline is the best starting point, but you simply have to try a style on and exchange if they don’t work for you. It may take a few tries to find the right size for you in that brand but, trust us, it’s worth the effort.