Shoes for the Bride

Published date: 14th February 2019

Everyone asks the bride-to-be about her dress. Few mention shoes. They should, as the right shoes are great for your look, how you feel about yourself, and for avoiding the protracted agony that ill-fitting, poorly made, unprepared footwear can bring. Be warned.

The shoe thing starts early for very practical reasons. Firstly you need to be wearing them when buying your dress – do they match the style, are they the right height to let it hang properly? – or when visiting your dressmaker to have one made. And even if you are having a pure white dress, it doesn’t follow that the pure white shoes you fancy will be the same white, crazy though that may sound. Think about how white paints differ. So it’s good to take a swatch of the dress material with you when shopping for the shoes. Dying the shoes is an option and not without its concerns, but get professionals to do that.

But what shoes to go for? Among the factors you may wish to consider are: how tall is your intended? In Big Bang Theory when Penny wears heels Leonard feels like her younger brother. It’s the groom’s day to shine too. If that isn’t an issue, how often do you wear heels? If that’s never, don’t start for your wedding. Alternatively, if you feel heels add to your femininity, make you walk more elegantly, or you need the height and you are used to them, go for it.

A big mistake to make is to buy shoes as an isolated thing of beauty. They have to match your theme if you have one – retro, vintage, rustic, classic, Bohemian… As well as the dress. And the season – whispy sandals in a chilly church with ice-cold stone floor? And the venue: some places don’t allow stilettos, for example (if you are booking a fancy yacht with teak decking, they’re a no-no).

A bigger (huge) mistake is the Ugly Sisters trick – going for a smaller size to impress Prince Charming. Didn’t work for them, won’t for you. Get them to fit you, not an imaginary you with feet like a Geisha’s.

But why not boots? There are some gorgeous Victorian lace-ups in white; boots are sexy (you may not get to take them off even after the reception) and tend to be built for comfort, with rather more support than gossamer-thin strappy sandals.

Budget is of course another element to consider. If you can’t afford – or won’t pay – several hundred pounds for Jimmy Choo specials, you can find great shoes for around the £150 mark, and with a bit of looking you’ll see pairs you love at a quarter of that. But you get what you pay for. The more expensive ones generally will have better padding, stronger heels (the ceremony not the place you want one to snap), and fewer bits that rub you to distraction.

So we get round to comfort. Some simple tips: first, wear them in (around the house), you’ll either get them right or find where they rub allowing you to take executive action with blister pads. Second, get a pedicure a few days before the big one so your feet look and feel good in them. Third, consider two pairs instead of one. Heels to wow them at the ceremony and look wonderful in the pictures, flats for the reception. Honestly, can you dance in stilettos?

We say two pairs, but to cover every eventuality you could think four: heels, flats, white wellies for muddy ground if that’s likely, and a – cheaper/existing – insurance pair to cover snapped-heel-hell.

There is a final thing to consider. What happens to them after the big day? Some can be worn for other events, but having them dyed (black is such a safe option) so they can be ‘everyday’ is often possible. Enough practicality. Back to romance, and look at some shoes.

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