01/18/2016 02:39 EST | Updated 01/18/2017 05:12 EST

Your Guide To Picking The Perfect Pair Of Comfortable Shoes

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woman legs in red high heel shoes outdoor shot on cobble street

It seems that whenever I write a post about shoes, someone almost always mentions that they can't wear heels or that they never know what shoes to wear for a specific occasion. So I got to thinking about it and I realized that I have a type of shoe uniform, if you will, that has taken me years to perfect.

We have all heard that shoes can make the perfect statement in an outfit, which is true, but for me it is so much more. The shoes we wear each day are the shoes that literally carry us on our journey through life. Why not wear the perfect pair to stroll down that path? - Jennifer (shoe designer and blogger at Talk To My Shoes)

Yes, you can wear flats

There seems to be this misconception out there that heels are dressy, and flats aren't. What? Why? Who says?

There are a number of reasons why you might not be able to wear heels for an event, but there are lots and lots of ways that you can make a pair of flats look elegant, light and, better yet, completely unexpected, making them that much better because suddenly you are the standout in the crowd.

A pair of black tuxedo trousers can look fantastic with a pair of dark red velvet slippers. Or how about a metallic pair of ballerina slippers peeking out from beneath a ballgown? It's all about proportions and how you are wearing them.

Besides, a woman will always look so much more sophisticated when she is comfortable than when she's either grimacing in pain or teetering precariously in pair of sky-high heels that she can't balance on.


image courtesy of Caroline Topperman

Yes, heels can be comfortable

Unless you have just had surgery, there is no reason for your heels to be uncomfortable. Yes, we've all stood outside the nightclubs in sub-zero temperatures in heels and tank tops waiting to get in. That all ended the second we stopped being 20 or 21, so why do we still buy shoes that aren't comfortable?

Of course, I'm a sucker for beautiful shoes, but I always try them on and walk around in them before pulling out my wallet. Also, I have a trusted shoe repair guy that can give me tips on making my shoes fit my feet (it's not unlike having a good tailor).

I used to have a pair of moccasins that I loved, but they consistently gave me blisters on my heels. I went to my shoe repair guy who showed me that the back of the shoe was too high in proportion to the non-existent heel. He gave me a little padding and the shoes felt like slippers.

In that same vein, I have a pair of stunning patent leather, cherry-red heels, but they press against the side of my big toe. One well-placed cushion and I can wear them for hours.


image courtesy of Caroline Topperman

Buy quality

Always. After a certain point in your life, there is no reason to buy poorly made, cheap shoes (unless you are only going to wear them once). Please note that I'm not using the word "inexpensive," because you should absolutely be buying within your means, and more expensive shoes aren't necessarily better.

The materials and the style matter. Depending on your body type and foot shape, a heel can be too high and throw your weight forward or back, putting undue pressure on your feet. Shop around. It's much better to have a few pairs of really great quality shoes than lots of cheap, uncomfortable ones.

We all know what it feels like to have foot pain (and if you don't, then consider yourself lucky), so it's time to treat your feet with some respect.

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