Knowing what shoes to wear for professional, dress, and casual-dress occasions is easier than ever as more comfort manufacturers enter the womens shoe market.
The basic styles are the
The womens pump is a simple slip-on with rounded vamp and any height heel.
The vamp is the most visible part of the shoe covering the toes and front of the foot.
The most comfortable womens dress shoes will have a heel height of two-inches or lower.
Other variations of the classic womens pump are a square vamp, a V vamp, open-toes, and even the sling-back.
When you are wondering what-shoes-to-wear, the classic pump is the perfect choice. It goes with skirts, dresses, and dressier slacks.
You cannot go wrong with a classic pump. The selection of extremely-comfortable-shoes for dress and business wear is widening briskly.
One variation of the classic pump is the ballerina flat, a pump with almost no heel height.
The small tie at the front of the typical ballerina flat, mimicking the tie on actual ballet dance slippers, illustrates the embellishments that may decorate a womens pump.
Bows, grommets, and contrasting trim may add visual interest to the classic womens pump.
Some of these, such as bows, may be clipped on by you to change the look of the shoe. Hair accessories may work and crafty gals may design their own.Bows, rhinestones, and the like do not dress up plaid slacks and shorts or Capri-length slacks. They suggest that the wearer does not know what-goes-with-what.
On the other hand, a plain ballet flat goes with almost everything. It's understated elegance keep the eyes focused on other costume elements.
If you wear diabetic orthotics, here are some suggestions for diabetic dress shoes.
If you want comfortable womens dress shoes, the sling-back is a questionable choice. This style replaces the back of the shoe with an adjustable strap, usually with a buckle and elastic.
Elastic is prone to stretch. Then, the straps slide down on one's hose. I have to bend down to reposition the straps frequently, sometimes after walking only a brief distance.
I wouldn't want to flee from a possible attacker wearing these.
As for open-toe shoes, my feet slide down and the opening pinches.
Employers usually prefer that women wear closed-toe shoes for safety reasons. Imagine dropping a toner cartridge on your exposed feet!
The more formal and expensive your work environment, the less appropriate are slingback and open-toe shoes. Do not wear these to an upscale law office, court, or employment interview.
Open-toe and sling-back shoes are flirty and feminine. This is not the image to project as a mature women at work.
They are fine for dressier occasions.
Each of us, however, has uniquely shaped feet and comfort needs. You have to decide for yourself if these style options are for you.
Many formerly athletic shoe manufacturers -- such as Timberland and Merrell -- are now manufacturing Mary Janes as they move into the womens dress and casual shoe markets.
The Mary Jane has a dainty, feminine look. The stylish strap is a design element that conceals the extra attention to fit provided by the cross-strap.
If you are wondering what-shoes-to-wear with everday dresses, and skirts, the Mary Jane may be worn for all but the dressiest occasions.
You also may wear the Mary Jane with long slacks that conceal the strap. Then they look like classic pumps.
Most of the time, we would not wear a Mary Jane shoe with a chiffon ball gown or a sophisticated little black dress.
You may be able to hide the Mary Jane beneath a very long evening skirt or full palazzo-style pants. In a pinch, we can -- in the words of fashion guru Tim Gunn -- make it work.
The Mary Jane also is serviceable when worn with a pant suit, so long as your pants are long enough to have a break.
The break is a tiny fold where the front of the slacks meets your instep. This naturally hides the strap, so only the smooth vamp appears outside the slacks.
Slacks with a slight break is a more professional look and creates a long, lean line that flatters most figures. It is not professional to show socks and ankles between the top of the shoe and the slacks' hem.
The break, a term I am borrowing from menswear, is not a dreadfully rumpled bottom that needs to be hemmed.
An appropriate break may be achieved if the pant hem meets the place where the shoe upper meets the heel. This length may need to extend slightly past that seam if you are wearing a higher heel or 1.5-2.5 inches.
I like to fit my slacks for a relatively low-heeled shoe. Then, if I switch to a 2-inch heel, my ankles still will not show. The front of the pant will brush or nearly brush the top of my foot.
If you have attractive, well-shaped legs, the Mary Jane is versatile enough to wear for more casual occasions with shorter slacks and even with Capri pants.
Comfortable casual shoes come in a wide range of styles, including womens lace up shoes, slip-ons, and clogs.
Now that you know what-shoes-to-wear for business and everyday outfits, let's consider the opportunities for shopping online.
I started pampering my increasingly happy feet some time ago. Finding comfortable womens dress shoes locally may involve endless driving, only to discover a style I like that’s not available in my size and no longer in production.
Ordering online shoes saves me lots of time and frustration.
Naturalizer offers an incentive to shop online with exclusive offers available only on the web. Shop now for Naturalizer styles available online only at Naturalizer.com!. I have at least two pairs of Naturalizer flats that offer good comfort and value for the price.
Free Shipping BOTH ways on Shoes at Zappos.com!. So far, I have not encountered any unadvertised return shipping charges for shoes at Zappos -- but such policies can change at any time.
In addition, Zappos has complete descriptions of the padding in comfortable womens dress shoes and product reviews by customers like you.
Zappos.com even has a glossary of shoe-related words, such as vamp and slingback. Just type "glossary" into the search box on the home page.