• New York City Stylist
  • New York City Stylist
  • New York City Stylist

"The only real elegance is in the mind, if you've got that, the rest comes from it."

Diana Vreeland

Pinky Toe Pain and Other Perils of Having a Shoe Fetish

The most unbearable pain to me is PTP, Pinky Toe Pain. This is when your little pinky toe is either being squished to death inside a shoe that is too tight or a strap is cutting straight across the little piggy, to eventually cause such excruciating pain that shoots straight up to your eyes. The pain has been so bad at times that after I finally remove my shoes I can’t move my little toes for hours. I am no stranger to PTP and all other forms of shoe pain. Like when the ball of your foot feels like it’s on fire from standing and walking in 4” heels all day. Or when you have to walk 15 blocks and the back of your shoe is cutting into your foot to cause a blister the size of a fava bean. Or maybe it is just the overall ache from your foot being in a most unnatural position and all your weight being put on your toes. It’s not a good look to be hobbling around no matter how pretty the shoes. Style is, after all, also about how one carries one’s self, and limping isn’t exactly stylish or graceful.

Buying a new pair, or several new pairs of shoes is so uplifting and empowering, but it also comes with challenges. Be careful that you don’t fall so in love you buy the wrong thing for the wrong reason. Some find it irresistible to pass on certain shoes, especially if they are on sale. And, even if they are something you know will never work with anything in your wardrobe, not your style, hurt or are not the right size, you think I just have to have them. Also, did you know that some shoes just don’t fit? Regardless of the size, they just won’t fit your feet. Not every designer or manufacture is cut to fit every foot. These are the shoes you try on in three sizes, and none fit right. That’s when you’re thinking like Cinderella’s step sister and you’ll make the shoe fit “their not that tight” or “maybe they’ll stretch” or “an inner sole will do the trick!” Yeah, No…you have to pass on them. Even if they are 75% off, less the 15% store coupon and your friend’s 20% employee discount, you will not ever wear them and if you do, you will suffer.

As I get older and wiser, I refuse to suffer from shoes that are uncomfortable, well at least not that much, anyway. So I am more careful when buying, but I also refuse not to wear shoes that I already own, have paid a small fortune for and love to death. So what to do? Well, I have decided to categorize all my shoes that hurt. This way, if I am having a long day on my feet, I know I can’t wear them. But if I am going to dinner in a car and coming right home, and I can manage a few steps from the house to car, from the car to the restaurant and back again, then I pull out all the stuff that is gorgeous and painful.

And what if there are occasions when I have a situation that requires a lot of time on my feet and I need to wear a specific pair of beauties that make my outfit? I simply do the following and hope for the best:

  • Take 2 Advil before I get dressed to reduce any swelling and numb the pain. Repeat as needed up to 3 times in the day
  • Try not to drink too much alcohol, as it makes your feet swell
  • Stretch the shoes if they are too tight by filling zip locks with water placing them in the shoes and putting them in the freezer the night before . As the water turns to ice it expands and stretches the shoe.
  • Rub the inside of them with rubbing alcohol, which softens the leather and also stretches the shoe
  • If it’s summer, sprinkle a little baby powder inside the shoes so your foot doesn’t get stuck and jam your toes

After all my advice and words of wisdom, I hope you will be buying beautiful and comfortable shoes. And there are enough choices to find both. That being said, if you can’t find both, I would still go for a fabulous uncomfortable shoe than and ugly comfortable one any day!!!