How Do I Choose the Best High Heels?

High heels can be a great asset to nearly any outfit by adding a touch of glamor and lengthening the silhouette of the body. Choosing the best high heels can depend on several factors, including comfort, suiting an occasion, and seasonality. Other concepts to consider include matching new heels with an existing wardrobe, and how to budget for the best value.

High-heeled shoes that are severely uncomfortable can ruin a long day at work or a fun evening out. To maximize comfort, look for heels that are not too high, and foot beds that are well padded. Remember that shoe size can change between brands and styles, so purchase pairs that fit correctly, rather than just going by normal shoe size. Avoid shoes that pinch or rub the feet when they are tried on, as the problem will often get worse the longer they are worn. For existing shoes that are somewhat uncomfortable, try purchasing a gel insole and lining spots that rub with moleskin for extra protection from blisters.

Wearing glittery high heel dress shoes to an interview, or sporting penny loafer high heel office shoes for a night of fancy dancing can be a fashion faux pas. Consider the type of occasion when choosing high heels in order to avoid appearing inappropriate. To determine if a shoe is correct for an occasion, think of two adjectives that describe the shoe, such as “sexy and sky-high,” and two adjectives that describe the event. If the shoe doesn't fit the event, consider another pair.

Seasonality is important when choosing the right high heels. For winter, think about high heeled boots, which help protect feet from cold and wet conditions, as well as allowing the wearer to sneak on a pair of comfortable socks. Strappy, open-toe sandals are often best for late spring, while espadrilles simply scream for a summer vacation to the islands. For fall, look for high heels that match the cooling temperatures, but consider livening up wardrobe colors with shoes in warm autumn and jewel tones.

A fabulous pair of heels can sit sadly dormant in a closet if the owner has no clothes that match. When purchasing shoes, try to think of a few already-owned outfits that would work with the new pair. This shouldn't deter fashionistas from trying a few daring pairs, however, as nearly any color or style of shoe can be used to accent a dress in a neutral color. If the lime green platforms are calling out from a sea of boring brown pumps, it may be worth the risk.

For a shopper with a limited budget, it may help to consider the value of the shoe before buying. For a high heel that may be worn daily to work, it makes sense to spend a little extra for a quality shoe that will last a long time. When purchasing a trendy shoe that will likely go out of style in a year, look for cheaper brands that allow a lot of flash for a lower price tag. Timeless styles, like a nude or black pump, may be worth a bigger investment, since they may be worn for years and stay in style. Balancing good quality basics with less expensive fun pairs can ensure a high heel wardrobe worth its cost.


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