We frequently get asked what shoes should be worn. The simple answer is that there is no hard and fast rule on what shoes can be worn. Anything goes.
Shoes can make or break an outfit. Balancing comfort and style are no easy task. There is a plethora of options. Like any accessory, it is how you style the shoes with your chosen look. When I got married, I based my style on my shoes. I purposefully purchased a statement shoe that I felt was elegant, yet sexy and of course, had the bling factor.
I settled on a pair by Italian designer Rene Caovilla. It was a ‘t-strap’ stiletto covered in gorgeous white satin and had jewels along the front of the shoe. And because I purchased the shoes first, the dressmaker matched my dress to my shoes perfectly. I was nervous about them staining, but the shoe designer arranged for them to be professionally scotch guarded. The bonus in buying these shoes was that I could and did dye them in black. The heel height was 100 mm. I usually wore higher shoes, but logic prevailed, and I chose comfort over height.
The choices were staggering. I knew I did not want a patent shoe (I got married in summer and patent in the heat is not forgiving), not too high as I had to be in them for at least 12 hours, minimal heel-to-toe-drop, be on the broader side, not chunky and finally, be comfortable.
Today, if getting married, I would choose a block heel to prevent me from sinking in the grass and ruining my shoe’s heel. Possibly with a built-in platform for added comfort. Would I do a wedge, that would depend on the chunkiness? Would I do a bling sneaker, probably not? That does not mean a bride cannot.
To aide in the decision-making process, here are a few options:
One of my favourite heels. I find these to offer good support mainly from the front of the foot. Great for standing all day. These types of heels come in varying heights and styles. This type of heel will not dig into the grass, and you can walk on any uneven surface without damaging your heel. My tip for a block heel is to make sure the foot-to-toe ratio is spot-on; otherwise, you feel pain throughout the day.
An alternative to the block heel is a square or flared heel that could also work with varying dress styles. A flared heel has a bit more of a wow factor to it.
Image: Badgley Mischka https://www.instagram.com/p/CDvrnY5HuWw/
Surprisingly, a Cuban heel could work, depending on the outfit. The heel would provide good support due to the medium-low height options.
Image : Pinterest
Like a block heel, wedged heel shoes come in varying heights. I find wedges a flattering on feet and easy to stand in all day. As wedges can be quite chunky, you need to have your outfit when trying these shoes. In my experience, the wedge heel can look wrong when paired with a formal gown.
Image : Badgley Mischka https://www.instagram.com/p/CFKJwaIAn6m/
Love this type of heel, striking. Diverse in height, width and style. As you will be in the shoe all day, I recommend that the foot-to-toe ratio be spot on to prevent any pain running through your foot. Stiletto heels do dig into the grass and can be easily damaged. A heel protector can prevent damage.
An alternative for those wanting a high thin heel stiletto shoe, consider one with an inbuilt platform. I find an in-built platform to look more stylish. If you cannot find a shoe like this, any platform will work. A platform still creates the wow factor and takes any pressure away from the foot. Another option is a cone heel or a spool heel. Both types of heels are timeless in style. Easier to walk on the grass and uneven surfaces. Feet friendlier when you have to be in them all day. Again, these come in varying heights.
Image: Rene Caovilla https://www.instagram.com/p/CFXUD5oh73O/
A kitten heel is a good option for those who prefer a stylish low heel. By far a sensible choice in comfort. Again, watch for the grass and uneven surfaces as the small heel will get damaged. Not wanting to deal with the grass headache, consider a French Heel. A kitten heel only thicker.
Image : Pinterest
Sneakers are on trend now. Should they be worn with a wedding dress? Firstly, you need a sneaker with bling. If you are going to wear a pair, make them stand out. Secondly, it depends on the wedding dress and the theme of the wedding. There are no hard and fast rules. Wear what works and what’s great about sneakers is that you can customise them to suit your dress.
The slipper-like in design with a very thin or completely flat heel with a closed toe. These type of shoes are not as supportive as other shoes due to the lack of arch system to help absorb the brunt of the pressure the feet endure every day. I would recommend you change into these more towards the end of the night if you are experiencing pain from your shoes.
Image: Nicholas Kirkwood Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/B91rFtpJRAX/
Stretching your shoes
We get asked how to stretch your shoes. There are so many hacks on YouTube that can give tips on how to stretch your shoes. I wore my shoes with thick socks and walked around the house and the block street a month prior. Regardless, when you are in your shoes for 10 hours plus, they will hurt.
Have band-aids with you or a blister block type product that can prevent blisters from forming and rubbing on your shoes. If you have bunions or corns, there are protectors you can buy that will help stop rubbing.
Despite my efforts in stretching my shoes, I lasted in my shoes up until the last two hours of the reception. I had to peel my shoes off and slip into thongs. Now that hurt. Have a go-to-most-comfortable shoe with you, just in case.
The material of the shoe is another factor to consider. Leather is the most comfortable and hard-wearing but can look a bit boring. If opting for a material, a good cobbler can protect the fabric.
Another consideration is to select a shoe based on the width, arch height and length of your foot. Addressing these factors will aid in your comfort. If you are getting married in summer, feet swell so do not try shoes on when the weather is cool. When trying on shoes and it feels uncomfortable, put the shoe down. It is not for you.
If your shoes are a statement piece, add a coloured shoe such as gold, silver, or a bold colour like red, or maybe blue. A coloured shoe will give your outfit a pop and add that extra something.
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Main Image: Instagram Badgley Mischka https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqOO9RjcYNdVl6cICFDCDcA