453217897What’s your first memory of your feet going bad? I hear a collective sigh right now, which actually brings me comfort knowing I am not alone (misery loves company).

What’s your first memory of your grandmother?  Here’s mine, a trifecta of sorts: She had the softest skin, she collected salt and pepper shakers from around the world (despite never having left Rhode Island) and she had the ugliest shoes – ever!  I did inherit soft skin, don’t have a clue where the salt & pepper shakers went after an ugly family dispute (everyone has a crazy uncle) and damn, I refuse to wear the ugly shoes.

Here is my first memory of my feet going bad. I was sixteen years old, standing in the window as a model at Ann Taylor, and after 5 hours of mannequin-like posing I wanted to just stick a fork in my eye!  Fast forward to the era of Pappagallo shoes – any Bostonians remember the Pappagallo Store on Newbury Street? Basically all the shoes looked the same – pumps, pumps and more pump. Wear those forty hours a week, and even a five year old would develop bunions.

Yes, I said the word that most can’t spell – B-U-N-I-O-N-S.  Crap – where do they even come from? It’s like my toes have become fingers and I am holding up the number five like a spread eagle!

My rock-bottom-moment? When I was working in Manhattan as a buyer with 6M to spend in the market (you’d think with that kind of change, I could buy a shoe store) and I found myself at the end of a 10-hour day, thirty blocks from my hotel, and oh… did I mention it was raining? Been to NYC? When it rains the cabs disappear – quite the phenomenon.

What’s a bunion girl to do? You got it…I hobbled barefoot back to the Novotel and hoped the doorman had a bucket of lime for me to rinse my feet in before proceeding to the bar to deaden the senses.

So that’s my story – what’s yours? Here are a few quotes from my client questionnaires – if you recognize your quote, no worries, you are still anonymous, but now you know you are not alone!

The Question: Do you have any foot or shoe challenges?

The Responses:

  • I have a large bunion on my right foot – do they sell shoes in 2 different sizes?
  • My feet are size 11 narrow – yikes!
  • Wide front foot and boney narrow heel and boney, boney (lots of boney here) ankles, high arch, low threshold to pain – whew!
  • High arches – cannot wear flat shoes…
  • Flat feet – cannot wear high arches…
  • I am extra curvy – even my feet…

Must I continue? As I’ve mentioned, my issue is of course HUGE bunions – ugly as hell. Considered moving to the North Pole so I could wear boots 12 months of the year, but alas, very few clients up there are concerned with their wardrobe image, so here I stay.

Here are a few tips & tricks – we are going to focus on shoes that are at the very least – a bit fashionable here! We all know the ugly boxes we can find, but let’s try to bump it up from my grandmother’s shoes.

Shoe ‘fittings’ are just like clothing ‘fittings’. You must buy to accommodate the largest part of the foot and then ‘tailor’ from there. Similar to buying a jacket where you have to fit for the shoulders and then perhaps have the waist tucked in or the sleeves shortened. Shoe widths are available in wide and double wide! You can actually search online at stores like Zappos by width, size, color, price, arch support, heel height and even wide-calf for boot season! We could go on for days with the ‘options by issues’ but for the sake of space let’s talk bunions.

If bunions are your issue, then go for the wide size to accommodate the ‘curves’. Look for a shoe with an adjustable back strap so you can secure the heel.

These are my favorite sandals

Munro Abby Slingback BootieThese are my favorite wedges

Circa Joan & David Wedge

These are stylishly simple with a patent cap toe, slingback heel, and foam cushion footbed. Great traveling shoes!

And these are my very favorite flats – Attilio Giusti Leombruni aka AGL’sPay the piper – your feet will thank you! Considering that you might buy six pairs of inexpensive uncomfortable flats this season, rethink the plan and invest in one pair that will last for years and give your feet the respect they deserve!

Here’s an extra comfort tip! If buying closed back shoes, use heel grips to keep ‘your’ heels comfortably secure. Try my favorite 3-pack from Foot Petals, which contains Tip Toes, Heavenly Heelz and Blisstick!

Still struggling? Let’s talk! Sign up here for a complimentary 30-minute phone consult. We’ll chat about your feet, your body, your closet, your clothing, your budget and whatever else comes up! I look forward to ‘meeting’ you on the phone!

Doreen Dove empowers women to use style as a tool to take strategic control of their image. She is an image consultant, personal stylist and professional speaker. Her extensive background in all aspects of retail has uniquely qualified her to work with women of all ages and professions, coaching them to personal style success.  www.DoreenDove.com.



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