For the right pair of shoes, I have been known to throw caution to the wind and wear some of the most uncomfortable, yet amazingly beautiful, shoes. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you've seen some of the pictures I have posted. But even some of the most comfortable shoes have that break-in period when first worn. Here are some of my tips for breaking in your favorite new shoes, or fixing the odd pair that might not fit quite right:
Shoe Survival Balm is great for preventing blisters on your heels. It feels like you're rubbing deodorant on your heels, but it protects your skin from the friction cause by new shoes rubbing up and down your heels, without damaging your shoes. I have a hard time wearing slingback style shoes because the elasticized straps seems to dig in and move around. Products like the Shoe Survival Balm help keep the skin from getting irritated, and possibly blistering. For a more affordable option, try this anti-chaffing stick. If you do end up with those pesky blisters on your feet, try these blister cushions to protect them from getting infected, or continuing to rub in your shoes.
Foot Petals Stiletto Stylist Kit saved a pair of Christian Louboutins of mine. My heels are narrow, but widen towards the toes. For comfort, I purchased the CL shoes in a 37, a half size larger than my normal... basically, the shoes were a little too big for me. The larger size worked great for the balls of my feet, but my heels kept slipping out while I walked. Enter the Foot Petals. This kit contains cushioned pads of various types and styles to make any pair of shoes feel custom fit to your feet. I inserted a pair of HeavenlyHeelz to keep my skinny heels from sliding up and down, and a set of Tip Toes into the foot bed to keep my feet from slipping forward as the satin wore in. Now they are my go-to black pumps because they fit so comfortably.
shoe stretcher. This handy device has been a God send when I've needed to break in a pair of new shoes really quickly. The knob and handle on this stretcher adjust to stretch out your shoes not only in width (for those of us with wide feet), but also in length. No, you can't make shoes longer, but you can break in the heels with this device, instead of on your own feet (needing the products listed above). A quick word to the wise: unless you have the patience to stretch one shoe at a time, buy two of these :)
These are just some of the tricks I have found to survive new or ill-fitted shoes. What do you do?
Image(s) courtesy of sidewalkskincare.com, http://www.handbagcom.com/christian-louboutin-very-noeud-slingback-shoes-p-3799.html, drugstore.com, http://www.footsmart.com/P-FitRight-Two-Way-Shoe-Stretcher-90120.aspx