My size varies depending on which type of shoe I’m wearing. Add the fact that my left foot is a bit smaller than my right, and you can imagine the fun I have shopping – and that’s just in the store! Online shopping is a whole other ball game. I refuse to miss out on all the gorgeous shoes I see perusing the sites, though, so I’ve mapped out a system to make the click-and-buy process as smooth as possible.
I’m a 5.5 in slingbacks and open toes, but I go a half size down in closed toe pumps because my narrow feet always seem to fall out of them (I once lost a shoe climbing out of a car in the pouring rain – not my best moment!). Boots and sneakers are a bit different since you wear socks with them. I go up to a 6 to get some wiggle room, and try never to get boots that cut off mid-calf (ankle styles and knee-highs look best on petite girls).
The hardest shoe to buy online is, of course, a heel or platform. While you can look to see if the designer states that they fit true to size or require you to go up another, I’ve found it’s best to stick with the one that’s always worked for you. Once you’ve got the fit down, though, you also have to worry about comfort. The thicker the heel, the better, and I won’t buy them with more than a 3.5″ pitch. If the heel is 5″, for example, then the platform should be at least 1.5″ for the shoe to be functional. For pitches higher than 3″, I like slingbacks or something with an ankle strap (or as I like to call it, a seat belt for your feet). And don’t worry if you have thicker ankles – straps are surprisingly flattering and slimming!
Unfortunately, there will always be exceptions to the rules, and for those times, I’ve learned to only order from retailers great return policies. NET-A-PORTER, Neiman Marcus, Shopbop, and Zappos packages all come with hassle-free return labels. You can’t beat that! What are your tips for online shoe shopping?
Valentino Butterfly Ankle-Wrap Platform Pump: Valentino makes the chicest platforms! At Neiman Marcus for $1,545.
Saint Laurent Patent Mid-Heel Ankle-Wrap Sandal: Don’t let appearances deceive – these hot pinks numbers are more comfortable than they look. At Neiman Marcus for $795.
Manolo Blahnik BB Suede 90mm Pump: What’s more flattering than a pair of nude, pointed-toe pumps? At Neiman Marcus for $595.
Rag & Bone Newbury Nubuck Ankle Boot: When it comes to the ankle bootie/denim shorts trend, a lighter neutral looks best (elongate those stems!). At Neiman Marcus for $495.