A lot can be said just by looking at a person’s shoes. It’s the physical embodiment of a person’s taste, status and personality. Based on your choice in reading this article, I can tell that you probably have a job interview to give, maybe a wedding to attend or maybe it’s just a matter of upping you’re game at the workplace. Obviously you want to set an impression and I’m here to make that happen. This guide will provide you with an in-depth understanding on choosing the perfect formal shoes that will satisfy you and wow your peers.
So here we go!
Step 1: Know your size
Knowing your shoe size is the first and most important thing to ensure. I can’t emphasize enough how important this is. Shoes that don’t fit properly will create trip hazards and mess up your posture which can result to injury. I myself was once foolish enough to make such a mistake. As a result I injured my ankle and was bedridden for days. I was young and foolish. Don’t be me.
The technical approach would be to use a Brannock Device which is designed to measure your feet. But this is only necessary if you are planning to custom make your shoe. My advice is to roll with what you got. By now you obviously have gone through a number of shoes in your life time. Determine which previously owned shoe fits you the best. And use its size number to order online. If you look closely they have a number or letter or both at the bottom of the shoe or on the insole (The layer of leather that separates your feet from the bottom of the shoe).
Even better would be to go to a shoe store and try them out yourself. I think this is the best option. As the design of the shoe can also play a part in the fitting. Things you should look out for while trying on a shoe:
- The tip of your toes should not touch the end of your shoe. Make sure there is adequate space in between. Also there shouldn’t be too much space. But this depends on the design of the shoe. Some long shoes are just designed to have a bit of space in between the toes and the end of the shoe.
- The ball of your foot should fit comfortably at the widest part of the shoe. Too tight and that means the shoe is too small and too much space means the shoe is too big. Just walk around and notice if you feel any pain or discomfort in that area.
- The back of the shoe should have adequate grip. The shoe shouldn’t move up and down while you walk.
- The heels should be no higher than 1 inch. A bit shorter than 1 inch is preferable.
Step 2: Look out for the design of the shoe
When it comes to design the shoe market is as vibrant as any other attire. Some prefer shoes with narrow ends and others with squared ends. Now each person is entitled to their taste. And I respect that. But I’m not here to tell you to just run wild and expand upon your taste of fashion. I’m here to be your guide. And it’s my job to tell you what’s best for you.
You shouldn’t go for narrow or squared ones. Both of them come with their own specific set of difficulties and discomfort. My advice is to choose something is between. Not too narrow yet not too broad. Your toes should comfortably rest upon the insole. They shouldn’t be squished together so much so that the toes overlap. Also, there shouldn’t be so much space that you can freely wiggle your toes in every direction.
Make sure the sides of the shoe aren’t in contact with your toes constantly as you stand and walk. But you can feel the leather if you wiggle them. Avoid long ended shoes as they may cause you to trip. There should always be a good balance between function and form. I know you want to look good. But trust me, you don’t want to look uncomfortable.And you can be sure that’s a thing.
Step 3: Make sure it’s made of real leather
Always go for real leather. Yes, they are a bit pricey. But it’s worth it. Formal shoes are about setting an impression. And you’re not going impress anyone with cheap $20 shoes. Formal shoes are not just a piece of clothing. They are an investment. A good pair of shoes may be the deciding factor of you getting that nice job or impressing your boss and colleagues. You cannot work your way up the financial ladder if you don’t work in a nice pair of formal shoes. So invest well. And this how to do it.
- Check the texture. The leather should have wrinkles on it. It shouldn’t be super smooth. Just check your own skin. Real skin is never perfectly smooth. No matter how much polishing is done real leather retains its natural texture.
- The texture is sometimes imitated. So make sure the wrinkles are not consistent. Wrinkles on real leather are irregularly distributed.
- Take a sniff. It might seem weird standing in a shoe store and sniffing shoes. But don’t let the weirdness hold you back. Real leather has a distinct smell that can’t be imitated.
- Check for pores. Real leather will have a number of pores in them which can’t be seen on fake leather.
- Edges will be rough in case of real leather.
- Real leather shoes will be comparatively pricey. Of course this is not an ideal way to judge the authenticity of a leather shoe.
So, we are at the end of our lesson. I decided to write this article “How to choose formal shoes” keeping in mind that there are people out there such as yourself who want to have an impact on the world. No matter where you live or what your profession is, your style and your tastes will speak before your mouth. And if you follow my guide accordingly I can assure you that your shoes won’t just speak. They’ll sing.
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