Shoe Shopping Tips for Beginners

Shoe shopping is one of my favourite things to do, but I have to admit that over the years I’ve made many mistakes when trying to find the perfect pair of shoes. It’s safe to say that there’s a stack of shoe boxes hidden at the very back of my wardrobe, each one containing a pair of shoes that I regret buying because they turned out to be either too high, really uncomfortable or practically impossible to find an outfit to wear with!

In this post I’m going to be sharing my top tips for finding the perfect pair of shoes on your next shopping trip, and I hope it will stop you guys from making the same silly mistakes that I have …

Shoe Shopping for Beginners

Choose the right size
One of the most common mistakes I’ve made when shoe shopping in the past is buying them in the wrong size. That sounds ridiculous, I know, but sizes can vary from shop to shop. These days I always start by trying on the size that I usually am, and then ask to try on half a size up or down depending on whether they feel a little too big or small. Sometimes I find that the design of the shoe causes an issue with sizing, and other times it’s that the brand in general runs bigger or smaller than average. Places like Clarks also offer a foot measuring service, so you get the correct size in their shoes every time, and these days their styles are very on trend!

Ensure the shoes support your feet
When shopping for everyday shoes, check that the fabric or structure around your heel and lower ankle is rigid and offers some support to your foot. This will support your ankle and help avoid any serious problems in the future. It can also help to improve your posture – something I find really important due to having Scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine. You don’t really need to worry about this sort of support for occasion shoes though, as you won’t be wearing them for long periods of time.

Only shop for shoes in the afternoon
It’s a well known fact that feet tend to swell as the day goes on, so the best time to go shoe shopping is in the afternoon. This will give you a better chance of finding a pair of shoes that fit you well and will be comfortable enough to wear on a daily basis.

Pop a pair of socks in your bag
If you’re shoe shopping for something that you intend to wear socks or tights with, but you’re not wearing any that day, make sure you pop a pair in your bag to use during your trying on session. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve not done this and then ended up finding that the shoes or boots I’ve picked up have ended up not fitting properly once I’ve got them home.

Walk around the shop in them
Remember when your parents took you shoe shopping as a child and the shop assistant would make you walk around the shop a couple of times? Well, there was a reason for this! Having a walk around in a pair of shoes for a couple of minutes can really help you decide just how comfortable they are. If you can’t walk well in them in the shop then you won’t be able to walk well in them once you get them home. Trust me on this one guys, I would be rich if I’d had a pound for every time I’ve said “They’ll be fine once I get them home” and they haven’t been!

And last but not least, don’t buy if they’re too high
I think most people I know have been guilty of doing this at some point in their lives. They see a pair of unbelievably gorgeous shoes that they just have to have in their collection and, despite having an exceptionally high heel that they just know they won’t be able to walk in, they’ve bought them anyway! I was once told that a good way to test whether or not you’ll be able to walk in a pair of high shoes is to try them on, and then try to balance on your tiptoes. If your heels lift off the back of the shoes, they are fine. If your heels don’t move, then they are most definitely too high for you and no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to walk properly in them. I’ve given this a try with several pairs of shoes that I can and can’t walk in from my own collection and I can tell you honestly that this trick does work!

I hope you find this guide useful if you’re planning on going shoe shopping this year. And I’ll be back with another ‘for beginners’ post soon.

Do you have any other shoe shopping tips you would add to my list?
Why not leave me a comment and let me know?

Thanks for reading.

With love from Lou SignatureTwitter | Facebook | Bloglovin | Instagram | YouTube

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  1. 09/04/2015 / 3:19 pm

    I hate shoe shopping! Honestly — shoe shopping is such a trial. I wear a size 11 to 12 wide width depending on the style and make. I’m also a fuller figured woman – who is also a clutz. With that said, it’s difficult to find shoes in my size, with a low and sturdy heel that doesn’t look like they orthopedic shoes. Ugggg — I hate shoe shopping. Either the shoes/sandals have 3″ heels and 1″ platforms, or they’re so flat that they give you an old frumpy look. I had to shop for sandals yesterday – it was very frustrating indeed. All I wanted was a sweet, summer feel of an espadrille with about a 1″ to 2″ heel. No luck! I ended up with a pair of sandals that had a higher platform and heel than I’m used to. So, be on the lookout for a blog post of mine that talks about how I’m dealing with my broken ankle! LOL

    Thanks for your advice – I never thought about shoe shopping in the afternoon….makes a lot of sense, though. Eydie 🙂
    Eydie Stumpf recently posted…The 5 Stages of Grief – Are they really stages?My Profile

    • Louise x
      09/04/2015 / 5:51 pm

      Oh no! I actually hope I don’t see a blog post about how you’re dealing with a broken ankle!! I would rather read one about how my tips helped you choose your next pair of shoes, and how perfect they are 😉 X

  2. 09/04/2015 / 3:23 pm

    Wow! These tips seem so cool, witty & effective. The next time I’am going for shoes, I’ll be trying them all! Thank you, 🙂
    Divya Nanda recently posted…The Game of ThoughtsMy Profile

    • Louise x
      09/04/2015 / 5:56 pm

      Thank you 🙂 I hope they work for you too X

  3. 09/04/2015 / 5:27 pm

    I LOVE shoe shopping. These are good tips, but I am a demon for it and would buy the high shoes anyway. And then buy them in a second colour…only tip I have to add is that if you are buying shoes for a certain outfit, take the outfit with you so you can see how the colours work. Great post!
    Helen recently posted…Food Photography with SmugMug and Howard ShooterMy Profile

    • Louise x
      09/04/2015 / 5:58 pm

      Well, if I’m being 100% honest (and apparently I am LOL), I still buy shoes that are too high. I blame it on being a short arse! :p And the outfit tip is a brilliant one. I didn’t think of that!!X

  4. 09/04/2015 / 9:20 pm

    I hate shoe shopping! I love the feeling of owning a new pair of shoes, but there’s something about sitting trying on shoes that just doesn’t sit comfortably with me, I’m definitely had a few bad shoe purchases in the past, I’ll have to keep your tips in mind! x
    Layla-Rose Coad recently posted…Primark Haul | Bits & BobsMy Profile

    • Louise x
      09/04/2015 / 11:49 pm

      Shoe shopping’s not the easiest thing to do is it? It can be quite tedious. I think my favourite part is getting my shiny new purchase(s) home!!X

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