Forget the black ice – for Fridays, Saturdays and the other days that round out the week, high heels are imperative for tying an outfit together and offering that particular je ne sais quoi. However, like any statement or wearable accessory, certain atrocities ensue that serve only to damage your feet, shoes and overall style. So to prevent such situations from arising, here’s our guide to the biggest high heels faux pas and how to avoid them.
We’ve all stuffed our feet into size seven heels in hopes that a particular designer took some liberties and made them eight (present company included). However, regardless of promises made by hopeful salespeople, despite the fact that leather (or suede or any other material) allegedly stretches, by wearing a shoe that’s too small, you won’t only suffer blisters and momentarily deformed feet, you can pull muscles in your back and sprain toes – not to mention look like a baby deer learning to walk as you pull yourself from the nightclub and vow never to wear heels again. If they don’t have your size, ask them to order from elsewhere – or move on to another style. Regardless of how cute they may look on, you’ll only learn to weep at their presence after a fateful evening out.
Contrary to popular belief, investing in heels that are too big is not the answer to cancelling out a pair too small, and similar to the torment your feet will go through when squeezing them into a miniature size, too-large heels can cause blisters, strain (as you fight to keep them from slipping off) and make your feet seem larger than life – which is a bad thing considering heels have the tendency to elongate as is. True, a little extra room can be taken care of thanks to insoles, but if you’re wearing worksocks in hopes of making them fit, it’s time to move on to your natural size.
The cardinal rule of new high heels: before you wear them to an all-night event, spend time wearing them around the house so your feet can adjust. While certain designers boast footwear that’s so comfortable you can avoid the ritualistic break-in, most heels require some wear before you’re free of an evening defined by blisters and regret. And while you may think you’re an exception to the rule, remember how most women look when walking home barefoot in moments of heel-based frustration – you’re better than that.
True, chunky heels and statement wear have become embedded in the styles of the 2011 season, but while a clunky heel can balance out a mini-dress or add substance to an otherwise basic ensemble, donning a shoe too delicate will only serve to underplay what you’re already wearing. Kitten heels and super-girly styles are perfect for pencil skirts and 60s themes, but when wearing high-waisted pleated trousers, a commanding shoe is needed to anchor their already-dynamic presence. While you may think a bold shoe is risky, to opt for a quiet, small heel will only serve to wrong you.