Let’s Talk Shoes Part I

wren in redToday I figured I’d start a blog that will be focused on shoes.  It all started with a customer that came to the store this weekend and when I was describing the shoe and how it had a decorative vamp, she looked at me and said, “Oh, I thought the vamp was the bottom portion of the foot”; that made me wonder how many of us actually know the parts of a shoe and what we should look for when going out to purchase them or which ones are appropriate for events such as a job interview.  I know I didn’t know until I got into selling shoes.  So with that in mind, I thought I’d share my findings with you hoping that it will be helpful to you  the next time you go shopping for shoes.

Part one of this series has to do with the construction of the shoe.  In an article written by Drew Waters he explains the anatomy of the shoe along with some helpful hints when choosing a comfortable shoe.  I’ve summarized it and added some of my own thoughts as well, I hope you enjoy the reading.

Knowing how a shoe is constructed will help you in the choices you make. Starting with the front of the shoe which is the toe box some rounded others pointed or even square.  The more room you have in the front for your toes to expand, the more comfortable the fit.

The upper middle part of the shoe, where the laces go if we were talking about sneakers, is called the vamp.  If the shoe has one long piece of soft material it usually will be an indication of comfort.

The sole consist of an insole; inside the shoe and the outer sole which makes contact with the ground. A softer sole will increase comfort.  Personally, if I”m looking for a career shoe, I like to be able to bend the shoes; the more flexibility in the bend tells me it will be comfortable for me to tolerate all day long. 

The heel is the rear part of the shoe.  The higher the heel will add  more pressure to the front of the foot.  I know this to be a fact, especially for those of us that are flat foot.  It is very hard to be on anything higher than a 2″ heel, however, for those of you with a high arch, the higher the heel the more comfort you feel.  I will add that since opening the store I’ve been able to find high heels that I can tolerate all day because of their comfort as well as being fashionable.

The curve inside the shoe near the arch is critical when looking for comfort. The softer the material the more comfortable the fit.  We have some brands that include comfort arches, making the shoes extremely comfortable for those of us with no arch in our feet.

Ill fitting shoes can cause numerous feet ailments such as discomfort, hammer toes, bunions and other deformities.  When choosing your shoes, make sure to use the right width and the right height,  always keeping in mind the occasion for which you will be using them. 

At Big and Elegant we have a variety of shoes for you to select from.  We go out of our way to find shoes that are not just comfortable but fashionable as well.   We have a variety in styles, from walking shoes to our Hi heels for that special event.  We also have your classic pump and your day to day sandals.  Wide widths is our specialty. Big and Elegant where fashion and comfort come  together at affordable pricing.

For more information login to our website www.bigandelegant.com or visit our on line store at www.bigandelegant.cartfly.com. You can also become a fan of our facebook page at www.tinyurl.com/bigandelegant or follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/bigandelegant.

I wish you a wonderful and blessed week full of much success. 

If you wish to read the article in its entirety, it is titled  “The Anatomy of Comfortable Shoes” by Drew Waters and you can access it by copying the link below to your browser: http://www.amazines.com/Online_Shopping/article_detail.cfm/260686?articleid=260686


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  • "I decided to open a shoe store for women with big and/or wide feet where they could shop with pleasure, would not have to sacrifice fashion for comfort and walk out with their head held high."