Wedding shoes for the organized and practical bride

It’s springtime in the Southern Hemisphere, and spring is always a popular season for weddings. I’ve been invited to 3 weddings over the next 3 months. I’ve accepted all the invitations and will attend these weddings, even though they are being held in 2 different countries, in different continents even!

All these wedding invitations made me think that I should write about weddings and bridal shoes. I feel that the word ‘wedding’ is an excuse to double the price of anything. For instance, flowers, stationery, dinner or cake – add in the words ‘for a wedding’, and suddenly the price is double what it usually costs, even though it’s not any fancier.

Another thing I’ve realized, especially if a bride is looking for a dress or shoes, is that the word ‘white’ doesn’t seem to exist. Instead of ‘white’, this colour is described as cream, ivory, pearl, snow, or even champagne-coloured. Yes, there really are 50 shades of white.

Also, bridal shoes seem to only come in one style – the strappy stiletto. Even if that may not be what you want to wear. So this post is about how to have comfortable shoes on your wedding day. Let’s say you’ve chosen to wear stilettos or heels for the big day. My advice would be to break them in before the wedding day. A few weeks before the wedding, spend one whole day wearing the chosen bridal shoes. This gives you an idea of what the shoes will feel like, and also gives you time to recover from any resulting blisters. There’s nothing worse than being in pain from wearing uncomfortable shoes on a day as important as your wedding. If there’s going to be dancing, be sure to practice dancing while wearing the bridal shoes.


Gel insoles can be used to make stilettos more comfortable (Photo by Chang Shih Yen).

You can increase the comfort level of stilettos by putting gel insoles inside your stilettos. You can get them for your heels or balls of your feet. If you wear stilettos to a beach wedding or a garden or outdoor wedding, the stiletto heels are going to sink into the sand, grass or mud. Unless you plan on walking on tip toes the whole time (not recommended because it’s uncomfortable and you look like a moron!), one option is to get heel stoppers. These are kind of like plugs that you fit on to the bottom of the heels of stilettos and they stop the stilettos from sinking into sand or mud when outdoors.

Another option for the practical bride is just to wear flats. Who says you have to wear strappy stilettos to a wedding? Especially if you’re wearing a long wedding dress that will cover your shoes anyway, you might as well choose to wear comfortable shoes. Who’s going to be looking at your shoes when you’re wearing a wedding dress?


Flat Mary-Jane style shoes for the practical bride (Photo by Jenna Maxwell).

If all else fails, have a back-up pair of shoes somewhere, and you can slip them on after all the formal photos have been taken.


Lamborghini Superleggera and concept shoes

On 27th October 2012, Auckland man Eddie Freeman broke the New Zealand land speed record in a modified Lamborghini Superleggera worth over NZ$ 450 000. He hit a speed of 355.485 km/h at Ohakea Air Base. The previous record of 348.23 km/h was set in 1996 by Owen Evans in a Porsche 911 Turbo. That record almost cost Evans his life when he lost control of the Porsche.

Eddie Freeman in his Lamborghini Superleggera on the way to break the New Zealand land speed record (Photo by Murray Wilson for Fairfax NZ).

Have you ever seen strange-looking concept cars? Concept cars are made to showcase new designs or new automotive technology, and they may never go into production. Now here’s something I like to call concept shoes – the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera high heels.

Lamborghini Superleggera stilettos by Photoshop artist Tim Cooper

Photoshop artist Tim Cooper created these images using his wife’s high heels and photos of the Lamborghini. Tim Cooper 3D is an image creation studio based in the UK. I don’t know if he intended the pun – Super-LEG-gera – but it’s a very suitable name for high heels. Like a concept car, these shoes are just a concept and are not currently in production.

How to walk in stiletto heels

It’s December and there are always many parties at this time of the year, like end of year functions, Christmas parties and New Year’s eve parties. Since it’s the party season, I thought I would write about stiletto heels – the quintessential party shoe. Women love stiletto heels because they instantly make you taller and make your legs look longer. Here are some of my tips for how to rock in your stilettos.

First, are those heels too high for you? If your ankles wobble when you’re standing straight in your heels, then YES those heels are too ambitious for you. Start with a lower heel.

So, how do you walk in stiletto heels? Personally, I find it helpful to lean back a bit and concentrate on a heel-toe, heel-toe action when walking. If your weight is too much forward or if you’re trying to walk with your weight on the balls of your feet, your feet are going to hurt a lot by the end of the night. It’s probably bad for your posture to do that too.

Wearing stilettos is a bit like trying to navigate an obstacle course. Stairs, gravel, cracks in the pavement all become safety hazards when you’re wearing stiletto heels. To go up and down stairs, always hold on to the railing and make sure your entire foot (toe and heel) is on the step. I find it easier to go up and down stairs at a slight angle, instead of facing directly forwards, as it’s easier that way to make sure your whole foot is on the step. I don’t recommend going up or down stairs using only your toes or the balls of your feet, as the back of your stiletto heel may catch on the edge of a step and send you flying.

Just like with anything else, to walk with style in stilettos – practice, practice, practice! You also need to practice on all surfaces – tiles, wood floor, dance floor, gravel, pavement, plush carpet – as walking on these surfaces all have a different feel. If you’re planning to dance in stiletto heels, even more practice is needed.

Final word of advice – taking your shoes off when you’re dancing may not be a good idea because other people wearing stiletto heels may step on your feet and there may be other hazards on the dance floor, like broken glass.

To save your feet some pain, take breaks, sit down and rest when you can. Or else have a spare pair of more comfortable shoes in the car … just in case. Have a blast, enjoy all your parties this December and see you again in┬áthe new year!

Shih Yen wears a pair of stilettos (photo by Jaime Smith)