I know some women's hearts soar when they see an amazing pair of shoes. I have always been more of a slippers person myself, opting for comfort rather than the confines of a shoe. Recently, I have been opening up to the idea of shoes being an extension of my personality. It is possible to be comfortable and fashionable.
I was so happy to hear that one of the major trends for summer footwear is comfort! My take on footwear was expanded even further after I spoke with John Storey, the Product Manager at Geox Canada. John shared with me some of the hottest shoes trends for summer, how to be comfortable (yes!) and top tips when purchasing shoes.
10 Hottest Shoe Trends For Summer
The major trends revolve around comfort-chunky heels, wide straps and thick soles. This goes hand-in-hand with the '90s revival that is currently happening.
Wedge/Platform sneakers They made an appearance last summer and are back with a slimmer feel. Still give that little bit of height and a sporty relaxed vibe. The idea is not to go all over top with the sporty look.
Block Heel Sandal Not only are block heel sandals incredibly comfortable, they're also hot for summer and come in tonnes of different colours and designs.
Wedge/Heel hybrid A chunky heel with a slight gap - it looks like a wedge but with a hole in the middle. Way more comfortable than a stiletto, but not quite as chunky as a wedge, it's a modern update. Distributes the weight evenly so more comfortably but with a slimmer silhouette.
Gladiator/Sporty Hybrid 'The Ugly Shoe Trend' encapsulates a variety of styles -- united by an emphasis on chunkiness and comfort. Mesh, and the athletic shoe are also being worn with dresses and skirts -- the look is the juxtaposition between feminine and sporty (it plays again to the '90s trend).
White is a major trend -- particularly worn head to toe. Look for different textures and fabrics to make the look interesting. The silver detailing adds that visual interest.
Beads and Studs This season is all about personality -- filled shoes. The more accoutrements the better. Following the shoe jewelry trend, are some of the hottest shoes you'll be seeing in Summer 2014 are ornately beaded works of footwear art. Look for studs and crystal ornaments -- they add personality without being too fussy. Gold is very popular both for flats and heeled shoes alike.
Arty, Textured the DIY trend. All the major designers put an emphasis on originality and artistic expression this season. If you have a hard time with the extreme bedazzling, then mixing textures and materials is a great way to achieve the same feel.
Mixing Prints Bolder pairings are hot -- floral and leopard, stripes and florals. The same is happening in shoes -- different colours, different materials.
Colourful Kitten Heels Another major trend is the colourful and arty kitten heels. Closed toe pumps tend to be pointy toed. Kitten heels (French heels) are a great option -- especially for women that have worn high heels their whole life and find flats uncomfortable. They relax calf muscles and reduce tension in tendons and ligaments around the foot.
Ankle Straps Beware of the ankle strap -- ankle straps serve the practical purpose of helping to keep your shoes in place, but they also visually bring a little something extra to sandals and pumps. This trend is best for taller women as it can cut the leg off making your legs appear shorter. Look for slimmer ankle straps if you have shorter legs.
When shopping for your lovely summer shoes, keep in mind a few of the top tips John Storey shared with me about purchasing shoes.
Top Tips When Buying Shoes
1. If you buy shoes that are small it is possible to stretch the shoes in width but not length. You can take your new shoes to a repair shop to get them stretched. But that may stretch the shoes in a way that won't feel comfortable afterwards. A good tip is to wear them at home with a thick sock -- this will allow the shoe to stretch accordingly to the shape of your foot.
2. Keep in mind that typically we all have one foot bigger than the other. If you think this may apply to you, try to figure out which one is bigger and always accommodate it first when trying on a new pair of shoes.
3. Measure your foot EACH TIME you buy a pair of shoes. Different brands have different sizes, and just because you're a size 8 when it comes to your sneakers, you're not necessarily a size 8 in pumps.
4. If the shoe is NOT comfortable in the store, it won't be comfortable later... but if your feet tend to swell up over the course of the day, due to the hours of walking and standing that they endure, you should try on shoes at the end of the day in order to ensure that they will be comfortable throughout.
Now that I understand more about fashionable footwear, I am starting to fall in love with shoes a little bit more..
Stay tuned to my blog and share your comments below. Your tips and suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to find pretty, stylish and comfortable fashion.
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