Let’s take a walk on the comfy side…

“Heel Lover” wants to know:

Dear Shoeru,
I’m a college girl who is constantly walking around campus.  I need an affordable pair of comfortable shoes that will allow me to walk all day without dying, but at the same time, I’m a big high heels fan.  Whenever I’m out shopping or going places on weekends, I always wear heels, and I find it hard to part with them during the week.  My jeans are always too long for flats, and I feel like my legs look fatter without heels.  Do you have any solutions for this conundrum?
Heel Lover

In my “old age” I find myself starting to focus a wee bit more on comfort than I did a few years ago. Truthfully, in college I had a pair of black knee high boots that I wore all fall and winter until the heel actually broke off in my living room. (Luckily, this did not happen while trudging down a hill on campus.) (Although that probably would have been funny.) (Just not to me.)

Before I move on to the shoe portion of this question, I have to recommend finding a pair of jeans you can wear with flats. Jeans that are too long will pool at the bottom of your feet, not only causing damage to the jeans, but actually adding to the issue you are uncomfortable with. If you feel your legs look heavy, the last thing you want to do is add extra bulk to them. Wearing jeans that are the right length (for flats, just over the top of your foot, with heels, to mid heel at the highest) can make all the difference in how your legs appear.

If you have a brand of jeans you absolutely love but they don’t come in a shorter version, buy two pairs and have one hemmed for flats. I know this seems like an extra expense, but think about the payoff in the end.

Um, sorry. You asked about shoes, right?

OK, assuming that giving up heels is completely out of the question, the goal is to find one with a larger, shorter heel than your Friday night beauties.

These cute red ones (they come in black too) fit the bill. The leather makes them all-season appropriate, the shorter heel is great for walking around campus and the gel heel insert is just one more comfort factor to tie the package together.

Valora II by Fitzwell, $79

Valora II by Fitzwell, $79

If you’re willing to go with a shorter jean, there are a slew of comfort lines that have stepped up their designs. No orthopedic shoes here. Clarks is one line that has really made improvements over the last few years. Made famous by their collection of clogs, they now have everything from flats to mary janes. These give you a little bit of height, are easy for running around in and are still cute.

Mettie by Clarks, $89

Mettie by Clarks, $89

Hopefully that will get you on your way. Seriously, check out the comfort lines. And if you’ve got some major moola to spend, head over to Cole Haanand check out their women’s line with Nike technology.  The shoes include Nike Air cushioning and claim to be uber comfy.

And Nicki says:

Hi Molly!
I love your blog and had a shoeru question for you. So, normally I’m not much of a shoe girl…I’m getting better though I promise! 🙂 In any case, here’s my question for you. I do a lot of wedding photography, so spend a lot of time on my feet on the weekends shooting. The events are fabulous, but the hours are long and not much chance to sit down as I don’t want to miss a shot. So, my question for you, I need a nice looking cute flat shoe that gives my aching feet some support! I have some cute black flats, but my arches just kill the next day. Is there anything that would look cute that won’t murder my feet? I usually wear some form of black slacks to events, and nothing too flashy so as not to distract from the people I’m photographing! Oh, and also, one last request, nothing too expensive if you can find it!
Any ideas?
You’re the bestest!
-Aching photo’s feet

If you’re on your feet a lot, I would start with the same suggestion as above. Comfort lines! As a matter of fact, that pair of Clarks would be great. But a word to the wise: break them in first. A friend of mine wore brand new clogs to a trade show without breaking them in and was very, very sorry. I like to put on thick socks and walk around the house for a few days. It tends to do the trick.

These have a small heel, but not too high that it would bother you all night.

Tres Chic by Naturalizer, $74

Tres Chic by Naturalizer, $74

 I recommended these shoes in the past and Dreamgrrl bought them. “They are my favorite work shoes,” she says. “They are like little clouds under your feet, no blisters, and they match with everything without looking like old lady nursing shoes (which i was a little afraid of).”

An actual first-hand testimonial. Doesn’t get much better than that!

Indigo by Clarks, $69

Indigo by Clarks, $69

I’ve never used them personally, but for a profession where you’re on your feet all day it might not hurt to have custom arch support made for you. Ask your doctor for a referral.