Helpful Tips on How to Strike a Balance Between Comfortable Cute Shoes
We are Mary Sue and Caroline, co-founders of Suggies. We have worked in the shoe business our whole career (more than 30 years!), and it's given us a deep understanding of what makes one shoe more cute and comfortable than the next. Our expertise is comfortable flat shoes for women.
Tired, throbbing feet are often a result of improper shoes. If you're not in proper footwear, then your day can feel like torture. Unfortunately, comfy, stylish shoes can be hard to come by, and this is precisely why we make sure every pair from our brand are both appealing AND as comfortable as possible.
Our Cute Comfy Shoe Guide Criteria:
1) The Cute Factor
Comfortable footwear is often ugly and boring; we love a cute fashion flat that will make any outfit instantly more attractive. A good, versatile flat shoe is a required item in all modern wardrobes.
2) Stylish and Comfortable Shoes Should Go with Everything
Comfortable flats should be able to be worn anywhere, from yoga, to book club, to casual date night without looking out of place. The most stylish women always have a pair or two of these in their closets.
3) Comfy Shoes Don't Need Breaking-In
Whether you purchase them online or at the store, comfortable and supportive fashion flats should be ready for wear right away because they are designed for all-day comfort straight off the bat. A trustworthy shoe will feet feel great from the moment you put them one until the end of the night.
4) Must be Good Travel Shoes
A pair of fashionable, super comfortable women's walking shoes are a travel must. No one wants to crop shoes out of that just right vacation pic. If you can't wander the streets of San Francisco without worrying about your feet hurting they won't meet our standards. Bonus points go to a pair of shoes that goes from sightseeing to dinner.
We hope you enjoy our shoe guide!
Tips for Finding Cute, Comfy Flats
1) Flexible Soles Are Comfortable
A shoe's flexibility is vital to comfort. The sole should be supple and flexible, allowing natural movement from heel to toe without unnecessary pressure on the foot.
If you are wearing a cute pair of shoes that do not bend or flex with your foot, then the likelihood is high for pain and discomfort.
A comfortable flat should be flexible enough to support movement while being durable enough to provide long-lasting use.
Tip: Check how well the shoes moves by flexing the bottom. A great question to ask is, "can I move naturally?". Good flexible soles let them do just that!
2) Comfortable Shoes use Breathable Materials
When looking for cute and comfortable footwear, you'll need to ensure that the uppers are breathable materials. If so, they'll keep your feet cool, dry, and odor-free. Proper ventilation means moisture won't build up and cause discomfort as well as no-fun smells!
Leather and suede are great options as they are both porous and allow air to flow through. Perspiration will escape easily, and you'll avoid smelly shoes.
Wool is an excellent fiber for regulating your foot temperature as well. The super-comfortable material absorbs moisture better than most fibers. This natural, breathable material will keep feet cool and fight odors.
Tip: Look for leather or natural fiber without synthetic linings
3) Cute Comfy Shoes are Built to Manage Moisture
Bet you didn't know that the secret to comfortable shoes isn't just clever design and high-quality materials on the upper but has a lot to do with what's inside.
Choosing a high-quality footbed and leather and textile linings will ensure your feet are comfortable and cool. These features will keep your feet fresh all day. Think of it as a cooling technology for your feet.
Breathable liningsand insole are often the secret sauce in chic, comfortable shoes. The most comfortable women's shoe includes these features.
Advanced memory foam footbeds are the newest, most incredible thing for feet. They're made from an open-cell compound to keep air circulating and your foot cool and dry by wicking away moisture.
Tip: look inside the shoe. The lining and insole should be soft and flexible. If it is thick or stiff there is a good chance it has unnecessary filler.
4) Cushioned Footbeds Make Shoes Comfy
The most comfortable shoes will have a deluxe cushioned padding. When searching for chic, comfy shoes, inner cushioning is a must-have. Cushioning offers extra support and is especially important in the ball of the foot.
Technology in footbeds have advanced, similar to mattresses. Finding cushioned shoes for women is a lot easier in recent years. Memory foam will softly cradle your feet for personalized comfort.
Regardless of how cute the shoe is, if it does not have a good memory foam footbed, it can feel you are walking on concrete.
Look for a high-quality memory foam footbed and insoles that will contour to your foot shape. A cheap memory foam won't bounce back or recover as fast or offer as much support. Good cushioning is extremely comfortable and will keep your feet protected and comfy all day long. Finding the proper cushioning might take some time, but your feet will thank you in the long run.
Over-the-counter insoles can purchased and inserted into your shoes if one is not built-in. Gel insoles can help provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.
A layer of soft cushioning is extremely comfortable and will keep your feet protected and comfy all day long. Finding the proper cushioning might take some time and experimentation, but your feet will thank you in the long run.
Tip: To test a memory foam footbed, compress the foam with your finger or thumb. It should regain its shape quickly and feel soft under pressure.
5) Shoes with Shock-Absorbing Bottoms are Comfortable
Shoes with shock-absorbing bottoms are good for your feet. A nice thick rubber sole helps spreads out the force of your body weight and provides a superior base to absorb your body weight so your feet and legs will not feel as much impact.
Thick rubber soles are durable and make walking and standing more comfortable because the sole absorbs the shock from bumps in the sidewalks or hard surfaces like concrete. Thick rubber soles does not mean a heavy sole. There any many lightweight rubber compounds that are ideal for walking and standing.
In addition, a thick sole will offer excellent traction on slippery surfaces. You will avoid slips and slides on wet surfaces.
Find a shock-absorbing bottom made of a thick, lightweight layer of rubber that will support the arch, ankles, knees, and back.
Tip: Hold the bottom in your hand. It should feel substantial and be flexible.
6) Good Arch Support Make Shoes Comfortable
The arch of your foot is the primary source of balance and stability, which means that when it's not supported correctly, you'll be less stable and comfortable.
Good arch support will help distribute pressure in your feet evenly and improve posture. That small hump, placed correctly, can give you the perfect support and balance.
Choose a thick memory foam footbed with built-in arch supports. When compressed, an arc will form, keeping the wearer's natural foot shape.
Women with unique foot conditions may benefits from custom orthotics. A visit to a podiatrist will clarify for you if custom orthotics are right for you.
Tip : Avoid firm arch cookies if they don't match up perfectly with your arch. They can create an unnatural arch in the wrong place.
The Most Stylish Comfortable Shoes will Not have:
When it comes to picking out shoes, there are many options. Sometimes it can be hard to know what you should buy and what you shouldn't buy. That's where this guide will come in handy.
Here are some common mistakes that people make in shoe type or silhouette when shopping for footwear. Learn what to avoid these so that you find stylish, comfortable walking shoes, especially if you want a good pair of travel shoes.
Stay clear of these in your quest for the perfect pair.
1. Synthetic Shoes Won't Breathe
Don't get steamy in synthetic shoes! They lack ventilation, so sweat won't escape and will leave your shoes smelling funky along with your feet.
Faux leather shoes come from sheets of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane (PU), which is heat-stamped with designs that mimic the surface of genuine leather.
Companies can produce large quantities at low cost, so they often cost less, but these shoes can simulate mini-steam chambers for your foot, leaving perspiration trapped inside.
Synthetic, man-made shoes become brittle over time in addition to being less comfortable.
Tip: Look for a breathable material like natural fiber or leather.
2. Heavy Platform Shoes Cause Foot Fatigue
Shoes with heavy platform bottoms don't bend as easily and require more energy and effort to move around in than lighter ones do - which means more fatigue when it comes time for simple tasks like walking or going about your daily routines.
Instead, it is always best to choose a lightweight, flexible bottom that will allow for the freedom of movement and won't drag on you. Platform shoes are a fun look to sport from time to time but don't choose them when you need a dependable shoe for walking, standing for a long time, or a travel shoe.
Luckily today, many lightweight, flexible options can go toe-to-toe on function while being gentle on your feet.
Tip : Weight matters, select a shoe with a lightweight, flexible bottom.
3. High Heels are Stylish but Not Comfy Shoes
Most women admit there is a time for heels, but they aren't for every day. Wearing heels every day is a recipe for pain and injury.
High heel shoes shift your weight to the ball of your foot and cause foot pain. The higher the heel, the more pressure is pushed forward. Women's bodies will counteract this force which leads to aches and pain. Due to the nature of a heel, finding a pair that does not force the foot forward is a tough task. A general rule of thumb with heels is the lower, the better when looking for one that is a comfortable walking or standing choice.
Over time, wearing high heels can lead to podiatric problems later in life. Heels are designed for short-term use and will cause pain over time as well as damage to your body. So stick to flat, comfortable sandals, or low-heeled pumps when on the hunt for comfy shoes.
Save them for the unique events and make sure you have an exit plan for them. If a special occasion calls for a pair of heels, pick comfortable heels under 2-inches
Your favorite pair of stylish, comfy pairs of shoes will not be ones with high heels. The lower the heel, the better off you'll be.
Tip: Bring pair of flats in the car or your tote as a backup
4. Pointy Toe Shoes are Not Super Comfy
Pointy-toed shoes are a sweet look, but they can make you sore by day's end. In addition, points are not ideal for traveling or standing all day since they squeeze the entire front of your foot into a v-shape.
This style can lead to severe discomfort and even nerve damage in some cases if worn over time. In addition, some women report getting bruises under their nails from constant pressure due to pointy toes squeezing toes too tight.
For these reasons, avoid points when looking at women's shoes you can stand in all day.
Tip : Shoes with a rounded, roomy toe box are a much smarter choice.
Good Comfortable Walking Shoes Look Like This:
1. Ballet Flats Have Style and Comfort
If you want comfy, versatile shoes that are easy to pair with any outfit, soft leather ballet shoes are the way to go. Ballet flats are the footwear of choice for stylish women the world over.
Prior to the 1950s, the ballet shoe was only worn when performing ballet. But when Brigit Bardot requested a pair of shoes as lightweight and flexible as a true ballet slipper, designers listened up. Paris designer, Rose Repetto, opened her own shoe brands and started manufacturing ballet flats in Paris.
In just a few years, ballet flats were on the cover of Vogue and this humble simple flat shot started its infamous climb to stardom. Shortly afterward Audrey Hepburn wor this classic style in Breakfast at Tiffany. You know the rest of the story. The ballet is now a modern staple for anyone wanting to add a comfy graceful flair to an outfit.
Make sure to choose a version of these classic, stylish flats that have a flexible sole. The right ballet flat will ensure to accommodate your feet even when you're on the go.
Find a slip-on that has a soft leather upper and exterior and flexible rubber underside, and you will be golden. Your flats will be comfortable enough to wear all day long, but they also look great with skirts or jeans.
You can roam a city like a free spirit in these good, comfortable, walking shoes. The right soft leather women's flat will be in your closet for years when you find the right one.
Tip: Find on with a soft leather upper. High-quality leather flats can last many years.
2. Classic Leather Mary Janes Shoes Offer Style and Comfort
The Mary Jane is a shoe style that is similar to a ballet flat. The difference is the strap across the top of the foot. This strap makes it more secure, so you do not need to worry about your foot coming out of the shoe. If you have high or low insteps, then this type of shoe will be perfect for you because they have adjustable straps.
The Mary Jane is famous and no one can doubt it. It is the shoe of Dorthy in the Wizard of Oz! These low-heeled, red shoes took her through Oz without any worries about her feet.
The Mary Jane is an excellent choice for those looking for stylish work shoes. A leather Mary Jane is a classic shoe for all occasions. The adjustable strap and overall design give you the versatility to wear it with just about anything: jeans, dresses, skirts--day or night.
Tip: Consider a red leather Mary Jane. This classic color is fun to wear and will always put a smile on your face.
3. Lace-Ups Patterns Adjust for Comfort
The lace up has become a label of style for all ages. Just tighten the laces for a comfortable, custom fit so you always have the right amount of support on your feet.
They're perfect for people with wider or narrow feet, high or low arches, and even those with bunions because they are adjustable as well. Find a lace up sneaker with arch support footbed and you will have not regrets.
Tip : Make sure to select a pair with cushioning and a breathable upper.
4. Slip-Ons are Great Travel Shoes
A slip on shoe is without straps or laces that can slide easily onto and off the foot. They are great for casual, lounging-around time and are also great airport shoes as they are easy to take off quickly. They are often seen on in international traveler because they are comfortable enough to be worn on flights and navigate airports.
Slip ons are light and easy to pack; many women consider them a travel essential. They are great if you intend to spend a lot of time walking or standing. Slip-on shoes can be worn walking around cruise ships too.
This versatile style is classic and straightforward. Its simplicity offers a lot of comforts and is the perfect shoe for everyday wear. It is comfortable, light, and flexible and may become your favorite, stylish, comfortable travel shoe.
Tip: Pick one with a lightweight rubber bottom that will absorb shock when walking on hard surfaces.
Consider These when Trying on Comfortable and Supportive Shoes
1. How's the Size?
Sizing will vary between brands. Pick your usual size to start, but know that this is only a guide. Buying the wrong size is a common mistake and is a big contributing factor to aching, painful feet.
Shoes should be comfortable and not pinch or feel too loose. You should be able to wiggle your toes a little bit.
Skip buying shoes that aren't comfortable. With advancements and innovations in footwear, finding cute, comfy shoes is attainable.
2. What Time of Day Should I Try on Shoes?
Did you know the time of day you try on shoes makes a significant difference? Your feet naturally swell up post-work or after walking long distances. They'll almost always be too tight at this time.
Try online shoe purchases on at different times of the day to double-check the comfort level. Return or exchange the shoes within the return window if need be.
Tip: In-store, don't try on shoes at the end of the day or when your feet are swollen from walking.
3. Should I Try my Shoes On With Socks or No socks?
In order to find the best fit for your new shoes, it's essential to wear the same type of sock or no sock at all as you would during regular usage. You want to replicate your natural, everyday use to get the most accurate reading.
Tip: In-store, bring a pair of socks with you in the same thickness you would wear with the shoe.
4. Are they Comfortable to Walk In?
Don’t fall in love with a shoe before walking in them.
Take a short stroll around the house or store. This will give you an idea of how they feel it they are a good fit for your particular foot type.
TIP: Be sure to notice any rubbing or pinching, this could be a sign that your comfortable casual walking shoe doesn't fit properly.
5. How is the Sole of the Shoe?
The type of sole will significantly affect your comfort level. After all, its chief purpose is to be a cushion against unhealthy impact and unnecessary pressure.
You should be able to feel the beauty of a cobblestone street, but not every bump and edge. That's why shoes with thick, flexible soles are imperative when you're walking on European streets and looking for good travel shoes.
Tip You want to avoid a thin sole where you will feel every bump and edge and opt for a thicker one that will buffer your foot for harsh elements.
Navigating the Most Common Women's Foot Problem:
The foot is a fascinating part of the body. While most of us are aware that our feet come in many shapes and sizes, women often don’t know what to look for in footwear for their particular foot type. This is what you should be looking for based on the most common problems.
1. Best Shoes for High Arch or Insteps
Having a high instep means the part between your ball and ankle is more arched than an average foot. This extra height can make it hard to find shoes that fit well. Although fairly common, it takes a little more effort when looking for cute and comfy shoes.
An oxford or lace-up design is a great choice for high insteps. Laces can be adjusted to suit different instep heights.
Ballet flats are a great choice for women with high insteps. They are typically cut lower on top of the foot. This makes it easier to get the foot in the shoe and takes the pressure off the arches.
Sandals with adjustable straps are a good idea for people who have high arches. This style of the sandal can be adjusted to fit nicely around various arches heights
2. Cute Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, a ligament that connects your heel to the toe, gets swollen, weak, or irritated. Standing in a single position can magnify the aching.
Look for shoes designed with a wide shape, extra depth, and generous toe box. In this case, you don’t want a flexible sole. Find a sole that's stiff in the middle instead. The rigid sole will add more protection to the swollen ligament.
Those with Plantar Fasciitis can also find major relief in custom support insoles. These insoles are made of harder materials and will reinforce the stability and structure of the sole.
3. Stylish and Comfy Shoes for Bunions
Bunions are one of the most common foot problem. They occur when a bony hump forms on the side of your foot at your big toe joint. Bunion can swell and sometimes hurt so good footwear is important.
Feet don't have much extra fat or padding, so creating a pressure point over a bone is a nusance. Bunions can make it difficult or even painful to wear certain types of fashionable shoes.
Soft uppers shoes are an excellent choice for bunion sufferers because they won't pressure the bunion. Leather, suede, and wool are all bunion-friendly materials and are perfect choices for those who suffer from this condition.
Reduce layers of materials between your foot and the shoe by selecting soft, flexible uppers and lining that form naturally around your feet to avoid bunion friction.
A wide toe box will alleviate the pain you feel from rubbing and friction by providing ample space for your bunion.
4. Best Shoes for Flat feet or fallen Arches
If you suffer from flat feet, the lack of arch support can lead to considerable pain when standing or exercising for extended periods of time. There are many ways that flat-footed women can fight the discomfort
When shopping for women's shoes, look for something that is cushioned and has a built-in insole with appropriate arch support. You may also want to consider custom orthotics as an alternative form of relief and support.
Shoes with a padded insole with arch support; ready-made orthotic devices which absorb impact and reduce stress.
5. Most Comfortable Shoes for Neuropathy
Neuropathy is the result of nerve damage and it can cause pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in your feet and hands. Those suffering from neuropathy feel random tingling around the feet, almost like pins and needles.
It can be quite troublesome and painful so wearing footwear with extra room for toe movement, correct arch support, and a soft cushion footbed is all-important.
Avoid shoes that are too tight.
Choose a thick memory foam padded insole with arch support to cushion the impact.
6. Double down on comfort with Orthotics
Orthotics provide support for feet and ankles. When inserted in your shoes, orthotics provide a stable surface that completely supports your feet and ankles and helps relieve pain. Orthotics can also prevent some injuries. Orthotics can be purchased over the counter or custom-made for each foot type.
Depending on your foot condition they can be made from a hard or soft compound. Once in the shoes, it is important to wear them gradually so the foot and body get used to them.
A podiatrist will be able to determine if your foot will benefit from orthotics and which type is best or your foot.
Orthotics offer relief for these foot conditions:
- Flat Feet
- Plantar fasciitis
Comfy Shoe Guide Conclusion
In our modern world, style and comfort CAN coexist in a super comfy shoe. Know what to look for, so you can say goodbye once and for all to painful feet.
These helpful tips will help you strike a balance between style and comfort. Trust us when we say you can attain both if you know what to look for when shopping for comfortable flats.
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Written by Mary Sue Papale and Caroline DeBaere, footwear experts with over 30 years expereince in design, production, product development and product fit in the shoe industry.