The Insider’s Guide to Shoe Shopping

November 14, 2011 | By | Comments (8)

On the hunt for new shoes this season? Here’s a list of what you should be looking for while you shop, courtesy of famed shoe designer Anyi Lu. (Lu has been designing shoes that feature both supreme Italian construction and modern-day comfort technology for more than five years now. Check out some of her latest styles here.) Happy shopping!

1. Anti-skid soles: They’ll help you stay balanced, while also preventing sudden slipping or sliding in damp weather.

2. A wide toe box: Make sure your toes have enough room to spread out (i.e., they shouldn’t feel scrunched up or restricted when trying on).

3. An evenly balanced heel: Place the shoes on a flat surface before buying to make sure they don’t wobble. This indicates proper construction, which results in more comfortable wear in the long run.

4. Leather lining: Surprisingly, leather lining allows for breathability, as well as expansion and contraction when necessary. After a long day of walking, your feet tend to swell; leather will expand with your foot but also revert back to its original shape the next day.

5. A snug heel: Make sure the end of the shoe, technically referred to as the “heel counter,” properly holds your heel in place. Heavier heels tend to slip off your foot as you walk, so Lu recommends looking for either a lighter shoe or an ultra-snug fit.

6. Size: Lu suggests trying on three sizes before you buy: the size you usually wear, one half size smaller than that, and one half size larger. This ensures you find the perfect fit every time, since different brands and even different styles within the brands tend to vary.

7. Wear-test on a hard surface: Carpeting gives a false sense of cushion and comfort, so when trying on, find a hard surface at the store to walk on.

8. Price: Lu encourages you to think about shoes on a “price per wear” basis. If you’re buying an expensive shoe, then make sure it’s built to last in terms of appearance and construction before you buy.