5 Deeply Unflattering Styles To Avoid When Shoe Shopping

1) Strap Positioning
Straps that hit across the widest part of the foot are to be avoided at all costs. An ankle strap or Mary Jane strap that sits a bit higher or lower is best. Also note strap tension. A too-taught strap along the toes can give the appearance of (or highlight) foot flaws such as bunions.

2) Shaft Height
Beware of boots that stop at the dreaded mid-knee — never an area one should highlight. Tall styles should either be just below or cut clearly above knees to give legs the most length. Of course, this affects everyone differently so be sure to try before you buy or ask for shaft measurements.

3) Big Foot
With their lack of vertical arch compared to high heels, the longer shoe lasts of flat or kitten styles can make feet resemble boats. To prevent this, look for versions that are cut low on the vamp (revealing toe cleavage) or with curvy heels that are placed more forward on the heel as opposed to the very back of the shoe.

Higher vamp styles can still be flattering so long as the toe shape is rounded. Coco Chanel’s answer to this was the black clever toe cap she developed on beige shoes to create a more ideal proportion.

4) Fit
Shoes that gape at the back give the appearance of playing dress-up in mom’s closet and often look even more ridiculous when the subject tries to walk. Insoles can often help solve this, but they can only do so much.

On the flip side, too-tight shoes not only will cause foot pain, but one’s face (and gait) will likely show the strain as well. Shoes are not like jeans: One can’t just squeeze into a desired size and hope for the best.

Ill Fitting Shoes
Avoid ill fitting shoes.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock.

5) All About The Toe
Keep your wardrobe updated with refreshed toe shapes that weigh heavily on the classics. Things change, with chisel and square toes looking right again. Elongated almond toes flatter all, while overly round toes can stunt one’s legs or make feet appear disproportionately small.

On heeled styles, a pointed toe works for nearly everyone, but make sure they are in good condition and not curling upwards, as single-sole pumps tend to do over time, a major no-no.

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