You and I both know the dirty little secret behind that fantabulous pair of spring shoes you bought. They were glittering in the store, calling out to you, they were maybe royal blue patent with metallic piping, or five-inch wedge espadrille platform slingbacks that created a exceptionally towering silhouette, or maybe they were bejeweled with a tiny cluster of faux rubies on the toebox, or textured linen or had a glazed cork heel or a python embossed leather or they were simply the richest color of red you had ever laid eyes upon. Whatever the shoes, be they ballet flat or stiletto, we women see them, we idealize them, we buy them. And then we wear them. We rarely give them a little trial wear or see where trouble spots might be or have extra band-aids in our purse. No, we wear them willy-nilly out into the streets, fully unprepared, with a singular focus: how amazing our new pair of shoes looks! How they go perfectly with our ensemble! How Jane at the office will swoon in envy! Then the secret reveals itself (and this is not one about attraction, ladies!) for all our enviable shoe beauty, we are in PAIN. We are suffering. But we minimize: it's only a blister! Or but they look so cuuuuute, I can't take them off.
Darlings, I am here to tell you, that even the most fabulous pair of shoes, just like the most fabulous man, needs a little time to settle in, a few moments to prepare and a little padding before you can go from zero to 60 in seconds flat.
First, take them for a test drive: When you get your shoes home from the store, still starry-eyed from their perfection, wear them around your apartment for a few hours. If you feel a little pressure somewhere on your foot, you can guarantee it will be a trouble spot later on. Identify these spots and then:
Second, prepare and pad: Pad up the inside of your shoe accordingly. Every foot has different issues.
Common trouble spots are heels (all new shoes) and ball of foot (stilettos). For heels break them in by pressing the heel in towards the inside of the shoe to break the stiffness. Then pad up with heel pads -- Dr. Scholls For Her is always a good choice.
Use moleskin foam with adhesive for any other trouble spots you might feel. Cut a snippet of moleskin and stick the adhesive side to the inside of your shoe wherever you feel a bit of pressure. Think of this as taking your shoes to the tailor to get a perfect fit.
Determine if you need any other insoles or padding -- will you standing all day? Walking around, etc? Only you know your comfort level so add insoles and ball of foot padding accordingly.
Then, and only then, when you have prepared for the road ahead, go out and adventure at will. To be smart, bring a backup pair of worn-in shoes, just in case.
Third, recoup and make adjustments: When you come back from a day of wearing your new shoes, do a quick audit -- where are there trouble spots? Do I have any blisters? How do I feel in them? Figure out where you might need to make adjustments and add extra padding. And for goodness sake, if you have a blister DO NOT wear those shoes again the next day. Give your feet at least a three to four day resting period, and every night before bed soak your feet in lukewarm water and rub in a thick, unscented lotion (this will aid blister healing faster). How many of us just put those shoes right back on the next day? No, my precious, no. The shoe, like the man, can wait.
If your shoes are very, very cantankerous, and if they are 100 percent leather, I do propose something absolutely radical. That is to get the shoes completely wet. Either by using a spritzer or by running them underneath the tap. Then put the shoes on your feet and wear them until dry. They should completely form to your foot in all its unique character perfectly.
So, you see there is no need to suffer, no need to walk around with blisters oozing and falling off Band-aids (besides being painful, not such a chic look). Skip the martyrdom and enjoy your new spring shoes, my darlings!