My love for shoes is no big secret. The only thing that makes my stomach lurch more than looking at my bank balance after shelling out money for a pair of hot shoes, is when I fall in love with a pair of hot shoes to discover that they don't make it in Yeti size. Nevertheless, in my years of traipsing in heels, and shopping for new shoes wearing new shoes, I've learnt a thing or two, so here's your exhaustive list of shoe shopping like a true shoeaholic shopaholic!
Fitting If you have a good shoe, you've half-conquered an outfit. Provided if the shoe fits properly! I've stuffed my tootsies in heels too small [and to many of my dearest vertically-challenged friends, too high] and I've suffered enough. The best time to shop for heels, or shoes in general is when you've walked heaps, so your feet are more swollen then they are at the very beginning of the day.
Can't Find Shoes Your Size? Join the club. Like clothes, I hate when people tell me what I can and cannot wear. I've been told I shouldn't wear pointy-toe shoes because it'll make my feet look bigger. Up yours - the shoes look hot on me, and considering what you're wearing, you shouldn't be giving fashion advice. Wear what you like [except for Crocs. Crocs is where fashion goes to die, no matter what they come up with, they can't redeem themselves for making the ugliest shoe mankind has ever seen], and what looks good on you.
My years of online shopping, globe-trotting and shoe-hunting has given me quite the list of places online and offline to shop, so below is my go-to list. The sizes are based on what fit my feet, because size charts differ from one website to another. Some make UK 8.5 to be a US 11, some make EU 41 to be a US 10.
Shoes that fit me best are US Size 11/ US Size 8.5 - 9/ EU Size 43.
- ASOS: Goes up to a US 11/ UK 9/ EU 42, but unfortunately, the biggest sizes are usually flats and sneakers.
- Irregular Choice: Their crazy shoes may not be for everybody, but some styles go up to EU 43.
- Jeffrey Campbell: Goes up to a US 11/ UK 9/ EU 42, and has a generous fitting, probably to accommodate the men who wear women's shoes.
- J. Crew: My to-go spot when I'm in the States during the summer because they make such lust-worthy sandals. Goes down from a US 5 [holy tiny feet, Batman!] to US 12. J. Crew now shops to Singapore, in case you haven't heard!
- Michael Kors: Goes up to a US Size 11.
- New Look: In local stores in Singapore, sizes go up to US 10.5/ UK 8/ EU 41, but their sizes are not consistent, and tend to fluctuate. The website, or if you're in the UK, stocks up to US 11/ UK 9/ EU 42.
- Nine West: I've never liked the selection of shoes Nine West has here, but the ones in the States are awesome. It helps that their shoes go up to a generous US 12.
- River Island: Stores in Singapore only stock up to UK 8, but you can buy up to UK 9 online.
- Steve Madden: Stores in Singapore only goes up to a US 9 and the occasional US 10, but you can get up to US 11 online, or in the stores in the US.
Luxury brands like Christian Louboutin, Chloe Jimmy Choo, Lanvin, Miu Miu, Brian Atwood [my favourite!!], Giuseppe Zanotti, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Marc Jacobs go up to an EU 42, and the occasional 43. If you're traipsing to Europe, the States or the UK and coveting a pair of shoes, get a local boutique to ring up one in the city you're going to, and do your research and pick the one closest to your hotel to check if they have your size. Alternatively, you should hit up shoe floors at department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and discover wicked shoes up close and personal. My blood pressure goes up every time I'm there, it's so much bloody fun!
In Singapore, other than high street shops, you can hit SOLE 2 SOLE in Millenia Walk and look for shoes by Meher Kakalia and Shumoo. These shoes go up to an EU 44!
Also - outlet malls and stores like DSW are my favourite places to buy shoes because it's self serve and nobody has to dampen your spirits and tell you the shoes that you're coveting doesn't come in your size!
Your Cobbler is Not a Magician There's just so much magic a cobbler can do. The stretching service cobblers offer only really works if you're having your shoes widened. Slingbacks can have more holes punched in them. But if they don't fit, or make you want to reach out for drugs or tequila [or both!], return them while you can!
Out Damn Spot Quickie how-to for stains on various types of shoes. If these fail, take 'em to a professional cleaner:
- Black shoes: Spruce up black leather by rubbing it with the inside of the rind of an orange.
- Suede: Protect your suede shoes with a spray by 3M that's easily available at hardware stores, and some shoe stores. Bring suede back to life with a steam over a hot kettle for a minute and then quickly brush it with a suede brush.
- Patent: Give patent shoes a good gleam with a rub of Vaseline. If your shoes are expensive, then spend some more money on some patent leather cream. Patent is a bitch to upkeep, and when it's scuffed or stained, more often than not, it's time to retire them.
Treat Your Feet With all the running for the bus, stilt-walking, and shoe-stuffing your feet need to put up with, here are some ways you can treat your feet.
- Pedicures: I hate people touching my feet, but after four months of not having one since I'm petrified of someone touching my broken toe, I realise how much difference pedicures make.
- Wash them right: Make a point to wash your feet [and between your toes!] with a washcloth carefully and regularly. Yes, that means bending over in the shower to soap them up; if you can't balance safely, use a long-handled shower brush or sit on a chair outside the tub as you wash your feet under the faucets. Be sure to dry feet completely, including between the toes. This wash-and-dry system lessens problems such as athlete's foot, odor, bacteria and fungus.
- Soak your feet: I love soaking my feet in warm water, especially after traipsing in heels all the time.
Now, go forth & shop!