Shoes are deceiving. The most beautiful lace-up sandals can give you the ugliest blisters a few hours in. And those seemingly modest heels can leave you hobbling in pain. Here, five easy ways to spot a comfy shoe that won’t betray you later.
1. Look for a stacked heel. The thicker the heel, the more evenly spread the pressure will be on your feet, and the more supported you’ll feel.
2. Try to find wider straps. They will literally strap your feet into the shoe so you’ll have more stability while walking…or dancing at yet another wedding. Bonus points for ankle straps or sling-backs.
3. Go for a padded sole. For heeled shoes, padding relieves some of the pressure you typically feel on the balls of your feet. And for flats, it helps absorb shock and provides some much-needed arch support.
4. Always choose natural materials. Suedes and leathers will mold to your feet, which helps prevent any slipping around or chafing. Synthetics, on the other hand, have less give and airflow–the biggest culprits of blisters.
5. Check the stability. Prop the shoe on a flat surface and give it a gentle nudge with your finger. If it wobbles or tips over easily, it’s probably not sturdy enough to keep you balanced.