Now, I realize the shopping season for next year has only just begun, but I absolutely have to put this out there for all of you who are on the way to the mall (or equally disturbing shopping place) where your favorite shoe store is.
Following even just a few of these tips will ensure you are not wasting money on shoes you will wear once and not be able to return. I know few who hold all of the following to be true and self-evident, so I submit to you the best of the Do’s and Don’ts.
The Etiquette Required in a Shoe Store
The etiquette of buying shoes is much more than pulling boxes off of shelves and looking down at a shoe salesman. In order to have a shoe shopping ecstasy, follow these simple rules:
DO bring your own footlets.
This is a new or clean pair of socks or knee-high hosiery. Do not wear them to the store. Place them on your feet only when trying on shoes. Remove them after trying on shoes. This prohibits the exchange of fungi.
DO NOT attempt to try on 10 or more pairs in one sitting.
At most bring three pairs to the fitting. Replace the ones you choose not to buy from the place where you found them if it is a self-service store. Try on all three before asking the salesman to bring you more.
DO look at the shoes in the mirror furthest from the fitting.
This allows you to walk in the shoes, thus eliminating the chance that you buy shoes which will hurt your feet.
DO NOT ask the salesperson if the shoes look good on your feet.
If you have doubt, do not buy the shoes. The salesman’s job is to sell YOU shoes. Chances are good the salesman would tell you the boxes looked good on your feet if it would end in a sale.
DO try on both shoes before you buy.
Human error leads to shoes being placed in the wrong box. Better to find out in the store, than at home, the shoes you bought are two different sizes. Plus, your feet are different sizes. If you do not already know which foot is larger, trying on both will reveal it to you.
DO NOT assume…
…that if one shoe is comfortable, the same shoe in another color will be as well. Dying changes the chemical properties of certain materials. Where one may stretch readily, another may not.
DO buy shoes that will compliment your wardrobe and your foot.
Buying shoes based on the popularity of the style will not guarantee that they will either make your outfit complete or make your foot look its best. I can think of 18 styles off the top of my head which make my foot look like (skis, boxes, hooves).
DO NOT buy one style of shoe in all of its colors.
Not every shoe will fit with all clothes of similar color. The combination of both style and color should compliment the wearer and the clothing. Just because the beautiful boot is great in black with your outfit does not mean the equally fabulous turquoise one will go with your sun dress.
DO buy shoes in the afternoon.
During the day, feet swell due to the pressure put upon them. Buying shoes while your feet are cool and small in the morning may lead to shoes that are too tight after only a few hours.
DO NOT buy shoes after leaving the gym.
Your feet should be clean when you purchase shoes. (Idly wonders if she should comment feet should be clean at other times as well.)
Safety in Numbers
When in doubt, bring your best friend. That is the one person who will tell you whether you have purchased the perfect shoe, or should just wear the boxes!