Whether you’re a bride, bridesmaid or wedding guest, you’ll need a wedding shoe that can take you from ceremony through to the last dance. And if the wedding is at the beach or on a grassy lawn, you can cut stilettos from your options. Luckily, this summer’s trends lend themselves perfectly to comfortable wedding shoe choices, including chunky heels, Birkenstock-inspired sandals, gladiator sandals, cut-out booties and classic pretty flats. (Check out our finds above, all from iconic Vancouver shoe retailer Ingledew’s.)
But to guarantee a night of comfy dancing, you need to start with a properly fitting shoe. For expert tips, we turned to Bill Ingledew, the third-generation CEO of Ingledew’s, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. Ingledew’s is known for its exceptional customer service – which includes measuring every customer’s foot for both width and length to ensure the correct fit. We asked Bill for his advice on choosing a comfortable wedding shoe.
If high heels are a must, how do you find a comfortable pair?
“Finding the perfect fit is a must. Most people don’t know that shoes come in different widths as well as lengths. Even if a shoe is the right length, it will still slip off your foot if it’s too wide. This is why a lot of women buy heels that are actually too short for them. It’s the worst mistake you can make. Not only do your toes get jammed into the front of the shoe, but you aren’t getting any arch or heel support. If you can’t find the right width (not all shoe stores carry a selection), then it’s better to go with a longer shoe and add an insole or pad the inside. Remember, the higher the heel, the more pressure on the balls of your feet, which is why it’s your toes that hurt at the end of a night of dancing. The more pressure you can take off your toes onto your heels and arches with a proper fitting shoe, the better!”
Is it better to choose a smaller shoe that will stretch, or go up in size?
“Sorry to say it, but this shoe probably isn’t for you! If you must choose between the lesser of two evils, go for the longer shoe and pad it. At least you’re going to get support in your arches and avoid scrunching your toes, which can damage both the health and appearance of your feet. We also discourage our customers from buying shoes on the premise of stretching them to fit. If it’s a synthetic shoe, it won’t really stretch that much anyway, and if it’s a softer leather, stretching shoes can actually damage and distort their construction. Besides, shoes take time and wear to stretch – not ideal if you are buying a new pair for a special occasion.”
If a shoe feels comfortable, does that automatically mean it fits correctly?
“That’s definitely a factor. If the shoe doesn’t feel comfortable, then it’s not fitting correctly. A good test for long-lasting comfort is if you can feel your body weight being spread out over the length of the shoe. You should feel pressure on the heel and support from the arch of the shoe, not just weight in the toes.”
What style of shoe is best for a night of dancing?
“You don’t have to wear flats, but I would suggest avoiding sky-high heels. If you’re going with a sandal, I’d also steer clear of skinny spaghetti straps as those will start to dig. As a general rule of thumb, we advise our wedding customers to consider a wedge or thicker heel – especially with so many beach and lawn weddings. The good news is, you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort. Finding a shoe that truly fits will make a world of difference.”